NHL Notebook: Buffalo Sabres trade Ilya Lyubushkin to the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks hire Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek

Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY
Aleena Aksenchuk
7 months ago
The Buffalo Sabres have traded Russian defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2025 fourth-round pick, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams announced late Friday night.
Lyubushkin had two goals and 14 points with the Sabres this past season while averaging 15:01 of ice time. He ranked third on the team in hits with 99, and second in blocked shots with 104. He will enter the final year of a two-year contract with a $2.75 million cap hit he signed with the Sabres last summer.
In his five-year NHL career, the blueliner has appeared in 279 games with the Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Sabres.
Buffalo signed Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton on the first day of free agency on July 1st, elevating their defensive depth and increasing their number of defencemen to nine. Given a wealth of young talent including Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, and Mattias Samuelsson, Adams was aware of the surplus and was open to making a move ushering the trade with the Ducks.
Buffalo has been accumulating draft picks and is now set to select nine times in 2025.
Here’s more details on the trade from Daily Faceoff’s Colton Davies:
The 29-year-old was an undrafted free agent out of Russia; Lyubushkin signed as a free agent with the Arizona Coyotes in 2018. He spent the next four seasons in Arizona, helping the club qualify for the 2020 playoffs and seeing his role increase steadily every year. The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Lyubushkin from the Coyotes before the 2022 trade deadline in exchange for Nick Ritchie and a conditional 2025 second-round draft pick. Lyubushkin scored two goals and six points while averaging 16:28 in 31 games with the Maple Leafs after the deal.

NHL legends Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek join San Jose Sharks in scouting roles

The San Jose Sharks have acquired some notable additions with former Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek as they join the organization as scouts.
Miller will work as a goalie scout and in goaltending development for the team and will have his work cut out for him given San Jose finished last in team save percentage last season at 0.881. Vanek, meanwhile, will work as an amateur scout in the Minnesota region.
Both players were teammates of Sharks general manager Mike Grier during his time with the Buffalo Sabres in 2005-06, 2009-10, and 2010-11.
Miller spent 18 years in the NHL with a record of 391-289-88 over 796 games while maintaining a .914 save percentage. In 2009-10 he was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender after boasting a record of 41-18-8 with a .929 save percentage with the Buffalo Sabres.
Vanek spent 18 years in the NHL, playing in 1029 games and scoring 373 goals and 789 points. He spent nine years with the Sabres from 2005-2013, sharing the remainder of his career with the Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Vancouver Canucks.
Here’s more on the news from Daily Faceoff‘s Anthony Trudeau:
While they cannot help San Jose on the ice (as much as Grier would love that), Miller and Vanek add some much-needed credibility to a one-time Pacific Division powerhouse now undergoing a lengthy rebuild.
Grier started that process in earnest this offseason by drafting American Center Will Smith 4th overall and, more recently, dealing reigning Norris-winner Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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