Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Will Ryan Miller Be Traded?

The big question this week as the trade deadline approaches, will Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller be traded? He has lashed out in the media and has been having a terrible season at a price tag of over $6M. Back-up Jhonas Enroth has been the better goalie this season, and I'm sure the Sabres would love to sell Miller at the right price. I do need to correct one Sportsnet pundit who said "Miller hasn't been the same since the Lucic hit". Look it up, Ryan Miller's season had already taken a turn for the worse before that Boston game. In the 5 games prior he was 1-4 with a 3.40 GAA and a .881 SVPCT. The regression had begun before that collision. In fact it has been happening since the Olympics. Miller had a great 2009/10 and has been slowly eroding ever since.

Now he's 31 years old, has a crisis of confidence and declining skills, with an expensive salary. I don't doubt that he's got some good hockey left in him, but I wouldn't give up much to acquire that contract. Yesterday my friend was watching Sportsnet and two clowns speculated that Derek Roy and Ryan Miller would (or could) be traded to Detroit for Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard. This proposed deal was e-mailed to me. As a Red Wings fan, I scoffed at the idea, said it was bullshit and had to ask if I was being punked. I was ready to punch someone in the face if this trade actually happened, though in all fairness, there are some teams who really need a goaltender. Detroit just is not one of them. Howard is 4 years younger at more than half the price, and is having a terrific season. 27-10 with a 1.98 GAA and .926 SVPCT, even better than his his rookie season as a Calder finalist.

Most of the teams who really need a goalie are out of the playoff picture and not likely to want a rental player. However, Miller has 2 more years left on his deal after this one, so he's not a rental. If Tampa picks him up, they'd retain his services beyond just 2011/12. The Lightning goaltending has been a disaster this seaon, showing what a fluke their playoff run was last spring. They have a power house forward line-up but still flounder near the bottom of the league. All they need is a guy to stop pucks and they instantly become a contender. I'm sure Yzerman would love to dump Ryan Malone if he can find someone who wants the 3 years at $4.5M remaining for the 32 year old. Buffalo could use the big body. They have a very small team.

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