A moderate increase to the NHL salary cap still didn’t allow the Vegas Golden Knights to stay under the new number of $81.5 million for the 2019-20 season. So someone needed to go.
On Friday, the Golden Knights purged some of their excess salary by sending defenseman Colin Miller to the Buffalo Sabres. In exchange, Vegas accepted a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Miller, a 26-year-old blue-liner, tallied 29 points on 3 goals, 26 assists in 65 games in the regular season, then added three points with a goal in the Knights’ first-round playoff exit to the San Jose Sharks.
According to sources, Miller has three seasons remaining on a four-year, $15.5 million contract he signed with the Golden Knights on July 7, 2018.
Miller was acquired from the Boston Bruins in the NHL Expansion Draft, posted NHL career highs in goals (10), assists (31) and points (41) in 82 games with the Golden Knights in 2017-18, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final.
The second-round pick from Buffalo was originally owned by St. Louis, which figures to be a low pick, so the fifth-round selection was added to balance the swap.
The exodus of Miller frees his annual $3,875,000 salary from the Vegas ledger. The club did not state if it was still over the cap or if other moves are anticipated.
The NHL free agency signing period commences Monday.
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