The clock continues to tick down towards the day when the Buffalo Sabres will need to make a final decision on goaltender Ryan Miller. I’m sure it hasn’t been an easy start to Tim Murray’s time in Buffalo having to decide on the future of their former franchise goaltender, but it appears the sun is setting on Ryan Miller in blue and gold.
A report from WGR 550 and our very own too many men on the site surfaced today with what the Buffalo Sabres are asking for the netminder. The rumoured asking price is 2 first round draft picks and a prospect in exchange for Mr. Miller. Personally I think if they can land one first round pick and a prospect they do the deal.
Obviously Tim Murray was brought in to change the tide in Buffalo and help continue the rebuild, landing 2 first round picks and a
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prospect would be perfect for the rebuild. However, with the current goaltending market where Miller isn’t in demand, the price tag they’re asking may be a little high. Especially for a goaltender who is set to hit free agency at the end of this season and would be nothing more than a rental at this point in time.
Is Miller a good goaltender? Yes. Is he one of the top 5 goaltenders in the game right now? No. Miller is good, there is no arguing that, heck he may even be great. However, few teams are looking for a starting goaltender with a cap hit of Miller’s. Sure most teams would love to add a 2x Olympian, Silver Medalists and a Vezina winner, but this is a horrible time to be shopping that kind of netminder.
Hearing Brian Burke’s comments about the job Miller has done with the Sabres this season shows how people in the hockey world admire Miller for continue to play lights out behind the worst team in the league. A lot of hockey executives seem to respect Miller and hopefully that will work in Murray’s favour.
The Buffalo Sabres have given Miller every chance to re-sign with the team and will likely give him one more chance post-Olympics, but the price tag associated with Miller seems like Murray is ready to turn the page.
Whether you like the asking price for Miller, or think it’s a tad too much, Murray is taking the right approach before the trade deadline. You don’t want to show other team’s that you’re desperate to get something for your goaltender, you have to start high and show it will take a lot to get him. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be team’s calling for Ryan Miller, by starting with a high asking price Murray will be able to control the negotiations and ensure that he wins the trade. Darcy Regier was a magician at flogging trades, hopefully Murray has the same kind of trade power.
Instead of 2 firsts and a prospect the Buffalo Sabres are probably looking more at something along the lines of 1 first, a prospect and either a roster player with a significant cap hit or the Sabres will need to retain some of their goaltenders’ cap hit. What do you think of the asking price for Ryan Miller?