Seeing as the Buffalo Sabres have fallen flat and failed to qualify for the postseason the past two seasons, there has been widespread speculation regarding the futures of franchise cornerstones Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.
Miller, who is just three seasons removed from winning the Vezina Trophy and taking home MVP honors at the 2010 Olympics, is still a top-flight goaltender, but given the Sabres' struggles, it's difficult to see how he fits into Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier's long-term plans.
Jhonas Enroth has emerged as a legitimate insurance plan for Miller and with just one year of a $6.25 million cap hit remaining on the 33-year-old's contract, it seems logical that Regier would move him in order to prevent losing him for nothing on the open market next July.
Which brings us to Vanek.
As Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News points out, the two-time 40-goal scorer lives in Minnesota during the summers, not too far from where he starred as a Minnesota Golden Gopher, so it makes sense that the Austrian sniper would be in favor of a move to the Wild.
For now, the Wild don't have enough cap space to take on Vanek's contract, but that could change if the former All-Star indicates he's intent on leaving the only NHL team he's known.
Verdict: Fact. Vanek may not go to the Wild, but Regier is too smart of a general manager to realize that two stars, who will be on the wrong side of 30 by next spring, are not interested in taking part in a rebuild. Though Miller may not be looking to leave Buffalo now, expect him to be dealt to make way for the 25-year-old Enroth unless Miller signs a new deal.