The Buffalo Sabres had quite a goaltending conundrum this season. Between trades and injuries, there was a high rotation in net for Buffalo, especially towards the end of the season.
Of course, one of the biggest parts of that was when Ryan Miller was traded to the St. Louis Blues, leaving Jhonas Enroth to step up and others including Nathan Lieuwen and Michal Neuvirth to fill in.
Now, the Sabres season has been done for over a month, so it’s time to look forward.
The Blues announced recently that they had re-signed goaltender Brian Elliott to a long-term deal. They also announced that Chicago Wolves goaltender Jake Allen, who won AHL goaltender of the year honors, has earned his rightful spot in the NHL next season.
With a goaltending tandem in place, this clearly leaves Miller as the odd man out.
He’ll hit the free agent market on July 1, unless the Blues trade his rights to another team and they sign him prior to the deadline.
So this begs the question many have been asking – should the Buffalo Sabres give some consideration to signing Miller once he hits free agency?
Here’s what I think: No.
I think it’s time for the Sabres organization to move forward. The Ryan Miller era in Buffalo has ended, and it’s time to move on and focus on developing more of our other goaltenders, including Enroth. That’s not to say that Miller isn’t a worthwhile goaltender or anything, but I’ve never been a big fan of bringing a guy back once he’s been elsewhere. Let the player move on, let the team move on and be done with it.
Clearly, the Sabres didn’t intend to sign Miller, or else they wouldn’t have traded him in the first place. You don’t trade a guy that you hope to re-sign a few months down the road. Giving it consideration now just seems silly.
There’s also the price tag to be taken into consideration. Some have suggested that Miller’s asking price when he hits the free agent market will be pretty steep. He made $6.25 million last season as part of a five-year deal, so it seems fair to say that he’ll want a raise coming into next season. Would the Sabres really want to take on a heavy contract like that?
What do you think? Should the Sabres management look into signing Miller, bringing him back to the organization where he spent the first 12 seasons of his professional career?