Report: Ryan Miller “wouldn’t mind” being traded
After a season of struggles and injuries ended in playoff disappointment, a fresh start was welcomed. It hasn’t been a good one.
Even with posting relatively decent numbers, the issues surrounding Miller right now are pretty messy. Whether it’s fans deriding his play or his attitude, his teammates going AWOL when Milan Lucic ran him over, or Jhonas Enroth finding ways to win more often than not, there’s a laundry list of headaches unrelated to the concussion that has him sidelined.
As Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports in his wide-ranging “Hockey World” column, well, maybe Miller wants out.
We keep hearing that Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is out with a concussion and wouldn’t mind if the Sabres traded him. His wife is a California-based actress, but the Los Angeles Kings have Jonathan Quick between the pipes. The Anaheim Ducks have Jonas Hiller as their starter and the San Jose Sharks seem happy with Antti Niemi in net. Buffalo needs a high-end centre, but they have holes elsewhere, too. I don’t see a market in California for Miller, whose game has dropped off after his 2010 Olympics heroics in Vancouver.
Calling these rumors unfounded would be foolish considering the source. It was in Matheson’s column a year ago this weekend that we were subject to the first mention of Terry Pegula’s interest in the Sabres. That obviously came to a beautiful fruition.
When you live in a town like Buffalo, things like this are always a threat. The grass can be greener elsewhere, especially when your wife works in an industry that’s non-existent around these parts. It’s a fact you really have to accept, despite the whole effort to call this town “Hockey Heaven.” If there’s other things in your life that don’t involve hockey, it’s hard to call Buffalo an ideal destination, and currently, that’s just the way it is.
For Miller, it’s fairly easy to see why he’d be willing. He takes an absolute beating from fans, deserved or not. No desire to win or love of the city could be great enough to convince someone to deal with that without considering a life somewhere else. Would Miller find more success and peace in a town where he doesn’t get recognized everywhere or faces so much pressure? Maybe. Maybe he wants to find out. Or is at least willing to find out.
Miller is currently under contract until 2014 and has a modified no-trade clause, where he can list eight teams he will not accept a trade to. If he’s that interested in getting out of Buffalo, odds are that list will be less than that.
While Matheson talks about the California teams, it’s reasonable to think that the discussion isn’t just limited to those three teams. There’s no need for goaltending there, but would there be Western Conference teams willing to make a move, and pay a premium, to get Miller? Everyone knows what he’s capable of. He’s very marketable, an American hero, which would make him valuable to any team in a non-traditional market.
With it being unknown when Miller will be back in action, and Enroth getting plenty of chances to earn his keep, this might not be going away anytime soon.