Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Nolan Wants to Build Around Ryan Miller

The Ryan Miller saga will continue on a little longer in Buffalo apparently. There’s been a lot of talk about the Buffalo Sabres goal of getting rid of Ryan Miller at the trade deadline to give Jhonas Enroth and Matt Hackett a chance through the rebuild, but if you talk to Ted Nolan that isn’t the plan.

After practice today Nolan offered up this golden tidbit on Miller

“You use him as, you build around him vs. using him as a pawn to try to get something to try to make you better. I talked to Pat about this, the one thing we want to do is create an environment where people want to come here and stay here, so hopefully Miller likes what we’re doing and you never know.”

I’ll pause for a moment as you pick your jaw up from off the floor… Go ahead I’ll wait, do a lap around your block…

Yes, you read the above statement from Nolan correctly and I’ll spell it out for you. Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan are looking to resign

Ryan Miller over trading him. This means one of two things; Either Miller resigns and backstops the Sabres through the rebuild or the chances of losing Miller at the end of the year when he walks for nothing just improved.

Also if you want to get really into the quote, it sure sounds like Nolan will be sticking around as a full time head coach if he himself has plans to build around Miller and LaFontaine has the same plans. A “fill in” head coach doesn’t talk about rebuilding the team and resigning a veteran netminder. Maybe fans should get used to Mr. Nolan. Also, Last night a report surfaced that LaFontaine may operate as the GM (in his hockey operations role) for the rest of the year.

Now wanting to keep Ryan Miller to help steer the rebuild isn’t a crazy idea, he’s a solid goaltender who you know is going to give you wins and stop a lot rubber. Take a look at the Henrik Lundqvist signing today, what has Lundqvist done that Miller hasn’t? He hasn’t delivered a cup, yet the Rangers are willing to keep him long term, so why wouldn’t the Sabres be willing to keep Miller? Of course the Sabres probably wouldn’t be willing to give Miller a 7 year deal worth just under $60 million but it might be worth keeping him around for another couple years.

If LaFontaine plans on keeping Nolan around and both of them want to keep Ryan Miller around it may change who they look at for the GM job. Do they want another “yes man” in the organization, will they tell the GM that he has to attempt to work out a deal with Miller before any trade? Or will Pat LaFontaine himself handle the Ryan Miller situation.

While I personally am a fan of Ryan Miller and would love to see him stay in blue and gold, if they keep Miller through the rebuild they will only be going around in circles. Get rid of him, he wants out and the Sabres need to go in a new direction.

The Ryan Miller situation seems to be heating up more and more. The new management is leaning on keeping him and it sounds like Ted Nolan could be sticking around. Will the new GM be forced to keep Nolan and do what LaFontaine wants? Ultimately is Ryan Miller going to be resigned?



Tags: Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller Ted Nolan

  • jimbobv2

    I expect that they will try and convince Miller to stay until the trade deadline.

    If he’s non-committal, or worse, at that point, they better try and move him. The only way they can let him walk without compensation is if nobody is willing to trade for him.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I agree, they’ll try and convince Miller to stay for sure and throw him some money but I’m honestly not sure they’d move him

      • jimbobv2

        If he’s not willing to re-sign by the deadline, why keep him?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I agree but it is the Buffalo Sabres we’re talking about here haha

        • Richard Spalding

          Exactly. It’s nice to say, We want to rebuild around him, but if he’s determined to walk, the Sabres would be fools not to . . . uh oh.

          • jimbobv2

            What happens with Miller will be a very interesting thing to watch with the Sabres “under new management”.

          • Jes

            Exactly Rich and Jim if they don’t even try and resign him then it’d be an epic fail. We all know Miller isn’t going to resign. He wants to win and he won’t be doing any of that here anytime soon.

  • Jes

    Absolute horrible news both about Nolan probably staying and and the brass trying to resign Miller. Arrrrrrrrg!!!!!!!

    One thing though, you can’t compare Miller to Lundqvist to Miller. Lundqvist is probably the best this business has to offer as of today and Miller wouldn’t even crack the top 10. Sure he’s had a good season thus far but in all honesty when was the last time he played this well? Olympic year!!!

    Another thing is that NY Rangers are a lot closer to success then the Sabres so you gotta take that into account.

    If Miller resigns we’d just be paying him big money for a non playoff team. And honestly I do not want a goalie that will show up and live up to all the hype every time the Olympics come around.

    As for Nolan, I hope your wrong CC.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      haha I didn’t think you’d like this one. While I agree that you can’t compare Ryan Miller and Lundqvist I don’t agree that Miller wouldn’t be inside the top 10. Miller is on pace to start for Team USA at the Olympics and is playing better than Quick, Howard and even Lundqvist right now. You put him on a team like Lundqvist has and he’ll be just fine.
      A good goalie every 4 years… that works right?

      • Jes

        Miller is playing better then Quick right now is leading candidate to get #1 job for Olympics but Quick’s been hurt for awhile now so that the duel isn’t as bad as it looks right now. Miller wouldn’t be on many “hockey experts” top ten goalies.


        Those are all goalies just off the top of my head that are better than Miller IMO. But he’s your favorite so you’d probably rank as one of the best.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I’d take Price and Niemi out of that list- niemi is having a solid year but I don’t think he’s a solid guy IMO. Price has a lot to prove IMO. yes we’ll have to agree to disagree on Miller.

          • Jes

            We always have to agree to disagree on Miller lol.

            Niemi has had two solid campaigns in a row though, plus a Stanley Cup so he easily beats out Miller IMO.

            IMO Miller’s in the league of Crawford and Lehtonen. Maybe a tad better but not by much.

    • [email protected]

      What is your issue with Miller? He is undoubtedly a solid goalie, he just needs an attitude adjustment lmao.

      • Jes

        Oh ya he’s a solid goalie. Never said he wasn’t. But he’s been one of the more overrated goalies in the NHL for awhile now… He’s having an awesome year and if he actually played like this every year instead of Olympic years then I’d have a different opinion. But as of right now that hasn’t happened. We personally don’t need him during this rebuild. If whoever the GM is plays it right we could land a pretty nice piece. Like CC said before if resigned Miller we’d just be going around in circles.

        And you are right about the attitude adjustment. All his outbursts in post game interviews have become tiresome.

  • Dano

    CC : I think comparing Miller to King Lundqvist can be done, but I believe there is a better comparison to be made.

    Buffalo and the Rags have 2 different systems and 2 different approaches to the game.

    Nolan has Coached Hasek and now Miller. In Nolans system which tries to stipulate defense, the key piece to him is having a solid netminder. Hasek wasnt ‘ the unquestioned best ‘ in his time but he was unquestionably one of the best. The same can be said for Miller.

    I really cant see Miller wanting to stay around. I dont think the money is the number 1 thing on his mind.

    I believe some of what Nolan offered is somewhat ‘ lip service ‘. Sure, the team is working a bit harder but they still havent really made any serious moves for talent or had solid wins where they played 60 minutes of hockey. Its yet to be seen from ‘ Nolans Team ‘. I like the guy but have to call him out on it.

    I dont see the Organization moving mountains for a ‘ interim coach ‘ endless theres a future that Includes Nolan. *IF* they are seriously going to lay out a package to keep Miller here, Nolan is probably going to be staying.

    The question remains though, what could ( or will be ) offered to Miller to try and have him hang around AND play up to what hes capable of?

    • Jes

      He’d probably want Lundqvist money to stick around in Buffalo (Maybe even more, depending on how big Miller’s head is). He’d play for less on a winning team like Anaheim and St. Louis.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        I agree with Jes it will have to be at 6 mill a year- he’s making 6.25 right now.

  • qwicwted

    What I found interesting is the notion that LaFontaine may act as GM himself for the rest of the year. I thought one of Patty’s urgent tasks was to find a ‘replacement” GM and we all know he has been interviewing candidates. Also taking into account that Messier and now Roenick want to play GM, maybe Pat has decided there is no one better out there then himself.
    While I do like Nolan’s philosopy of hard work = playing time, I do get concerned hearing and knowing that he is reshaping the team into one of journeymen. We now have McCormick ready to come back and Nolan was ready to bring back Kaleta before he was injured. Seems like they are trying to find a place for Grigorenko and it sure isn’t on our 4th line – this really concerns me because we are on pace to break records with our lack of scoring.
    Its all well and good to have a strong D and great goaltending, but we still need to score a couple of goals. If they don’t want to waste anymore time on Grigorenko, then trade him – maybe they can do a swap with Edmonton for Yakupov. Oh……wait, we really can’t do much because we don’t have a GM. But, they are going to waste their time trying to talk Miller into staying – I don’t get it – his wife lives and works in LA, so that is where he wants to go. Let him go and try to get something for him now.
    Anyway, that is my rant for the day!

    • JHizzle75

      Hmmmm…. Maybe this is a ploy to try to convince the rest of the league that Miller might get a big $ extension offered to him. His situation is no secret, with his wife in Cali. and his desire to go to a contender. If the teams interested in Miller think he might get a big offer, maybe we won’t look desperate to trade him and get a better return than we otherwise would have.

      • Jes

        Ya those are always the ploys of GM’s. Regier was a magician at this kind of stuff. Sadly I don’t think if Lafontaine were the one to trade Miller that he would get the most value. He’s a first time GM of sorts and will jump on the first reasonable offer.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I’m torn on that thought. Yes he’s a rookie but he’ll also want to make a move that makes him look great and maybe convinces himself he should be GM. If he handles the Miller situation I wouldn’t be surprised to see him moved into the GM spot with a more veteran assistant GM to help him. IDK though…

      • Caitlin Campbell

        Yup those are the two trains of thoughts either they’re serious about Miller or they’re trying to pump his tires per say. I don’t think he stays

    • Jes

      Nice Rant!!! lol

      Well said. Honestly if Lafontaine is going to act as the GM for this season, why not just make him permanent GM? This years UFA class is nice talented bunch add to the fact we have a tonne of talent with expiring contracts and we have nice draft picks. So IMO a new GM should be in by the Xmas break to start working the phones.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        I heard a report last night that the “GM search” could go well into 2014

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Very well said I agree with pretty much everything you said and I’m fairly positive LaFontaine will act as GM himself for now

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  • erico

    i say build around miller. he is a world class goal tender and we may not get another one for a long time. Lock him up for 4-5 years, build out from him, next is d. keep ehrhoff and pysyk, and bring in big guns such as ristolainen, zadorov and eckblad. next summer go hard after mcdavid and other strong offensive players, trade away current assets, myers, weber, sulzer, mcnabb, ennis, stafford, leino

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I wouldn’t be against them building around Miller per say but I just feel like the organization in general wants to head in another direction away from Miller