All of the speculation of a trade finally came to a conclusion tonight as the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres agreed on a five-player trade, that would send former Vezina Award winning goalie Ryan Miller and gritty veteran Steve Ott to the Blues, in exchange for goalie Jaroslav Halak , forwards Chris Stewart and William Carrier and two draft picks to the Sabres. This move instantly makes the Blues the Stanley Cup favorites.
Ryan Miller who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, was the Sabres fifth-round selection in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Miller was the team’s all-time leader in games played (540) and wins (284) and was by far the best player on the Sabres this season.
Miller became a household name with his performance in the 2010 Winter Olympic games, leading team USA to the gold medal game against Canada only to come up short in overtime. The move to St. Louis also unites Miller with two other Team USA members: America’s darling T.J. Oshie, and David Backes.
Veteran Steve Ott who was the Sabres’ captain, is in his 11th season in the NHL. He was acquired by Buffalo in a trade with Dallas two seasons ago and has done so much for a very young team. He is the type of player that you love to line up next two in battle but hate to face. His leadership qualities will be super beneficial to the Blues as they continue their move up the standings.
It has seemed that the Blues have made strides the last several seasons but were a piece or two short of fulfilling what they set out to do. Miller and Ott are the last two pieces of the puzzle.
Buffalo did well for themselves in this trade as well as they get a goalie in Jaroslav Halak who has enjoyed success in this league. As of right now he will most likely serve as the Sabres’ starting goalie or he very well could split starts with Jhonas Enroth.
Chris Stewart is moving on to his third team in his relatively young NHL career but immediately becomes one of the Sabres’ top scoring threats. It is unclear if he is there to stay or he could be packaged in another deal in what is going to be a busy deadline.
If you are a Buffalo Sabres fan you may want to buckle up because it is going to be a bumpy ride; the full re-build is officially underway. If you are a fan of the St. Louis Blues you may want to make hotel plans for the Stanley Cup Championship parade which will be held in St. Louis in June.