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Ryan Miller’s presence makes for crowded net in Buffalo

Jul 14, 2013, 8:48 PM EDT

millerandenrothgetty Getty Images

If the Buffalo Sabres don’t find a trading partner for Ryan Miller as expected, the team could have quite the crowd of goaltenders.

The team could enter the 2013-14 season with six goalies under professional contracts, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. He breaks down how that might work as such:

Sabres: Miller and Jhonas Enroth
AHL: Matt Hackett plus one of three prospects: Connor Knapp, Nathan Lieuwen or Andrey Makarov
ECHL and/or another lower-level pro league: The two prospects who can’t back up Hackett

Of course, even if Miller is moved out of town, it won’t necessarily be an easy road for the young goalies. Lieuwen acknowledged as much.

“If Ryan Miller’s not here, there’s going to be another guy,” Lieuwen said. “There’s always another guy that’s going to come and try and take that spot. That’s why when you get that opportunity, you’ve got to prove that you’re the best guy.”

The way things are looking, Buffalo’s netminding prospects will need such positive attitudes.

  1. zetaone - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I honestly could care less if Miller stays or goes at this point. As long as the team gets back on track to where it was 6 years ago.

    The next couple years are rebuilds. Miller is only going to get more frustrated and jaded, making his performance suffer.

    Enroth has proved he can be the starter if needed, and Hackett is touted by many to be one of the best young goalies in the league.

    • zetaone - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      and if he does get traded it would be nice if it:

      a) not be only draft picks

      b) includes drew stafford

      c) includes a scoring winger

      • zetaone - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Miller and Stafford for Eberle and a 2nd round pick. Gogo Darcy :)

    • aklolzer - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Could care less or couldn’t care less? If you could care less, it means you actually do care at this moment. If you mean you couldn’t care less it means you don’t care at all. Pet Peeve

  2. thomasvanek - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think we need to rebuild but rather retool. If we trade Miller for a scorer for our first line to fill pominvilles role then I believe we can be a playoff team. We already bumped up our blue line. Obviously I’m biased but i also think we should keep vanek if we want to make the playoffs

  3. thedavesiknowiknow - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    All of the sudden Ryan Miller sounds like Mika Noronen.

  4. somekat - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    wow, 6 goalies under contract? Did they expect Philly to make them an offer when they got rid of Bryzgalov? If that was the case, it was a bad idea, the Flyers couldn’t fit that salary.

    Either way, they are in a bad spot. All the teams that were in the market for goalies (Tor, Philly, NJ, etc) have made their moves. I don’t know what team, at this point, has then need and the space to make a play for Miller, with his well known habit of letting his play fall off when he’s on a bad team, it would have to be a contender. If they can find someone that can take on that salary, they aren’t going to be in a position to demand a good package back, let alone a first line winger.

    With that contract, they would probably have to basically give him away to get someone to eat that salary.

    • zetaone - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      What about Edmonton and Calgary?

      • zetaone - Jul 15, 2013 at 3:11 AM

        Plus the Sabres have a history of trades over the years with Calgary: Regehr, Warrener, Drury etc. Kipper is on his way out too.

      • somekat - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        both historically low spending teams. Not saying they won’t take him, but they won’t take him, and his contract, AND give anything near equal value back. Of course they can move him if they really want to, but it will not be with equal value

    • leninthebuff - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      The cost of his contract isn’t the problem because the Sabres are probably going to have to keep some of the contract (maybe up to half) like the 900k they did in the trade of Pominville. The team taking Miller is going to want to have him signed to an extension before the trade is made and there lies the problem along with what Darcy wants in return. Miller should have been traded the prior year as Darcy has painted himself into a corner.

  5. s2mikey - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    As I’ve said before, the concept of a monster goalie doesn’t work anymore in the NHL. Recent cup winners did it with good goalies that got hot at the right time, not great goalies. The game has changed and offense wins cups now. That grind it out, NJ Devils style of play went out years ago. That style made Martin Brodeur look better than he really was since NJ played with six goalies basically. Dump Miller. Get some real hockey players on this team for a change instead of prospects and wannabes. Sabres fans like me hate this situation. Miler is a waste of cap space and always has been.

    • drunk4thliners - Jul 15, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Offense wins championships? Tell that to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have arguably a terrific offensive team and had regular season success and then couldn’t carry that past Boston, who was a stack the neutral zone, clog the shooting lanes, gotta good goalie kind of hockey team. The simple fact that Buffalo has no idea what team it really wants to be is more the issue. Decide on your identity, fill out the roster and go play. If you lose, get better in the offseason and repeat.

      Not to mention defensive NJ hockey had them competitive for many of the last 20 years.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        a new coach shouldve been the start for the identity crisis, still dont think theyve solved that problem yet with rolston.

      • drunk4thliners - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        I don’t believe Rolston is the best choice, but Lindy Ruff should have been moved a few years ago. Mediocre hockey is all I can remember out of Buffalo, with a few seasons of good hockey mixed in to keep Lucky Lindy employed. Good coach, not winning anymore in Buff. They may have missed the boat on other coaching options, but wait long enough and someone will be available soon, I’m sure.

  6. buff80 - Jul 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Get rid of miller. Send him to the west coast with his wife

    • leninthebuff - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:25 AM

      And who on the west coast wants/needs him?

      Van- stuck with Lou
      Ana-Hiller, Fasth and Gibson on the way
      LA- Quick
      SJ-Niemi

      Not as easy as you make it sound.

  7. richc111 - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Does Darcy know you can only play one goalie at a time, maybe that is the problem

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