For today’s article, I’m going to play the role of devil’s advocate regarding the Ryan Miller trade rumours. With all the rumours we’ve heard surrounding Miller this season, we sure have heard from a lot of different people; Ted Nolan has offered his opinion, Darcy Regier had some thoughts while he was still the GM, and new GM Tim Murray came in with thoughts as well. There have been a lot of different people their opinions on what the Buffalo Sabres should do or intend to do with their former franchise netminder. However, we have not heard from the most important person in this whole ordeal pertaining to his future, Mr. Ryan Miller.
While it’s not unusual for a player in the midst of a trade media storm to keep quiet about his intentions, Ryan Miller has not once expressed interest in leaving the Buffalo Sabres. Let me rephrase that. He did list his Buffalo townhouse and has expressed interest in being closer to his wife out in Los Angeles. However, Miller himself has never said he wants to leave Buffalo.
Not once has Miller asked for a trade out of Buffalo or quit on his team. In fact, he’s been playing lights out between the pipes in hopes of winning back his starting job for team USA at the 2014 Olympics. For Miller, this is a really big season; It’s the last year of his contract, an Olympic year and a year in which he needed a major bounce back season in the crease to impress team USA and other NHL teams. Going into this season, I think it’s fair to say there were two pretty big end goals, be the starter for team USA and earn a big pay cheque from some team.
As of right now he’s well on his way to accomplishing both those goals this season and has done so while wearing blue and gold. With such a big emphasis on this season, it really shouldn’t come as a shock to people Ryan Miller hasn’t been interested in talking extensions and likely, won’t be until after the Olympics.
If your Miller and you’re about to head to the Olympics you really don’t want a big contract extension or debate following you over to Sochi. He’s not dumb. He knows the Olympics are his big thing, knows both Tim Murray and Ted Nolan have expressed interest in resigning, that the Buffalo Sabres have no real strong back-up plan in Jhonas Enroth- Matt Hackett and that the goaltending market is slim right now.
While everyone is busy dreaming up the next big trade scenario for Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres let’s just remember that as far as anyone other than Tim Murray knows, Miller is interested in sticking around in Buffalo. What if Ryan Miller and the Sabres agree to contract extensions right after the Olympics?
Everyone is ready to buy Miller’s airfare out of town, but they forget the three most important people- or at least two- have yet to suggest that a deal isn’t possible. Miller know’s the market is slim, and the Buffalo Sabres will have no problem throwing him all the money he needs, maybe he signs a short-term 3-4 year deal and gets traded in a year or two.
Before we throw a brand new rumour in the direction of Ryan Miller, let’s just remember that none of Miller, Murray or Nolan- and yes I believe Nolan has some weight in player moves- have said a deal can’t be made. Playing the role of devil’s advocate here, I would laugh pretty hard if the Sabres were able to sign Miller to deal by March 5th.