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Sabres fans packed the First Niagara Center Friday night, knowing it likely would be the last time they’d get to cheer on franchise legend Ryan Miller.
They never got their chance.
Miller and team captain Steve Ott were traded to the St. Louis Blues an hour before the puck dropped against the San Jose Sharks, and while the two players stayed to speak with the media, they didn’t get that one last twirl around the ice to soak up the appreciation of the Sabres faithful.
The club did the next best thing though, hastily assembling a brief video showcasing some of Miller’s most memorable saves, topped off with a simple message: Thank you, Ryan.
It wasn’t quite the sendoff the fans were hoping for, but it did give them that cathartic moment they needed to say goodbye to Miller.
By Allan Muir
The St. Louis Blues are all in.
Gearing up for a run at their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Blues swung a blockbuster five-player deal tonight with the Buffalo Sabres, acquiring franchise goaltender Ryan Miller and team captain Steve Ott.
In exchange, the Blues sent goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart and prospect William Carrier to the Sabres, along with a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a third-round draft pick in 2016.
Buffalo will also cover the difference between the salaries of Miller and Halak, approximately $1.75 million.
This is a bold, game-changing move by GM Doug Armstrong, one that not only legitimizes the Blues as a Cup front-runner, but also throws down the gauntlet and dares other challengers to ante up.
I am hearing that it is not likely that Ryan Miller will be traded by the Deadline and Sabres are turning attention towards re signing him.—
Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) February 25, 2014
By Allan Muir
A well-known NHL agent says that the Sabres have decided not to trade goalie Ryan Miller and instead will focus on re-signing the pending free agent.
Brian Lawton, the former general manager of the Lightning, passed that rumor along early this morning via his Twitter account.
They’re linked together by two of the most iconic sporting moments of the past 10 years, but Sidney Crosby and Ryan Miller have never discussed Canada’s 2010 Golden Goal or the shootout winner in the inaugural Winter Classic … even though the two men have become unlikely offseason training partners.
“It’s not something I’ve ever really talked about with him,” Crosby said ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting between the Penguins and Sabres in Buffalo. “I’ve skated with him for a couple of summers now. He’s a good guy, works hard. He loves to play and loves to compete. As far as the situations we’ve been in, it’s not a hot discussion topic, but everybody tries to link those situations together.”
Don’t expect the topics to arise if the two happen to bump into each other in the hallways of the First Niagara Center tonight, either.
“It’s in the past,” Crosby said. “We’re days away from the Olympics in Russia. Maybe after our careers, it’s something we talk about. There are other things we both want to accomplish.”
Ryan Miller has been possessed by the spirit of Dia de los Muertos.
Check out this sneak peek of the mask he had specially designed to commemorate the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. He’ll wear it on Saturday night as the Sabres host the Anaheim Ducks.
What a beauty . . . now we can’t wait to see what he does to celebrate St. Swithin’s Day!
To say things have been rough up in Buffalo this season is a drastic understatement.
The Sabres are 1-7-1, winless at home, and tied for last in the NHL with just 11 goals and a -13 goal differential. New trade rumors are swirling daily around a team that already looks like it’s going to be a seller long before the trade deadline on March 5, 2014.
It hasn’t been easy for coach Ron Rolston in his first full season behind the bench after taking over for Lindy Ruff, who was fired mid-way through 2012-13, but give the man credit: he’s willing to try just about anything.
By Allan Muir
Jason Pominville got while the gettin’ was good.
At least, that seems to be the way Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller are looking at the deal that sent their captain to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, leaving them to bail water for the final 11 games of the season in Buffalo.
John Vogl of the Buffalo News wrote this afternoon that the two stars plan to speak with Sabres GM Darcy Regier about his plans for the franchise moving forward.
That doesn’t sound like code for, “We’re so thrilled to be part of this that we can’t wait to sign long-term extensions.”
Both players were diplomatic, but blunt about their futures.
By Allan Muir
It sounds as though the fences have been mended in the Buffalo Sabres’ room.
Ryan Miller, speaking today to Sabres TV, said he’d cleared the air with teammate Patrick Kaleta after telling him through the media to “grow up.”
“I’ve actually apologized to Patty,” Miller said. “I felt like what I was told he said and what he actually said were two different things. I’m not gonna get too far into it, but the meaning was different enough for me to react the way I did. And what he actually said sounded more like a player who just wants to come back and play as soon as possible, and he’s frustrated…which is completely what you’d expect. So we’re going to try to move on from that.
“Either way, I probably shouldn’t have handled it like that, but again, I was frustrated and I think everyone in Buffalo knows I’m prone to say stupid things…over the course of the season. I handled it with Patty, I wanted to handle it publicly. It wasn’t the right thing to say, no matter what.”
Miller’s initial comments came after Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Capitals. “You can get me to say anything after a loss like that,” he said.
By Allan Muir
The crew over at Sportsnet generated a lot of online buzz between periods on Tuesday night when Nick Kypreos suggested that the Buffalo Sabres had planted the For Sale sign and would “dearly love to move” Ville Leino and Ryan Miller.
First, Leino is going nowhere. The Sabres could package him with their 2013 first rounder — a likely top-five pick — and ask for nothing more than Gary Bettman’s phone number in exchange, and they still wouldn’t find a taker. No team is going to assume the four years and $18 million remaining on a deal for a player who scored eight goals last season and has yet to play in 2013 due to a hip injury. That albatross will remain around GM Darcy Regier’s neck for as long as he’s allowed to steer this ship.
As for Miller? The moody netminder has been rumored to be on the block before. So what’s different now?