By PowerPlayCJ @powerplaywithcj on May 24, 2014
When the St. Louis Blues decided to re-sign Brian Elliott it all but closed the door on the brief Ryan Miller era in St. Louis. Miller is now free to pursue other options in free agency -- where will he end up? He's almost certain to remain in the Western conference to be as close to his wife in Los Angeles as possible. The ability to contend and have a shot at the Stanley Cup will also be weighing heavily on Miller’s choice.
The Canucks went from having two quality #1 NHL goalies to having none in less than nine months as they traded away Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo. While the team still doesn’t have a head coach and isn’t back to contender status yet, Miller addresses a major void the team has in net (apologies to the Eddie Lack fan(s) out there) while remaining on the West Coast.
While Pittsburgh doesn’t address the geographic concerns it does provide Miller the chance to be back on a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Naturally it would require the Penguins ridding themselves of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury which, given his postseason failures in recent years, isn’t a stretch of the imagination.
Following the Sharks' collapse against the Los Angeles Kings and their previous playoff disappointments shakeups may be in line in San Jose. Antti Niemi has become the team’s whipping boy and the team could look to move him via trade of buyout. If that does happen Miller can step right in with the team’s veterans and give them one last shot at making the Finals before it’s too late
Given the team’s revolving door between the pipes this season Miller would at the very least provide consistency at the position. With the young talent in Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin and Mikael Granlund coupled with Miller’s former Olympic teammates in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Minnesota an enticing destination. Miller can be the “x-factor” that propels the Wild from a playoff team to contender status.
John Gibson is Anaheim’s goalie of the future and according to many the future is now. With Jonas Hiller an unrestricted free agent and Frederick Andersen an enticing trade chip Miller could serve as a co -#1 and mentor to the young Gibson. The appeal of playing in Southern California coupled with helping mold the next great American goalie in John Gibson could be what brings Miller to the Ducks.
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