The Olympic roster freeze goes into effect at 3:00 p.m. ET today which means teams cannot make any trades until after the Olympics are over. Once the Olympics are over, teams have until Mar. 5 to complete any transactions for the rest of the season. The speculation about what will happen with Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller has been heating up for months, and many media observers thought that Miller would be moved before the Olympic freeze. Since that is unlikely to happen, Miller will likely be a Sabre when he returns from Sochi.
The other Sabres being mentioned in trade rumors, such as Steve Ott and Matt Moulson, are also likely to stay put until after the Olympics as well. One of the things players and fans did not like about former general manager Darcy Regier was the way Regier would not talk to players about contracts or any issues until it was too late. That is probably why fans get a little nervous when Ryan Miller states he hasn’t heard from general manager Tim Murray about anything to do with the goaltender’s future.
As usual, the lack of communication between management and a player concerns the fans more than it does the player. Miller says he understands what the business side of hockey is like, and he also understands that Murray is trying to do several things at the same time. But Sabres fans have been here before with a general manager who loses the respect of star players because he does not communicate with those players. Most fans would not like to go down that path again.
Tim Murray is dealing with a shell-shocked and nervous fanbase in Western New York. His demeanor seems stoic enough to be able to handle the nervous jitters that come from the fans. But the fans are expecting big things from Murray and adviser Craig Patrick, which means there would hopefully be open communication with key players at important moments such as this.
Still, Miller has said that the latest moves made by the organization to bring in Pat LaFontaine as president of hockey operations, Ted Nolan as interim head coach, Craig Patrick as a hockey adviser and Tim Murray as the new general manager interest him. If the Sabres do not trade Miller during the season then fans will get to see just how interested Miller is when free agency rolls around in July.