Where Will Ryan Miller End Up?

It’s widely assumed the Buffalo Sabres will trade Ryan Miller before the March 5 trade deadline, but where? 

Where will Ryan Miller end up?

Where will Ryan Miller end up this season?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson cited an NHL scout claiming the play of goalie Ryan Miller is the only bright spot in an otherwise miserable season for the Buffalo Sabres. Matheson wondered if the New York Islanders or Nashville Predators could be on Miller’s  list of possible trade destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Miller is in a New York state of mind, I don’t think he’ll join the Islanders, whose playoff hopes are fading by the day. Sure, the Isles can absorb his salary – they’re among the few teams right now who could – but the Sabres would squeeze them for assets. After parting with Matt Moulson and two first round picks for Thomas Vanek, I don’t think the Isles want to deplete their roster and farm system of young talent for a goalie who’ll probably depart next summer via free agency.  

The Predators are awaiting Pekka Rinne’s latest MRI on his hip before making any decisions on their goaltending, but of late call-up Marek Mazanec has played well (5-4-1, 2.00 GAA, .932 SP), giving up two goals or less in nine of his 11 starts. If he keeps this up, they won’t need to seek help.

The Blues, Kings and Ducks were mentioned as possible destinations. The Blues, however, seem willing to stick with Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. The Ducks are deep between the pipes and in no hurry to make a shakeup. The Kings are committed long-term to Jonathan Quick, while backup Ben Scrivens has been outstanding filling in for the injured Quick.

Of course a lot can happen between now and March 5, and the needs of the Predators, Blues, Ducks and Kings could change. For now, however, there’s not many destinations for Miller.

58 Comments

  1. The Maple Leafs losing ways and their dreadful defence their must be some serious changes in Leafs land. Not only should Carlyle be on the hot seat this team needs to improve badly. I personally think only Kessel, JVR, Lupul, McClement, Bolland, Phaneuf, Gunner, Reilly and both goalies should be untouchable but I would make every other player available for a blockbuster. I might through Raymond into the mix because he has great speed and opens the ice up and for a million bucks that is hard to come by. The need a top 2-3 shut down dman and will need to give up quality to get it. Some pretty good players left out to improve. Clarkson, Bozak, Kardi, Kulemin, Orr, Franson, Gardiner, and Ranger if he ways his NTC and someone wants him. I think if Liles can’t be traded bring him up to take Ranger or Gardiner spot. Keep both goalies as one has not really stolen the #1 job yet. I’m on the Bernier bandwagon but he has not earned that #1 job yet.

    • And this has to do with Ryan Miller how exactly? Keep the comment on topic or they’ll be deleted. Thank you.

      • Only one topic and quite a boring (old news) one. When the topic is a dull as it is today, I would think you would be happy to have people sticking around commenting even on peanut butter.

        • @DChamp

          Day after day this turns into a Leafs thread. It gets tiring seeing the same comments and views.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for intelligent hockey talk. I’m a Flyers fan and a hockey fan in general. The Leafs talk doesn’t get to me personally but I can see how some people find it rather annoying.

          Point being – The first comment is completely irrelevant to the article and just opens the gates for Leaf Nation to take over the comment section. It happens nearly everyday on this site. By all means, discuss your team – Debate, whatever. For a fan of this site it would be nice to see some different views and takes on the 29 other teams in the NHL.

          As for Miller, I’d have a hard time seeing a legitimate playoff team pay a steep price. What “contenders” have goaltending issues? It’s a pretty short list, if any.
          What

          • it’s not the fault of leaf fans. Obviously Leaf’s have more fan’s then any other team in the league. So when they come on here, they like to talk about their team. You say you would like fan’s of different teams make comments and bring up points…..well where are they? If they were here, then they would be commenting about their fav teams. Therefore, it seem 90% of visitors to this site are Leaf fans. It’s hard to deny the facts.

          • It also is very difficult hearing the same names constantly coming up in trade rumors. The Leaf threads always generate the most responses. However I being a leaf fan, am also a fan of hockey in general & happen to enjoy the rumor mill regarding all teams & players on them. I love reading other peoples trade proposals. It is a lot of fun reading posts from armchair gm’s.

          • @DChamp

            I’m not placing blame on anyone. I respect the fact that the Leafs garner a lot of attention and have a massive fan base. Obviously Leaf chatter is going to happen.

            The point I’m making is that when a comment, or say an article is posted that has nothing to do with the Leafs, it’s completely disregarded. If and when someone does post something irrelevant to Leafland it’s drowned out by the TML faithful.

            I’m not denying anything, nor would I deny someone’s freedom of speech… I’m merely weighing in on what I think the issue is. More than half the Leafs posts we see are the same posts we have seen the day prior. Great fans, no question but it get’s a bit redundant seeing the same comment again and again.

            Ryan Miller trade rumors may be boring for some – Leaf Nation to others.

        • Rickler is spot on. The key word would be ‘intellegent’. Most of the leaf chat isn’t that nor where ever this one was going, which also happens to do nothing with the topic of this post. I find that offensive as a reader, I would of deleted that comment if it was my blog.

          • My first thought was ……and what does this have to do with Ryan Miller also. I thought maybe Jon B would get creative and maybe offer a Princess or two or Reimer for Miller – but nothing but the same ole drivel.

            The key for Leafs fans is that there is a whole Canadian News section that they can write about their fantasies for trade. I don’t mind Leaf chatter, but to bring up the leafs when the subject doesn’t even mention them is tight.

      • Spec don’t turn into Stalin, I always read unrelated comments and you don’t usually threaten the posters.

      • This is an ongoing and very boring. You should be happy people are reading your articles. Come up with new material Lyle. And Lupul and Gunner aren’t untouchable. I think only untouchables are Rielly Kessel JVR, McClement and our 1st, and both goalies until you prove who is number 1.

        • @ Michael
          Nicely said

        • Hahaha he should be happy that a leaf fan comes and write non sense that makes no sense not even in ps3 lol let alone write it where ppl could read .. I’d be embarrassed if I was a leaf fan knowing how dumb every trade proposition comes from your leaf fans … There’s a reason you watch the games and play xbox or ps3 leave your gay trades on the video games .. This is a rumour page on what’s going on in the nhl not lala land for your lost trade hopes for the leafs

          • “…gay trades on the video games…”? Wow! But as long as your comments and proposals make sense….
            Best Regards from lala land ;-)

        • Come up with new material? Are you proposing I make up rumors? Because that’s not what I do here.

      • Hahaha it’s just another leaf fan dreaming in HD …
        thinking an outcast like Raymond will fetch a top two dman on top of that this is about miller not the leafs …
        The islanders need a goalie but good point do they want to trade more young prospects for a guy that will bolt after seasons end .. Maybe they could interest buffalo with Bailey, de hann, and mayfeild for miller also just to correct the post it was one first round pick in 2014 and one 2nd round pick in 2015 they gave up for vanek .. I don’t think any team will part with their 1st in 2015

      • Hey Lyles sorry but I’m on pain medication for hurting my neck well serving our country. I guess it was off topic but really this Miller thing is at the point that most fans stopped caring where he ends up. Really this is like Rick Nash all over again. Most teams Miller could end up are teams lacking many hockey fans anyways.
        I really don’t think there will be a great market for Miller this year or next. His wish might be to play on a west coast US based team but I think there will only be a few teams interested and they are all east coast based teams. I think Edmonton might have interest in him next year but I hear he prefers the US. In reference to my earlier comment Edmonton does have many fans I was speaking about mostly the US based teams who want him.

  2. Miller may find the UFA market isn’t so friendly this summer for the destination of his choice. I haven’t heard exactly which teams he wants to sign with but if someone has heard which ones please post them so we can discuss if these teams actually need him and are in a cap friendly position to shell out the dollars he will want. I assume the list of teams is small because he wants to be near his wife or something.

    • Miller wants to go west to be with the wife – so you have LA, Anaheim, San Jose. I think LA and SJ are set at goalie. I think Anaheim is questionable because of the health of their goalies – but, Hiller also becomes a UFA and it would be easier for Anaheim to sign Miller to the Home Town Discount after the season.

      Other West teams would be MN, St. Louis and Nashville. While Nashville really isn’t west, he might go their for the rest of the season – help them make the playoffs and then move on. Again, Goalie health is the issue and the Preds right now are out of the race, sitting at #10. St. Louis has goalie health issues and I just think there is a ? about the ability of their tandem getting them past the 1st round. I think Hitchcock wants Miller, its just a question of what they are willing to give up. Lastly, MN – goalie health again and they don’t have the cap space – so maybe Bflo takes back a high draft pick and Heatly. The dark horse could be CO and that depends on what happens to Varlomov today in court.

      • Anaheim is likely set in goal. They also have Frederik Andersen and John Gibson.

        • Both of those guys are unproven. They may be great, but they become a risky move.

          • Yeah, but they have Hiller and Fasth ahead of them. Those guys haven’t been slouches for them, either.

    • Also, Miller’s value may rise if he is the starter for the US. With Quick injured, Howard having a crappy year – I think Miller is the frontrunner because of his experience.

  3. Islanders have been wasting years not having a decent goalie to play behind their developing team. Miller or a similar caliber of goalie would fit really well. I can understand why NYI wouldn’t want to part with more prospects/picks but the truth is they should have had to deal so much to Buffalo for Vanek in the first place.

    • Why in the world would Ryan Miller…. WANT… to play for the most disfunctional franchise in the NHL ????

      He wont be going anywhere unless its to a top contending team, in a town that he wants to play for !
      My guess …is to Nashville where he at least knows they have a top rated D man in Weber and an old team mate in Gaustad to help with a transition !
      He will play there to finish the season and re sign elsewhere in off season !
      this will be a trade deadline move as per the money !!
      Taking Hiller out of the Ducks as per trade would disrupt the room in a quality team right now ! Not a good move for Ducks !

      Miller can play without any type of media scrutiny in Nashville which is a bonus

      IMO

      • They will pay top price for Hiller as well …and hes a UFA also …so whats the difference …Miller is better than hiller ???

    • The NYI fell into the NYR trap. The name on the back of the Jersey (Vanek) must mean we will be a better team. They forgot about things like chemistry, which Moulson/Tavares had in spades. Yes Vanek is > Moulson if you want to break down every aspect of skill, but that doesn’t = success. Especially when you needed defense and goaltending. Cant see NY dealing with Buffalo again. They already gave them their 1st (and 2nd, and Moulson).

  4. Ryan Miller to Pittsburgh makes sense. The Penguins have lost confidence in Fleury, and I believe that Miller would welcome a move to a perenial Stanley Cup contender. Simple, Miller for Fleury. It makes perfect sense!

    • Except if you are the Sabres.

    • It’s a possibility I’ve thought about, too, POPS. After Vokoun took the crease in the playoffs last season, I can’t imagine the Pens turning to Fleury for another playoff series. Vokoun, while definitely one of the better backups, is still out, so who knows how effective he’ll be down the stretch. The Pens have changed their approach defensively (which helps), but you have to think GM Ray Shero, with his penchant for pulling off big deals before the deadline, would love to address the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

  5. The more I watch this the more I am convinced that Hiller will be resigned and stay in Anaheim.
    When Fasth returns in about three weeks, he will be played and if he plays well, will be traded.
    He is signed for a couple more years and at a reasonable rate. While not a 70 game a year goalie,
    he would work well in a two goalie systems. Most likely can be had for maybe draft picks such
    a #2 and #3 ( different years) or a #2 and #4 etc.

  6. Any way Miller could be resigned? A tough question for the next GM, whoever it may be. Having a clear cut #1 goaltender in place is not a bad thing for a club that is rebuilding. Now, if Miller will NOT resign, then it’s just a matter of when he’ll be moved.

    • Is it possible—sure. If they do then Hackett or Enroth will get traded in the offseason. Buffalo cant carry 3 roster goalies.

  7. I think it will be a team that no one is expecting to make a move for Miller, just a feeling.

    • Something like Washington or Tampa Bay, not sure why just sometime things that are kinda unexpected happen….similar to Vanek to the Islanders type deals.

      • Washington makes some sense. Tampa? Aren’t they committed to Bishop? St. Louis has been linked to him all year too. If Halak fades, it could happen.

        • Ya like I said not sure why but Tampa does have Bishop and could continue with him in the future but maybe StevieY feels hes got a chance to go deep in to the playoffs this year and picks up Miller for his experience. Bishop has only a couple years of experience and not a whole lot of pressure from being “the guy” in the playoffs…I know it sounds out there just stranger things have happened and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there was a team out there that isn’t the same 3 or 4 teams constantly connected to Miller where he ends up.

          • I bet the Sabres would love to have Jon Druin in return!

  8. I think Miller ends up a Duck. That would make Anaheim a Cup contender, at this point. But I don’t see the move happening until past the half way point of the year.

    Also, totally agree with Lyle about off topic posts. I love to talk Habs, but I would just randomly spill my Habs thoughts on the first comment for a Sabres thread. If guys want to talk about a certain team 24/7 then exchange emails and you can message each other back and forth. Otherwise it just looks weird and awkward.

  9. Nitro,

    Miller has supposedly said he does not want to go through a “rebuild”. I wonder if one of the biggest reasons that Miller has not moved yet is that teams who would be willing to trade for him are trying to negotiate a sign and trade. Sabres would have a bit more leverage that way to ask for more in return if Miller was not able to walk at the end of the season. Perhaps Washington, in exchange for Erat, Holtby and draft picks?

    • Erat’s head would explode going to BUF, so maybe he could be flipped to VAN for Booth

    • I don’t see anything happening with Miller till a GM is in place and after Sochi. If Miller turns in another performance like 4 yrs ago his stock soars. LaFontaine said when he was hired that there is more then one way to rebuild besides the draft so I expect some trades and UFA signings this off season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ott and Moulson gone at the deadline.

  10. Depending how Varlamovs legal situation plays out, Colorado might be his destination. St. Louis and Anaheim already have a log jam in net with three guys battling for two spots (albeit two of each teams goalies are backups at this point).

    Calgary, Edmonton and the Isles need an improvement in net, but Miller seems unlikely to go to any of those struggling teams.

    Who knows, maybe Holmgren shocks us all and picks him up. No moves out of Philly are all that surprising anymore.

    • Also, keep in mind Buffalo still has two compliance buyouts. So taking on a bad contract shouldn’t be an issue if assets are included.

  11. Why would Buffalo trade Miller to NYI, they have NYI first rounder (however) might be nexts years because is top ten protected. If Miller goes to Islander, then Islanders will just miss playoffs instead of finish bottom 5. Buf wouldn’t want that. Plus it isn’t two first rounders Lyle, it’s a first and a second

    • The only way I would deal Miller to NYI is for next years first and NY would be nuts to do that. This of course would cause NY to forfeit the choice of keeping this years first. Miller can do only so much as we see on a nightly basis here in Buffalo, no matter how well he has played this year if you don’t have a defense in front of you in the end it’s for nothing.
      Miller wants to go out west to be close to his wife so the chance of NY resigning him is slim. STL, Colorando and Anaheim seem the most logical to me. Colorado would be only if Varlomov ends up in the can.

  12. Some very testy peeps here today…lol

  13. Considering the info that Lyle gathers for our consumption every day doesn’t cost us a cent I believe we should be respectful of his wishes and stick to the topics offered each day. There are plenty of go around on a weekly basis…

    • Well said. People need to have a little respect for Lyle’s efforts and not complain if he asks them to limit TML discussion to posts to which it’s actually relevant.

  14. Nitro,

    Respectfully, I think if it was a matter of just signing some big ticket UFA’s they would not have fired the GM.

    Bringing in Lafontaine, a youth oriented motivational Coach in Nolan, taking their time to hire a new GM, with none of the candidates being the “old school guys” and stockpiling draft picks tells me they are going bottom out rebuild, which is why Miller wants out, albeit on his terms. For the same reason, the players you named like Thornton etc. especially the ones who have yet to be on a cup winning team, are going to say thanks but no thanks for the opportunity to go to the Sabres. I am sure they will be great again one day, but it will take time, and lots of high draft picks to build a core around. Then the “proven” free agents will come, not the Ville Leinos of the the NHL.

    • Have you watched Leino play under Nolan? That is what the Sabres expected when they signe Ville, not the injury plagued player they have had. Unfortunately for Ville, he was bit by the injury bug – wierd injuries and when he was available to play his “role” on the club was not definitive. What we have seen since Nolan has arrived is a player who brings energy, fights for the puck, is willing to go to the net, is involved and is growing his confidence – Leino is making things happen and is a play maker. We have seen glimpses of Leino’s talent in the past and he is justifying why the Sabres signed him. If he plays like this for the rest of the season, he will be well worth the $4.5M he has been earning. I also have to say the same about Stafford and I was one who was ready to trade him for a bag of pucks. I like the new physical Stafford and hope he can continue this type of play for the whole season.

  15. I am appreciative of everyone who visits this site and makes comments. I also understand why some readers are bored seeing Miller’s name popping up so often, but like it or not, he’s the hot topic in the media rumor mill this season. I’m not going to just ignore it, especially if it’s a slow day (like today, thanks to the American Thanksgiving long weekend) and there’s nothing else to report on.

    As for being “Stalin”, way to overstate your complaint. If I was Stalin, you’d be hearing the crunch of jackboots outside your door about now. I do moderate these posts as best as I can to keep them from going off-topic.

    If the original post which generated my warning had anything to do with Ryan Miller, I would’ve let it go, but it had absolutely nothing to do with him. If you want to talk Leafs trades in the comments section but there’s no Leafs thread in the rumors section, why not pop over to Canadian Corner? I can guarantee you throughout the season there will be Leafs news there which you can base a discussion around.

    Finally, to JonB who made the original comment: apology accepted, and I hope you feel better soon.

    • I wish more Leaf fans would go to Canadian Corner so this isn’t an issue in the future. I’m there all the time but no one barely goes on that section other then BC, Shticky, Ron Moore and one or two others. Leaf’rs come on over.

    • Spec I meant no disrespect, I love your work….that jackboots line was an awesome come back…..I don’t know if your Canadian or American but just to be safe I hope you had a happy thanksgiving.

  16. My (very hedged) bet on the Miller situation? He’ll be traded to the first established playoff team that has a season-ending injury in goal.

    1. Non-playoff teams have no need for Miller and his UFA status
    2. Almost all playoff teams are playoff teams because they have decent goaltending. Miller might be an upgrade on some, but not sure these teams would give up a bunch of prospects for only a moderate upgrade
    3. A team with a #1 goalie on LTIR would be the most likely to be able to accommodate Miller’s salary

    The Islander make some sense, but have given up a lot to the Sabres already. The Pens make some sense if they could do a Fleury for Miller swap, and they don’t believe in Fleury in the playoffs (debatable). I still believe the Blues will see if Halak has more playoff magic, provided he isn’t *awful* during the regular season.

    So, I foresee something like Lehtonen going down with injury, and the Stars making a trade then (as an example).

    • I forgot point #4: this would work, because the team that trades for him (in this situation) doesn’t necessarily need him for next season, when their regular #1 is back from injury.

  17. There is way to much leaf talk on here you would think it’s the only team in the NHL maybe they should rename this site Spector leafs hockey

  18. He said he doesn’t want to live through another rebuild.