Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Is Ryan Miller All But Ready to Leave the Buffalo Sabres?

The start of the 2013 has not been kind to the Buffalo Sabres. The defence has been pitiful, they’re playing like they could care less, the coach is failing to inspire them and as a result they find themselves 13th in the Eastern Conference with the possibility to land a top 5 draft pick. Obviously not what fans had in mind for this season as the playoffs seemed like a very real possibility but a third into the season and playoffs look to be a distant dream. As usual when things aren’t going well more heat is placed on certain players and in turn players who are doing their best voice their opinions and that’s exactly what Ryan Miller did in his post game on Sunday after the Sabres dropped a close match with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Miller called out the team’s defence which has been all but invisible to say the least this season. The goaltender’s comments show that he is extremely frustrated with the lack of help he is getting and his team’s poor play. Aside from Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller is the only Sabres player who has consistently showed up this season and plays a full 60 minute game. Miller has every right to be frustrated by this joke of a Sabres team that is hitting the ice night after night: you think they’ve hit rock bottom one game and they come out and perform even worse the next. I love this team, I really do, but they’ve turned into the joke of the NHL and I’m not sure there’s a way they can climb out of this hole like they did last season. Until this team undergoes a management change they will continue to go through a downward spiral- doesn’t matter who they bring in Lindy Ruff will ruin it.

Anyways back to Ryan Miller, there’s a hidden message to be found in Miler’s post game comments where he absolutely lost it, and that’s the fact he’s done in

Buffalo. Miller is calling out for help, saying he’s giving it all he can but he can’t do anymore without some help from the rest of the team. The sad thing is that even with the Sabres playing horrible defence Miller has bailed them out time after time and gives them a chance every night, posting a .915 Save Percentage which is pretty decent considering what’s playing in front of him. Miller has been standing on his head facing close to 500 shots (498) which is the most in the entire league and speaks volumes to how poor the defence is. On any other team people would be singing Miller’s praises for keeping his team in games and stealing games they have no business winning, instead he’s getting ripped for games the team hasn’t shown up for.  This season is not Miller’s fault; he’s doing everything he can and he’s tired of it all.

What you take away from Miller’s little meltdown is he doesn’t plan on playing for the Sabres much longer- while he probably wont pull a Tim Thomas and refuse to play because he’s got some self respect, I would be utterly shocked if he’s still wearing blue and gold past next season. Whether you want to believe it or not Ryan Miller is one of the top goalies in the NHL, and he deserves a team that will at least show up in front of him he truly deserves better. Next season is the last year of the goaltenders contract before he becomes a Unrestricted Free Agent meaning he can go anywhere he wants and by the sound of things is already looking forward to getting out of dodge. But if the Sabres are smart they’ll trade him to get a decent return instead of letting him walk for nothing, by the
trade-deadline next season if Miller isn’t entertaining contract talks with the Sabres it would be a safe bet to say he could be gone.

Miller knows that under this management and with this group of players this Buffalo Sabres team isn’t going anywhere. Miller still has maybe 6 years left to be a top notch number 1 goalie and win a Stanley Cup and that’s not going to happen in Buffalo which is why he’s made up his mind he won’t be returning after next season.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller Trade Rumor

  • PaulR

    Miller’s got an aspiring movie-star wife, and even gets tweets from her friends like Charlie Sheen. Don’t think for a minute he doesn’t imagine what playing his next (and likely final) contract would be like on a much bigger and better stage. He will entertain all offers next year – and don’t be surprised if the Sabres find themselves in another Chris Drury situation.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      No question he wants to head out of Buffalo but I don’t think he wants a bigger stage- better yes but he’d rather fly under the radar.
      I fully believe it will be another Drury situation, I was thinking about that while writing this

    • wolfdoctor

      Certainly Miller has already requested a trade to a West Coast team. Would you want to be 3000 miles away from your wife, who is working closely with Charlie Sheen?

  • Troy Berkely

    I think trading Miller this off season would make the most sense, and as well getting the most value. The question is what team would benefit, and what do they have to offer in return? The Kings? They already have Quick. Anaheim? They have Hiller and Fasth, but could a package be made for Perry or Ryan, or maybe both? Lets say Pommenville, Leino, Stafford, Ennis, Miller, Gerbe, Leopold, Sekera are all options that the Sabres can use. Coyotes? They have Smith, but a Miller acquisition would certainly upgrade them at the position. The question is who do they have that would interest or make the Sabres better? Vermette? I would side with caution on that one, seeing they have an aging roster, and the Sabres primary needs is a solid defensemen, and a scoring centermen. Sharks? They have Niemi, who by the way is having a great season so far and would be hard pressed to let anyone go. Edmonton? Eberle would be a possibility, and their goalies are average at best, however, not sure they be willing to pay the high price tag of a Ryan Miller. Calgary? Tanguay or Stajan might be good pickups for the Sabres, and they are a team that could use a good goal tender as their current net-minders are not so hot right now. As you can see trading Miller for the right price is not an easy chore, and given Regier’s track record of hanging on to players because: A. He is in love with them B. He over values his players, so interested trade partners balk at the asking price C. He is simply too conservative to pull the trigger and kicks the tires to much! D. Does not have the will to pull off a big time trade! Most certainly it would take a multitude of deals to make the Sabres better, along with more than one team to get a deal done involving Miller. Don’t get me wrong, I think Miller is a great goal tender, but keeping him is going to be more challenging, and being realistic that this team needs some major changes to get better, trading Miller would certainly help in that aspect. Especially if you consider waiting another year, which would be Miller’s final contact year, teams might not be willing to make trades knowing perfectly well that they can wait until he becomes a FA, and then the Sabres lose altogether. Its all about playing it close to the vest on this one! Using logic would appear that this would be the case, but then again when does logic ever apply when it involves Darcy Regier?