The biggest trade chip in the NHL this year is pending free agent and current Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller who has been the subject of trade rumors for more than a year.
With the trade deadline a month away and the Olympic break putting a freeze on NHL rosters, there isn’t much time to agree to an extension or find a partner willing to pony up to the high price for the Team USA netminder.
Miller has been quiet for the most part as he has heard his name bandied about across the league but spoke with Mike Harrington at the Buffalo News to speak about his future which remains cloudy.
“I still don’t know what to say. There’s been a change here even since there was a change here before,” he said, referring to the hiring of new GM Tim Murray. “So it’s like I’m waiting to see what the plan is and waiting to see what they have to offer. We haven’t talked about anything with regard to contracts and we haven’t talked about anything with regard to trades. They’re doing their business.”
So I asked Miller point-blank if he’s told the Sabres he wants out or if he’s told them he’s willing to stay. He was understandably evasive.
“That’s not really something I want to discuss with you guys,” Miller said. “It’s a private conversation about a business transaction. Really, that’s what it comes down to. I’m waiting to see kind of what the plans are around here. that would kind of give a little more indication.”
The first thing that is telling is they haven’t talked about anything with regard to contracts, so the likelihood of coming to terms on an extension prior to the deadline would appear to be slim. Secondly, it sounds like Miller would be unwilling to sign a contract anyway until he sees if this team is headed in a positive direction.
Miller is on the team with the worst record in the NHL and has been on some bad teams in his time in Buffalo so with an Olympics to showcase himself to literally the whole world, it appears that either via trade or declining an extension at some point after the break that he’s not long for Buffalo.