The Vegas Golden Knights continued freeing up salary-cap space by trading defenseman Colin Miller to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
The Golden Knights acquired a second-round pick in the 2021 draft and a 2022 fifth-round selection. The second-round pick acquired by Vegas is the one Buffalo landed in trading Ryan O’Reilly to St. Louis a year ago.
The 26-year-old Miller has four seasons of NHL experience and had three goals and 26 assists for 29 points in 65 games last season. That was a drop-off from the previous year when he led Golden Knights defensemen with a career-best 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists).
Miller completed the first year of a four-year $15.5 million contract, and became the odd-man out because the Golden Knights face a salary-cap crunch . On Thursday, Vegas traded forward Erik Haula to Carolina.
Even with the two moves, the Golden Knights are still projected to be about $1 million over next season’s $81.5 million salary cap.
Teams aren’t required to be under the cap until a few days before the start of next season, though Vegas will be handcuffed from making any additions entering the free agency period, which opens Monday.
Vegas acquired Miller by selecting him off of Boston’s roster in the 2018 expansion draft. Miller had a combined nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points in 103 games over two seasons with the Bruins.
The Sabres are suddenly getting deeper on defense under newly hired coach Ralph Krueger.
Miller joins a group of defensemen that includes rookie-of-the-year finalist Rasmus Dahlin and veterans Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian and Marco Scandella.
Bogosian is expected to not be ready for the start of next season after having hip surgery in April. Defenseman Lawrence Pilut is also expected to miss the start of next season after having shoulder surgery last month.