Nov 13, 2013, 1:46 PM EST
In the wake of today’s massive upheaval in Buffalo, one of the team’s most important players saw an opportunity arise.
“Hopefully this is a chance for the Sabres as an organization to kind of reset,” goalie Ryan Miller told the team website. “We have plenty of hockey left.”
Miller, who has easily been Buffalo’s best player this season, now finds himself in curious spot. With all indications suggesting he won’t re-sign with the Sabres, speculation suggest he’ll be made available via trade — but trade scenarios got cloudier after GM Darcy Regier was let go and no immediate successor was named.
Pat LaFontaine, the new president of hockey operations, said the search for a new GM is already underway and that he’s got a shortlist of candidates. At this point, it seems highly unlikely that any hire would compel Miller to stay in Buffalo… meaning the immediate topic of interest is how he’ll mesh with new head coach Ted Nolan.
Assuming the Sabres won’t make the playoffs — a safe one, to be sure — handling Miller will come down to a few things: Olympic preparation, showcasing for a possible trade and weighing the development of Jhonas Enroth.
Miller has played well enough to challenge for Team USA’s No. 1 gig in Sochi and, depending on the severity of Jonathan Quick’s injury, could end up being the clear-cut starter.
Showcasing Miller probably won’t be a major issue. Miller’s a known commodity throughout the league and this year’s bounce-back effort from an average ’13 season has raised his stock. The only time it might come up is closer to the deadline, or if he needs to play his way out of prolonged slump.
The Enroth situation will be interesting. He has one year left on his deal and, assuming Miller won’t be back, has a good shot of heading into 2014-15 as Buffalo’s No. 1. It sounds as though prospect Matt Hackett is still a bit away from challenging for an NHL starting gig, so it is possible the Sabres will look to play Enroth more as the season progresses.
- Video: Team Foligno survives shootout, wins Skills Competition 2
- Video: Weber wins hardest shot with 108.5 mph blast 4
- Video: Lightning’s Drouin wins fastest skater 7
- WATCH LIVE: NHL All-Star Skills Competition 1
- Will the Youngstars even have a chance? (Updated) 12
- Unique World Cup format allows ‘more of the very best players’ to participate 10
- NHL unveils 2016 Winter Classic, Stadium Series games 17
- Players have fun, show off personalities in water-fueled All-Star Fantasy Draft 9
- Video: ‘Coachable’ Kessel goes from last pick to 2nd overall 5
- Video: Team Foligno takes Ryan Johansen first overall in All-Star Fantasy Draft 1
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- Flyers’ Rinaldo: ‘I changed the whole game, man’ (112)
- Video: Rinaldo tossed for boarding Letang (79)
- Metro sensational: Rangers continue dominance of division, Pens (61)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (61)