Miller is an unrestricted free agent after next season, and would likely sign a deal somewhere in the $5-6 million range for upwards of six years. Assuming he signs at the top end, a six-year, $36 million deal is what Miller would want from the Sabres (or any other team) looking to lock him up.
While it’s not a sure thing that Miller will be back with the Sabres after his current contract expires, one would have to assume it’s likely, despite all of the doom and gloom going around from the media right now.
Yes, Miller has been harped on for being too derisive of a presence in the media and the locker room, but he speaks his mind and doesn’t shy away from the blame when it’s deserved. He also has not been nearly as bad as many have insinuated this season. He leads the league in saves and shots against, and has a respectable .916 save percentage.
Let’s put it this way: He’s not losing games for the Sabres by any stretch of the imagination.
His value is apparent in the price that has been floating around to acquire Miller. If he were to go to a team struggling for goaltending that is in a good position in the standings, that team would instantly have an enormous boost.
Of the teams that need goaltending help, though, only a few are in the thick of the playoff race, and the price of Miller may be too substantial for a lottery-bound team, as any package would certainly include a first-round pick.
Basically, if Darcy Regier is shopping his starting goaltender, you’d better believe the price is going to be high. Maybe not Rick Nash-at-last-year’s-deadline high, but it will be substantial. Think a young top-six forward or top-four defenseman, a top prospect and a first rounder. So, with teams in contention unlikely to give up that kind of haul, it comes down to whether or not a lottery team has the inclination to do so, and that’s a stretch.
Expect Miller to be here through the deadline, and next year, and possibly beyond.
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