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

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

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?