Monday, July 29, 2013

2014 NHL Free Agents - Ryan Miller

There has been much rumor and speculation that the Buffalo Sabres have had goaltender Ryan Miller on the trading block.  Whether or not the Sabres are looking to deal their netminder, he is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent in July of 2014.

It seems clear that the Sabres are willing to listen to offers for Miller, as well as upcoming UFA Thomas Vanek, if they are not necessarily actively shopping either star player.  According to the Buffalo Sabres blog at the Buffalo News, regarding comments from General Manager Darcy Regier:
Regier said most conversations he's had with other GMs involve taking in money, a clear reference to the fact the Sabres aren't likely to be able to move the entire contract of either Vanek or Miller in a year the salary cap is shrinking to $64.3 million.
Another comment attributed to Regier in the same blog post indicates that the Sabres aren't averse to negotiating with Miller on a contract extension either:
Regier said there's been no negotiations with Miller, Vanek or fellow 2014 UFA Steve Ott. "Talking to my counterparts around the league, that's not unusual right now," he said. "For whatever reason, there's not a lot of activity on players that are going to become unrestricted in '14."
So Miller remains on track to become an unrestricted free agent, with his current contract and annual salary of $6.25 million expiring during the summer of 2014.

Golie Stats
Season Age Tm GP W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA SO MIN GPS
2002-03 22 BUF 15 6 8 1 40 410 370 .902 2.63 1 912 2.2
2003-04 23 BUF 3 0 3 0 15 73 58 .795 5.06 0 178 -0.6
2005-06 25 BUF 48 30 14 3 124 1440 1316 .914 2.60 1 2862 10.6
2006-07 26 BUF 63 40 16 6 168 1886 1718 .911 2.73 2 3692 12.7
2007-08 27 BUF 76 36 27 10 197 2104 1907 .906 2.64 3 4474 12.3
2008-09 28 BUF 59 34 18 6 145 1773 1628 .918 2.53 5 3443 12.5
2009-10 29 BUF 69 41 18 8 150 2098 1948 .929 2.22 5 4047 16.8
2010-11 30 BUF 66 34 22 8 165 1964 1799 .916 2.59 5 3829 12.4
2011-12 31 BUF 61 31 21 7 150 1788 1638 .916 2.55 6 3536 11.4
2012-13 32 BUF 40 17 17 5 108 1270 1162 .915 2.81 0 2302 8.3
Career 500 269 164 54 1262 14806 13544 .915 2.59 28 29275 98.7
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/26/2013.

Outlook
No goaltender faced more shots, or made more saves, in the lockout shortened 2013 regular season than Miller.  He remains one of the best netminders in the league, but salary will be a factor that comes in to play when considering whether the Sabres will re-sign Miller.

At $6.25 million for 2013-14, he is currently the fifth highest paid goalie in the NHL.  At 33 years of age, will Miller be looking for a bump in his annual salary?  If so, that will play into whether the Sabres wind up re-signing him.  They should have ample room under next year's salary cap to sign Miller, but whether they will or not remains very much up in the air.  It does sound like Miller wants to remain in Buffalo, but wherever he winds up, he will make the best of it.

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