Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: ryan miller
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's second-to-last trade column of the pre-deadline season dovetails nicely with Sportsnet's Cox and Friedman's Headlines and the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline's most recent Tweets about the Bruins having interest in Cam Atkinson. So:
Talks have heated up for Arizona defenceman Keith Yandle because teams see the possibility they can have him for two playoff runs before he becomes a UFA. There’s a belief the Detroit Red Wings, who have been looking for a blueliner all year, are making a hard push on Yandle because he fits the bill to what they’re looking at ... Don’t scoff at those rumours about Chicago centre Patrick Sharp being available. Sure, they’ve been denied in the past, but teams are certainly talking about him and there’s a belief the Capitals are the ones pushing the buttons of Hawks’ GM Stan Bowman to see if they can entice him to make a deal. Sharp’s name is out there. A Sharp deal might make sense in the summer, especially with Patrick Kane gone for three months, but if the Hawks are listening they’re going to have plenty of interest. Sharp would be the kind of guy Ottawa GM Bryan Murray would show interest because he fits the bill of what the Senators want in a top-six forward.
St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong is in the category where he’d like to do something before the deadline. It might not be anything major, but the Blues wouldn’t mind adding some forward depth. He made a tour through the New York area last week which had people buzzing. While there are still those who wonder about the club’s goaltending, it appears St. Louis will go into the playoffs with Brian Elliott and give him the chance to prove himself last year after the experiment to get Ryan Miller didn’t work last year. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of pressure and expectations on Armstrong to get past the first round this spring and that’s why the name of centre Patrik Berglund is out there. The issue is he has two years left at $3.7 million and teams aren’t big on term.
Garrioch continues, discussing Curtis Glencross, Atkinson, Erik Cole and the Senators' blueliners...
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Tags: brian+elliott, bryan+murray, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, doug+armstrong, keith+yandle, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, patrick+sharp, phoenix+coyotes, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, stan+bowman
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller will be sidelined four to six weeks while he recovers from a lower-body injury, general manager Jim Benning confirmed to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Wednesday..
Miller left Sunday night's game against the New York Islanders with an apparent leg injury sustained early in the second period of his team's 4-0 victory.
Jim Benning, GM of the Canucks says sprained knee for Miller, 4-6 weeks.
Ryan Miller left tonight's game after suffering a lower-body injury.
from Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
There was a shoulder to cry on if he wanted one late Monday, but all Ryan Miller needed was his dad’s ear.
“Last night we were up for an hour talking about every goal,” Dean Miller said Tuesday. “Everything.”
Ryan Miller allowed five goals on 18 shots in the Vancouver Canucks’ 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild and was hooked for the fourth time this season — one game after a 31-save 5-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Turns out it is a good thing Dean Miller is here, along with many other dads on the National Hockey League team’s fathers-and-sons trip.
Ryan Miller always has a lot on his mind. Following his first pre-season game in Vancouver after signing a three-year, $18-million-US contract with the Canucks, Miller answered a question by talking about the rain that day and its affect on humidity and ice conditions inside Rogers Arena. We weren’t sure initially if Miller was joking. He was not.
The 34-year-old American is hyper-analytical.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:
- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.
- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?
- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.
This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:
-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.
Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:
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Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With the Vancouver Canucks working their way through some early season ups and downs it would be easy to assume that netminder Ryan Miller -- signed to a three-year, $18 million deal in the offseason -- might also be working out some kinks in his new surroundings. Not so.
Whether the former Vezina Trophy winner's play is going somewhat under the radar or not, he is a key component to whatever early success the Canucks have enjoyed. He turned aside 20 of 22 shots in Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals to run his season record to an impressive 5-1. In the five victories Miller has allowed just nine goals.
For a Canucks team that underwent a significant offseason overhaul and has been no stranger to ongoing goaltending angst over the past two or three years, Miller's play is a key to getting back into the playoff discussion in the Western Conference.
read on for Custance on Chicago goaltender Scott Darling, LeBrun on the Canucks and Strang on Sharks/Ducks game last night.
from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,
"I do start in the crease a lot more than I think people give me credit for," Miller said. "I have been a pretty aggressive skating goaltender, but over the years I think it has quieted down. I am just trying to change with the times and build a game that is going to work for the current NHL, so I know that I have to be available to make some saves in back-side situations. I understand that."
An ability to get across the ice on back-door chances, rebounds and loose pucks is only one part of the trend toward deeper positioning that is creeping into the NHL. The other benefits include shorter, therefore quicker, movements from one save position to the next, reducing the holes goalies open as they move laterally.
It has become a game of efficiency and percentages. Miller believes to be at his best, there needs to be more.
It's becoming a bit of a lost art, but Miller wants to dictate to opposing shooters, maybe even bait them a bit. He prefers to play with some personality.
"I don't think I am the kind of guy who can sit back. I still need to be myself," the 34-year-old said. "When I am flowing with the game and making guys change their mind on a play rather than waiting on it, I feel like I am at a high point of my game."
from Nancy MacDonald of MACLEANS,
Miller, in some ways, is an anti-athlete: complex, loquacious, cerebral. He’s an amateur photographer. He reads. He loves playing the guitar. He drives a hybrid. But he also makes pains to establish that he’s no hermit, conscious, perhaps, of his position’s stereotypes: “I’m trying to be a little more social, to be around friends and not be the weird goalie who sits in his house all day and wears the cushions out on his couch,” he’s said.
His loyalties lie with his family, his “pit crew” of core pals, and his wife, television actress Noureen DeWulf.
He spent the summer training and clearing his head. Conscious of the strain that travel exacts on players in the Western Conference, Miller put together an off-season regimen carefully designed to ramp up as the season approached. “Every year, you have to prove yourself,” he says. “You’re not handed a job.”
Although a popular narrative says Miller is fading with age, his numbers tell a different story. He hasn’t posted a save percentage under .915 in six seasons, while topping the league in shots against for the past two. He’s done this almost exclusively while propping up a basement dweller. The truth is, Miller is a difference-maker. And he’s hungrier than ever.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
... how Miller plays in this marketplace as the starter and another key face of the franchise will become a daily obsession. However, strong beliefs in how he should attack the position and the attention that’s going to afford are nothing new.
“That’s anywhere, honestly,” Miller said Monday.
“A lot has been made of it here and that’s because there are passionate fans. When you go to any NHL city and you talk about goaltending, it’s all the same. I was compared to Dominik Hasek my entire career and there was always that shadow in the background because he was one of the greatest goalies ever, and you have to live up to that.
“People constantly compare you and they want to see you play to that level. And when you don’t, it’s: ‘Dom was better.’ You just do the best you can. It’s the same in any NHL city and you guys don’t have a monopoly on that here — sorry. You’re under the microscope everywhere.”
Despite going 2-4 with the St. Louis Blues in the postseason with a 2.70 goals-against average and .897 saves percentage after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres,
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Now with Luongo, Jacob Markstrom, Eddie Lack and Miller all on the payroll, the Canucks are set to spend $9.15 million on goalies next season.
Some things never change.
Miller does have comfort with Jim Benning, who drafted him.
It won’t be easy in Van City. Especially when his backup is set to be the impossible-to-dislike Eddie Lack, who was handed Roberto Luongo’s job last season and did just fine as a rookie as John Tortorella power-drilled him into the ice.
The inevitable goalie controversy isn’t an if, it’s a when.
Miller, however, must have had some extensive briefs already on what he’s getting himself into. His agent, Mike Liut, also represented Cory Schneider and understands better than most who live outside this city the challenges of playing net here.
It’s not easy and Liut knows it.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Is Miller the answer? He couldn’t help the St. Louis Blues get out of the opening playoff round against the Chicago Blackhawks. Miller actually had a better time of it at the start of the season, playing for the Buffalo Sabres, where he put up a .923 save percentage on a 15-22-3 record and a 2.72 GAA – decent numbers considering he was playing for the worst team in the league.
In St. Louis, considered one of the most defensively sound clubs, his save percentage dipped to .903, with a 2.47 GAA and a 10-8-1 record. But the Canucks needed more depth between the pipes, where Eddie Lack had a decent season for them (16-17-5, 2.41 GAA, .912) but probably wasn’t experienced enough to be a No. 1 goalie, with only Jacob Markstrom in reserve. So Miller, who was seeking a chance to play on a West Coast team, will get a chance to get his career back on the rails.
The new general manager in Vancouver, Jim Benning, began his front-office career, working nine seasons for the Sabres (1995-2004), which coincided with Miller’s draft year, 1999. So he was there at the beginning with Miller, through the three years at Michigan State and three more years developing with their AHL affiliate in Rochester. For most of Miller’s pro career, which included a Vezina Trophy in 2010, Benning worked for their divisional rivals, the Boston Bruins.
Presumably, Benning was satisfied that Miller, who will turn 34 on July 17, still has a number of good years left.
Nick Kypreos reports Ryan Miller signs with Vancouver.
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
... there’s been a lot of speculation across the NHL that Ryan Miller might be a good fit in San Jose now that the St. Louis Blues have told him his services were no longer required.
I’ll agree that he might be if the Sharks were in their usual mode, looking for that one last puzzle piece to get them over the hump.
But Wilson has said that is not where the team is this off-season. That this is the year the Sharks may have to take one step back to eventually move two steps forward. And hard to see their interest in Miller (or his interest in them as far as that goes) because of that.
Sure Wilson could scrap his blueprint if the Sharks were 100 percent certain they were getting the right puzzle piece after all these years. But Miller time in St. Louis – both late in the regular season and in the playoffs – only points them in a different direction.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Adding Miller would run counter to Wilson’s stated goal of getting younger, but the general manager would still have Stalock, who will turn 27 over the summer, as well as prospects Harri Sateri and Troy Grosenick, both 24, getting more experience at the AHL level.
Miller could command between $5-to-$6 million per season, a number that likely dropped after his performance in St. Louis. Term could be an issue, too, as the Sharks probably wouldn't want to go more than two or three years on an aging goaltender. Still, depending on what other moves Wilson makes – he’s already cleared more than $11 million in cap space with Dan Boyle's departure and a buyout Marty Havlat looming – looking into Miller’s potential interest in the Bay Area may be worth doing.
The New York Rangers' salary structure is quite top-heavy, so both the Rangers' beat writers and those following the team from afar have suggested that the Rangers will have to use a cap-compliance buyout on either Rick Nash or Brad Richards.
The combination of Brad Richards' resurgence under Alain Vigneault (to the tune of 51 points for his Capgeek-listed $6.67 million cap hit) and Rick Nash's struggles (39 points in 63 games and a no-show come playoff time for a cap hit of $7.8 million) have those in the know suggesting that Nash is the odd man out.
This morning, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson wonders where Nash's game went given that the 6'4," 213-pound winger's become a perimeter player in the first of three "Hockey World" columns:
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The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned a particularly prolific set of Hockey World columns and blog entries (so much so that I'm stealing one for my Malik Report blog), and we're going to start sifting through four separate columns/entries' worth of observations and nuggets of wisdom with a question that many have pondered but few have tried to analyze:
Is there any logical way in which the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin can engage in a civilized "divorce" (and/or removal of that heavy captain's "C"), or is the team, "Married to Alex Ovechkin for life?"--to the detriment of an increasingly rotating cast of coaches, goaltenders and complementary players?
Since the Gretzky trade/sell to the LA Kings in 1988, we all know anybody can get dealt, although that’s Leonsis’s call, and the question is how many people would give up their tickets to games if Ovie wasn’t there. There’s 100s of people in Caps’ No. 8 jerseys at games in Washington. But, winning often trumps player loyalty and in the time Ovechkin has been with the Caps, they have won three playoff rounds in, this, his 10th year.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, chris+pronger, derek+roy, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, mike+green, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, teemu+selanne, vladimir+konstantinov, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There are some who felt the Blues would wait to see how Miller performed in the playoffs before making that decision, but not so. They’ve already decided they want to keep him but won’t begin contract talks until after the year is over.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Miller gives it some serious thought. St. Louis is an awfully popular city with players, and the Blues will be a contender for a few more years to come.
On the flip side, July 1 isn’t that far away and he’s never been on the open market.
He’s been linked rumor-wise in the past to Anaheim in part because Miller’s wife is an actress in Los Angeles and the netminder works out in Southern California every summer.
But the Ducks have Frederik Andersen and John Gibson -- two young netminders they’re very high on -- plus, who knows what happens with Jonas Hiller (UFA on July 1).
read on for more hockey topics including Hemskey and Vanek talk...
The NHL is apparently seeking officials...
Dreger: They're calling it the NHL Exposure Combine and the belief is that they're hoping to bring in upwards of 60 high-level prospects. They're going to collect these, literally, from around the world, but yes, they will send invites to certain universities and NCAA colleges for those graduating hockey players who perhaps want to pursue a career as an NHL on-ice official.
They'll hold the combine in August in Buffalo. There will be considerable physical testing but it's all part of trying to expand the search and every other year, they'll do an amateur version.
McKenzie: I smell a reality show coming: “So You Wanna Be a Ref?”
Ryan Miller after his first game with the St. Louis Blues, a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I definitely thought (St. Louis) was a good option for me. I was trying to be really open to anything that was going to come my way and be professional and be ready to play. I was kind of thinking about the possibility of St. Louis and now that it’s happened, it’s gone through, I’m really excited to be here. I do think it’s a good fit.”
-Ryan Miller of the St. Louis Blues, who will start against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight. More on Miller from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
For those of us who aren't glued to Twitter or the interweb, the Dan Girardi's re-signing with the New York Rangers and the Ott-and-Ryan Miller-for-Jaroslav-Halak-etc. trades were the first of perhaps a dozen or so meaningful moves that will result from literally thousands of trade rumors per actual transaction made...
But the Sportsnets, ESPNs and deadline-drama-loving fans are obviously hoping that Friday's transactions broke a dam's worth of inactivity ahead of what many of you are probably hoping will be a 35-to-45-transaction period of time between now and 3 PM EST next Wednesday, and both TSN's Bob McKenzie (on Twitter) and ESPN's Scott Burnside and Craig Custance suggested that we've not seen the last of Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray's pre-trade deadline moves...
Between the first and second period of the Sabres/Sharks game, Ryan Miller spoke to the media.
added 7:13pm, Blues press release below...
added 6:41pm, Another tweet from McKenzie,
Not saying this is it, but one scenario that has definitely been discussed: 3-way trade involving BUF, STL and OTT. A # of variations.
added 6:42pm, McKenzie again,
STL would get Miller, OTT would get Chris Stewart, BUF would get prospects from OTT. If Ott (the player) included to STL, 1st rder to BUF.
from Neil Greenberg of Capitals Insider,
During even-strength, Washington netminders have stopped 1,369 of the 1,485 shots they have faced (0.922 save percentage). Miller has posted a 0.928 save percentage in those same circumstances. So if Miller gave the same performance for Washington as he did in Buffalo for all their previous games, the Capitals would have seen one fewer even-strength goal against every four games.
On the penalty kill, Washington netminders posted a 0.888 save percentage while Miller provided Buffalo with 0.905. That difference would be one goal against every 17 games.
The net result? If Miller plays the same percentage of games in Washington as he has for Buffalo we can expect him to start 18 of the 26 remaining games. That would mean between four and six fewer goals against – perhaps a win or two more than the current crop of Capitals’ netminders. But at what cost?
Buffalo is not going to give Miller away, so assets would have to be sacrificed. Considering Buffalo is in rebuilding mode, that would likely include a draft pick and/or a prospect. And it would have to include moving a couple of roster players. According to Capgeek, Washington can add a contract with an average annual value of just $199,469. Ryan Miller carries a cap hit of $6,250,000, meaning others would have to go. With the blueline corp thin in terms of talent I would expect one of the goalies and a forward. But which ones?
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
As speculation intensifies over the future of Ryan Miller, there’s one thing that’s clear to me: it makes more sense for new Sabres GM Tim Murray to trade him sooner than later. The closer we get to the NHL’s March 5 trade deadline, the better the chance Buffalo gets pennies (or maybe not even a single penny) on the dollar for the franchise’s most important player of the past decade. And the potential for that happening should keep Murray awake 24/7 until Miller is an ex-Sabre.
Let’s get to the “we knows” pertinent to Miller’s situation: We know there are GMs who prefer to act well in advance of the deadline and head off the temptation to get in a bidding war against (a) their counterparts; and (b) the clock itself. We know the goaltender market is a buyer’s market at present. And we know Miller is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year.
Do any of those factors suggest to you that Murray would be best served to bide his time and let the trade partners come to him? They shouldn’t.
Miller with a great, stretching blade save on Mikhail Grabovski.
The Sabres won in a shootout 2-1 and Miller was great again.
“The most important thing is to listen to what Ryan Miller wants to do. Obviously you’d love to keep a great goalie like that. He knows Buffalo. Everybody loves him here but at the same instance I’ve got to know what he wants to do. If it fits into the plan long term and financially it’s a good fit, Ryan Miller will be here. If not, if he doesn’t want to be here, we’ll make the best choice for the future of our organization.”
“To come by a goalie like that who wants to stay here should he choose to want to stay here helps our team grow. It gives us an opportunity to develop. If he wants to be here under the right terms, I think you’d love to keep Ryan Miller.”
-Pat LaFontaine, President of Hockey Operations for the Buffalo Sabres. More on Miller and new GM Tim Murray from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.
The Edmonton Journal's "Hockey World" columns now hit the web as a set of blog entries, and Paul covered this week's first entry, which discusses the play of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens. Overnight, Matheson posted a slate of "Short Shifts" and a "This 'n' That" entry, and the former offers bite-sized observations in the, "I was thinking that, too!" department...
An NHL pro scout, after watching the Buffalo Sabres, said: “Ryan Miller is about all they’ve got. He’s playing unreal.” So where do the Sabres send the goalie at the trade deadline? Are the New York Islanders on his list of teams he’d play for? Are the Nashville Predators, if Pekka Rinne is out for longer than they thought?
- I find it interesting that the NHL was dead-set against those 12-year contracts for players, making a term of eight years for their own free agents and seven years for another team’s players the maximum, but jumped for joy when Rogers came up with the same 12-year, $5.2-billion TV deal.
- Defenceman Shea Weber will have a visor on when he returns to the lineup. The hockey gods smiled on him when David Perron’s shot hit the Nashville Predators’ captain around his right eye. He escaped major injury. Why any D-man would ever go without a visor is a mystery to me, with all the errant pucks. Marc Staal also got lucky last year when Kimmo Timonen’s deflected shot nailed him.
- Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie, Mike’s younger half-brother, has a routine at every stoppage where he comes to the bench and gets down on one knee, away from the other players, a la Tim Tebow. “It’s always the same place. I do some breathing exercises, trying to maintain my energy,” said Comrie.
It continues as well.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch must be doing triple time this weekend. He's offered all but "embedded" coverage of Daniel Alfredsson's return to Ottawa, but he still found the time to posit his weekly roundup of trade rumors, and he leads off with the suggestion that the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres may make another blockbuster trade:
Two league executives told the Sun that [New York Islanders GM Garth] Snow has been working the phones to see if he can get a goaltender to try to get the club back on track in the race for the post-seaason.
The ideal scenario: Convince Ryan Miller to waive his ‘no move’ clause and leave the Buffalo Sabres for a short-term stay in Long Island to help the club make the post-season.
Miller will find it a lot different with the Sabres under Ted Nolan. He is a players’ coach but he also likes things done his way. If they aren’t, he’ll come down hard on the offenders.
It may be in Miller’s best interests to move on. The Isles may be a longshot but they need to improve in net or it’ll be an even longer year and coach Jack Capuano is on the hotseat.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Buffalo Sabres’ Ryan Miller will be linked to all sorts of teams as trade speculation continues to swirl, but maybe the best landing spot for him would be Long Island, with the young New York Islanders, a team that has a lot of good prospects in the pipeline but is relying for the moment on 38-year-old Evgeni Nabokov as their No. 1 man. Nabokov has been a serviceable addition for the Islanders since they claimed him on waivers in January of 2011, but Miller would be a far more secure long-term answer. He is just 33 and about the only reason the lacklustre Sabres are competitive most nights.
more hockey topics...
While rumours of a possible trade between the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers for Ryan Miller have been rampant over the last couple of days, there's one important obstacle that would prevent such a deal from going through.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun confirms that the Oilers are among the eight teams on the veteran netminder's no-trade list which his camp submitted to the Sabres in the summer.
Miller, who becomes an unrestricted free agent next July, has been the subject of trade speculation that's only been amplified with Buffalo's 1-6-1 start to the regular season.
added 3:58pm, via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
This is not to say it’s impossible that Miller would waive it to go to one of those eight teams, but it certainly gives him control of the situation.
At this point, a source told ESPN.com that there have been no such discussions between the Sabres and Miller about any trade scenarios.
How are the Edmonton Oilers reacting to their poor goaltending to start the season?
Bob McKenzie: Devan Dubnyk's sub-par performance on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs does not have Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish pushing the panic button, but it does have him reaching for the telephone.
As early as Sunday, MacTavish has been working the phones and working them hard to determine the market for goaltenders. They are looking at every possibility, from Anaheim's Jonas Hiller to Buffalo's Ryan Miller to Brian Elliott in St. Louis to Michal Neuvirth in Washington and beyond.
Updated 10:45pm with video from NHL.com
As I write this post, David Poile's Predators are down by one in Denver. (update: now down by 2 as I post it)
But he should probably still be a happy man - because two of the guys competing for his attention in hopes of becoming team USA's starting goaltender in Sochi were putting on a clinic in Buffalo.
Craig Anderson and Ryan Miller stopped 80 of a combined 81 shots (Senators 46, Sabres 35) in a game that seemed like it would never see a goal until Miller's shutout bid was finally broken with 1:35 left in the third on a shot from Erik Karlsson.
Watch the goal that finally beat Miller below.
Ryan Miller sits down with Elliotte Friedman of HNIC and discusses where he is regarding his contract situation with the Sabres plus his views on the change to the goalie equipment and his status with Team USA.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Miller apparently will remain in Buffalo through the start of the regular season. General Manager Darcy Regier says the trade window is closed throughout the NHL, so Thomas Vanek and Miller should be wearing Blue and Gold when the puck drops Oct. 2.
“The season begins and talks start again,” Regier said. “We’re approaching it from the standpoint of Ryan’s here, Thomas is here, they’re both in the last year of their deals like a lot of other players in the National Hockey League, and they’re ready to go to work.”
Miller is also ready for incessant trade speculation. Neither he nor Vanek wants an extension at the moment, instead opting to see how the Sabres perform before deciding their free agent fate. The trade talk could continue for a while since deals for goaltenders are uncommon, especially during the season, and not many teams have room for a $6.25 million player.
“If you play long enough, you’re going to have this kind of discussion surround you at some point,” Miller said. “I have to be professional enough to just do the job. I’m able to do a job in a city I’m familiar with and a city I’m pretty much at home. I feel like I’m in a good place.
“I have a lot of goals that I want to accomplish, and a lot of it revolves around me playing good hockey. That’s always the case every year. I’m just trying to approach it that way. It’s another year to play NHL hockey, and that’s a good thing.”
from Corey Masisak of NHL.com,
Miller has been the face of the franchise in Buffalo in recent seasons. But the Sabres have committed to a rebuild and general manager Darcy Regier has said publicly that he is open to trading both Miller and top forward Thomas Vanek after moving captain Jason Pominville before the trade deadline last season.
The most valuable player at the 2010 Winter Olympics knows it could be a tricky situation in the coming months, but Miller does not want his resolution to play out the way it did in Vancouver.
"It seemed to be one of the more talked-about stories," Miller told NHL.com at the U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp. "It was interesting that it played out so publicly though. I thought it was an unfortunate distraction for everybody. I don't think it should ever really play out like that. I thought they both handled themselves well, and I thought it was an unfortunate situation that they were kind of cast into. It was nice to see that Cory and Roberto were able to make light of it and take it in stride, but just with the reactions and how strong they were, it was definitely much more serious than they were letting on. It was definitely something that might have affected them.
"Hopefully any of my seasons wherever I'm at don't turn into something like that. You're there to do a job, but it is a business. If you're going to get traded, hopefully it is just ... you're traded. It is not like a huge buildup or a huge debate or anything. Hopefully it is a little more cut and dried than that."
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
Three years ago, he was the MVP of the Olympics and nearly carried the Americans to the gold medal against Canada. It was a heady time for Miller and for Buffalo. I felt Miller had arrived as one of the world’s elite goalies, capable of leading the Sabres on a long Stanley Cup ride.
In retrospect, it seems like an emotional overreaction. Miller’s star flickered soon enough. The Sabres haven’t won a playoff series since 2007. They’ve missed the playoffs two years in a row. The idea of Miller as the cornerstone of a championship franchise seems fanciful and dated.
Miller has played well enough this season. He has been the least of the Sabres’ troubles. His even-strength save percentage is roughly the same as it was when he won the Vezina in 2010. The defense in front of him has been dreadful. The specialty teams have been bad, and Miller’s numbers have suffered.
So there’s no point in keeping him around any longer. Miller was the most popular athlete in town for awhile. Now he’s the victim of a toxic environment, where disgruntled fans express their disdain in the only way they can.
It’s like a doomed marriage, where the parties try to reconcile but realize that a breakup is the best option. Even your friends know that starting over is best for everyone.
Ryan Miller after losing 4-3 to the Penguins today and giving up the game winning goal with 2:04 left in regulation.
You may notice a few words have been 'blanked' out.
Ryan Miller exchanged texts and emails with the Buffalo News yesterday...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
“By limiting years of a contract and variance in the level of salary year to year, the player hurt is any player temporarily caught in between what will become a two-tier salary structure,” Miller wrote. “It is true a vast majority of players will never use the right to sign for up to five years. That is not even close to a point in this argument. It is about what money is available to the biggest group in the sport and maintaining NHL hockey as a long-term career option.
“A lot has been said about the stars being greedy. But this is an issue that directly affects my brother [Detroit third-line forward Drew Miller], and I am absolutely thinking about players like him and the good of the game. ... It makes average player careers shorter, so why as a group of players would we accept to accelerate that or create a lever to accelerate that in an agreement that would last 10 years? We don’t want to do it.”
So for as far as the sides have come since September – they have settled on nine pages worth of issues – they have a long way to go and not a lot of time to get there.
from John Vogl of Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News.
Ryan Miller hopes he gets a chance to talk to six NHL owners Tuesday. It might give him a better idea of how the lockout will finally end.
“I can't make sense of what the owners truly need because they want everything,” the Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender wrote today during an exchange of text messages. “That is why it seems like the finish line is moving.”
Miller is among a large group of players who will gather Tuesday in New York City when negotiations between the league and the NHL Players’ Association resume. In a new dynamic, six owners and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will meet with six players and union special counsel Steve Fehr. The leaders of the respective sides, Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, will not take part.
“I don't entirely agree with leaving the heads of negotiation out of this because they are paid to make a deal,” Miller wrote. “But if it gets more owners involved then so be it.”
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
I touched base with (Ryan) Miller a few days ago, and he said part of what’s so difficult about these negotiations is an immense distrust of the owners and their motives in this fight.
It’s still hard for many players to look past what happened during the last lockout, when a win for the league resulted in a large share of those new revenues going to the wealthy teams.
“I think the anger and frustration comes from knowing what the owners are capable of under the guidance of Gary Bettman,” Miller said in an e-mail. “They are willing to let a season burn as shown in 2004-05, and it is a path that they are comfortable taking as their choice form of negotiating.
“This is the third time and no matter how the NHL spins it, the same story is being told. They claim teams are struggling financially and player salary restriction is the only way to address the inevitable disasters. It is hard to trust the owners when it is the same story after years of documented growth and increasing revenue.”
frolm John Vogl of Sabres Edge,
Ryan Miller and Paul Gaustad are the closest of friends. They’ve been roomates. They’ve traveled through Europe together. They were teammates for a decade—a run that ended Monday when the Sabres sent Gaustad to Nashville.
Miller is not happy with the transaction.
“It was a pretty tough day,” Miller said today after practice in Anaheim Ice. “I’m not going to lie. I’m not real happy about the way it all turned out. But that’s the business of hockey.
“Like I’ve said, we don’t make those decisions. That’s more proof because if I had any more influence Paul would still be here. I appreciate the way he plays. He’s been one of my best friends for a long time there. Obviously, that’s going to continue, but it was nice to have him as a teammate and have those other intangibles.”
The Jets started celebrating a Tanner Glass goal, but Ryan Miller of the Sabres ended the stick-raising quickly.
Winnipeg did win 4-1.
from Bob Mitchell of the Toronto Star,
Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is fed up with players running his net but he has a simple solution — start sending players to the penalty box.
“A lot of guys argue they’ve been pushed,” Miller said on Thursday after the Sabres’ morning skate at the Air Canada Centre.
“These guys have the ability to stop on a dime, cut, turn and take a hit. Just a little bit more attention needs to be paid and the only way they’re going to pay attention is if more penalties are being called.”
15:54 Nashville Jordin Tootoo: 5 minutes, charging
15:54 Nashville Jordin Tootoo: 10 minutes, game misconduct
15:54 Buffalo Paul Gaustad: 2 minutes, roughing
15:54 Buffalo Paul Gaustad: 2 minutes, roughing
15:54 Buffalo Paul Gaustad: 10 minutes, misconduct
added 11:45pm, Longer version from Buffalo broadcast team can be watched below…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
A weekend note in the Edmonton Journal by respected hockey columnist Jim Matheson caused a stir with some fans in Buffalo, with the veteran writer saying he kept hearing that Miller wouldn’t mind if the Sabres traded him.
Some Sabres fans reached out to me via Twitter asking me what I knew. Well, I put the question right to Miller himself whether it was accurate that he may want a change of scenery.
“That is not true at all, and I have never made any comment concerning my status with the team,” Miller told ESPN.com via text message Tuesday. “I am proud of being a Sabre for all we have accomplished, and I am excited about the new chapter Terry and Kim Pegula have inspired. I am working hard to get healthy and build my game back to where I want it so I can start to contribute to an effort to build a championship team.”
more NHL talk…
from Kevin Snow at the Buffalo Sabres website,
An optimistic Ryan Miller said today that he plans to skate as the third goalie at Tuesday’s morning skate, and is targeting Wednesday as his first full practice since being injured in a collision with Milan Lucic on November 12. Miller skated lightly and stopped a few pucks prior to today’s practice. Afterwards he spoke to the media and said he’s encouraged by the progress he’s made.
“I feel good. Symptom wise I think it was more neck; something where I aggravated a disc in my neck pretty good. I had an MRI and CAT scan that backed that up. That’s a source of a lot of the tension and discomfort, and it definitely was limiting my range of motion.”
Miller now isn’t sure if he suffered a concussion in the hit with Lucic, but he was definitely concerned about experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
continued and more on the Sabres…
Kerry Fraser of TSN answers some emails regarding the Lucic hit on Miller.
I have been a strong advocate of the work that Shanny has been doing to this point of the season with supplementary discipline but I have to disagree with his ruling on this one.
I believe he really missed this call and has sent the wrong message. Like it or not, goalies enjoy preferred treatment similar to endangered species in the wild; at least up until this latest decision. It would now appear they are subjected to the same rules as any other player once they leave the “protection of their nest!” Lindy Ruff has every right to call foul on this non suspension. Milan Lucic should have been suspended for the next two (2) games.
I attended a meeting one summer with team general managers and coaches to discuss various topics on the game. A hot topic on the agenda was protection of the goalkeepers. It was generally agreed that goalies deserved preferential treatment and marked “untouchable” for a variety of reasons. (Rule 42-charging- pretty much makes goalies immune to body contact from opposing players.)
added 3:35pm, No suspension or fine for Lucic.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres got savaged in the North American media and on the Internet on Sunday for not responding to Milan Lucic’s bulldozing of Ryan Miller on Saturday night in Boston. They apparently heard about it in strong terms as well from coach Lindy Ruff and General Manager Darcy Regier during a meeting Sunday in the Bell Centre.
And things took on a much more ominous tone later in the evening, when Regier told The Buffalo News that Miller has a concussion and will be out an undetermined period.
Regier is adamant Lucic should be suspended for the hit. Lucic will have a hearing today at 1 p.m. to discuss the first-period play in which Miller was knocked to the ice and his helmet was knocked off.
You can read the NHL rule, Contact Outside the Goal Crease below and in case you missed or need to watch the play again, check it out here.