The Buffalo Sabres haven’t exactly been doing what their fans were hoping for this season. With that newly appointed General Manager Tim Murray may have one of the hardest decisions to make regarding this team. A story for a while now has been about Ryan Miller and what will happen with him? Does he re-sign and stay here to play his career out or does Murray trade him away for pieces that could help his club moving forward.
Playing for this organization since 2002 he has been through a lot of ups and downs. Working his way through the minors and fine-tuning his skills Miller finally came to Buffalo in the 06-07 seasons to be the top goaltender on this team. Working with the Rochester Americans (Sabres AHL Team) helped him greatly before he was given his chance. Taking this year out as we don’t know how it will end Miller has had six seasons where he eclipsed the 30 win plateau and in which two of those were 40 and 41. The way he plays the game and how he is not afraid to say what’s on his mind always has people listening to what he is going to do next.
For those people who didn’t know about Ryan the 2010 Olympics definitely changed that. The USA goaltender had an amazing tournament that played out to see a great final game with the US and Canada. In Vancouver, Canada the gold medal game played out in overtime as everyone hoped and seen the Canadians coming out on top as Sidney Crosby beat Miller for the game winner. At the end of the tournament however Miller was named MVP and also took home the Directorate award for the best goaltender.
From then on I think Ryan has been on many people’s radars as he gained so much popularly from the Olympics. Living in the Buffalo area I can remember people just coming to the games to see him and basically not caring about anything else. Also when people talk about him being the face of the franchise (which he is) it was that time in his career when he earned that. Miller’s leadership, skill and attitude are traits that show everyone what a good teammate he is and who the younger players should model with his dedication to the sport. Not everything he does is right or is the best but not being fake to me is also another positive for him.
As the Sabres look this year the rumors have been flying because of their bad play and not surprisingly Miller’s name is in the discussion. Talks have surfaced for a while now that he wanted to go out west to be with his wife and now wanting to possibly play for a contending organization puts him in the conversation. Now comes decision time for Murray and if he’ll pull the trigger? Will he get back what he thinks is equivalent value? Does he only want picks or can he take a guy with salary that could help? All these questions will soon be answered but in the meantime it’s all a guessing game. Rumors that have surfaced have Miller going to teams like the Blues, Capitals and the Wild. All have different packages going in different directions but nothing really deemed to be a sold offer just yet.
My opinion in how this plays out is that Ryan is eventually traded. To where I’m not sure but I think the Sabres will be taking whatever they get back in the deal and will flip it to acquire an established player. With other players on the Sabres that could be on the way out at the deadline the Sabres will be the team to watch come March 5th.