Just over a quarter way through the season, it looks like the Buffalo Sabres are all but out of the playoff picture. They’ve already parted ways with their head coach, Lindy Ruff, but could they look to move another longtime part of their franchise in goaltender Ryan Miller?
They may not have a choice.
There’s no doubt that the past couple of seasons have been frustrating for Miller. He had a down year last year, and has actually played pretty well this year, making highlight reel saves on a regular basis. But the team in front of him has been unable to offer up much in the way of help.
Miller’s numbers on the year aren’t terrific. He’s under .500 on the year, with a .917 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average. This is still an elite goaltender, if the team in front of him was just a little bit better. Could his frustrations boil over and lead to Miller requesting a trade?
It’s possible, but there isn’t a strong indication that it will happen just yet. If the veteran netminder does, in fact, ask to be sent out of Buffalo, there would be no shortage of takers. He has a cap hit over $6 million, but it’s only another year. Unlike Roberto Luongo, who still has several years of his massive contract.
If he became available, Miller would instantly become the most sought after quantity on the trade market. The Sabres could probably pull a couple of decent players to build for the future if they managed to send him out. Of course, trading Miller would also signal the Sabres giving up on the season and going all-in for a potential rebuild.
The Ryan Miller situation is going to be one to watch for the remainder of this year, and potentially into the summer. If his numbers improve just a bit, the Sabres could probably take home a decent haul for him. But if Miller doesn’t speak up and ask out of Buffalo, he may be stuck there until he becomes a free agent.