On Thursday night at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins will try to snap their three-game losing skid at home against the Buffalo Sabres.
There is a chance that two former Bruins players will skate in the Sabres’ uniform to face their former team. However, possibly neither of them will be available to play.
Marcus Johansson signed a two-year deal worth $4.5 million per season with Buffalo in the offseason. He has missed the Sabres’ most recent four games, and he might miss his fifth straight contest. Surely, there will be one more chance for Johansson to come back to TD Garden.
The second player on the shortlist is Colin Miller. Miller has experienced a tumultuous career, being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, but debuting in the NHL with the Bruins. In Boston, he played in 103 games collecting 29 points. In 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights picked him in the Expansion Draft. His first season in Vegas made the Bruins regret a bit his loss. After a 41-point campaign, Miller came close to winning the Cup.
Last season, the Golden Knights’ coaches weren’t that satisfied with his defensive play, despite his 29 points in 65 games. Mainly due to the salary-cap issues, the Golden Knights traded him to Buffalo this offseason. Before that, Vegas signed him to a four-year contract worth $3.875 million per campaign in 2018.
With the Sabres, similar to his team, the 27-year-old defenseman had a shiny start. In one game, he even assisted Johansson on an overtime game-winner. The Sabres have struggled mightily over the last 10 games as Miller was only a healthy scratch for the three games before this Tuesday.
The former Bruins defenseman has hit an unpleasant spot and doesn’t seem like a fit in the Sabres uniform. After all, who else but Jack Eichel does, right? With three years left on his $3.875-per campaign salary, the Sabres might want to trade him.
The Maple Leafs’ writer for The Athletic, James Mirtle, suggests that Toronto might trade Tyson Barrie for Miller. Barrie is a pending unrestricted free agent next offseason after the Maple Leafs acquired him last summer in a trade that sent Nazem Kadri to Colorado. Barrie has been heavily criticized for his play in Toronto, as the Leafs, currently nine points below the Bruins in the standings, might look for a shake-up.
From the Bruins perspective, to see both Buffalo and Toronto struggle, while they enjoy the divisional lead, that´s not the worst spot. Besides, they don’t have to regret losing Miller in that 2017´s Expansion Draft, after all.