The Buffalo Sabres have been pretty quiet since they traded Jason Pominville to Minnesota at last season's trade deadline, but they still have a pair of players who many have speculated about in Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller.
Each player only has a year remaining on his contract and each has expressed desire to not take part in a rebuilding phase, something the Sabres are about to undergo. Yet talk has gone quiet about both players, Vanek in particular. Miller is expensive but only has that one year remaining, and he has been linked in speculation to some of the teams in need of goaltending.
Should the fact that Miller is still in Buffalo be taken as a sign that he will stay in Buffalo long enough to be there for the start of next season? Well, don't rule out a trade before then quite yet.
The Sabres remain intent on moving Ryan Miller but whether it happens this summer or at trade deadline next season remains to be seen...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2013
There are not a ton of teams with holes to fill in goal that could afford to get Miller on their roster for just next season. Moving him will be tough if that's indeed what the Sabres want to do.
This has been nothing but my own speculation, but I maintain that Miller would be a good fit in Philadelphia, assuming they could get him under the salary cap. For one season they could find out if he's a fit. If it doesn't work, then they could try to trade him before next summer. They need a goalie and the market has dwindled. It probably won't happen, but to me it seems like it would make for a good match, at least on the ice.
Adding a little fuel to the fire that Miller could be leaving sooner rather than later was this little real estate gem that he has sold his Buffalo townhouse. Not that that would preclude him from returning to Buffalo, but it certainly ramps up the intrigue on him not planning on staying there.
Miller is entering the final year of a five-year contract that has a $6 million cap hit. He has been with the Sabres since coming out of Michigan State. Miller won the Vezina Trophy Trophy in 2009-10 but has leveled off to his career average in save percentage since. He has been consistent from year to year, posting save percentages of .916, .916 and .915 in each of the past three campaigns after the .929 in 2009-10. Despite the bad rap he gets, he's not a bad goalie.