In recent fantasy hockey seasons, Buffalo Sabres G Ryan Miller has been plagued by a lack of offensive talent. He was previously one of the top goaltenders in fantasy, but years of attempting to rebuild in Buffalo has all but ruined the veteran’s weekly fantasy value.
However, if there is a bright spot, it is that Miller has been mentioned in countless trade rumors. Buffalo is obviously looking to continue their rebuilding process and they have been increasingly shopping the future free agent goaltender. Miller will play at the Olympics this month for the United States team, and a strong showing could instantly increase his trade value.
Unfortunately, Miller heads to Sochi on a bit of a skid. Miller allowed five goals in back-to-back losses to the Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins. Before that, though, Miller was 8-6-3 in his 14 previous starts with a respectable 2.14 GAA and a couple strong Olympic performances will completely wash away his latest poor outings.
Miller may have a 2.74 GAA and .923 Save Percentage on the year, but his lackluster numbers have simply been a result of the struggling team in front of him. He has faced over 30 shots in six of the last eight games and he has averaged 33.5 shots against per start. Most goalies go a month without facing over 30 shots, but Miller has had to do it for his entire career in Buffalo. A change of scenery will certainly limit the amount of saves that Miller will face on a nightly basis, but it will give fantasy owners hope that he can become a weekly starter again.
There are plenty of teams out there that need a reliable netminder nowadays and Miller would be a strong fit on a half dozen teams. There is no doubt that Miller’s performance this Olympic season will be watched by several general managers, and heavily criticized at the same time.
If he stays in Buffalo, Miller won’t help win many fantasy titles. If he can somehow finally get out of town and move to a contender, expect him to once again become a top-15 netminder.