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Sabres send Miller, Ott to Blues for package including Halak, Stewart

Feb 28, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT

Ryan Miller AP

Hockey fans didn’t need to wait until Wednesday for a huge trade. The St. Louis Blues acquired Ryan Miller and Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres in a deal that includes Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a third-round draft pick in 2016.

Update: This post explains how that third-rounder could become a first-round pick.

The Blues announced that Ott and Miller will meet the team in Phoenix, so there’s at least a chance both could debut on Sunday.

Let’s take a glance at each piece of the deal.

Miller, 33: The centerpiece of this trade, Miller’s contract expires after this season. The 33-year-old has maintained strong individual numbers even as the Sabres have struggled to provide him with an adequate supporting cast many years. He won’t have that excuse in St. Louis.

Click here for Miller’s emotional reaction.

Halak, 28: Another goalie with an expiring contract, it remains to be seen if Buffalo sticks with him or tries to stockpile an even more impressive set of assets by moving him again. The Blues made headlines by pledging their support for him not so long ago.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie adds a minor detail:

Ott, 31: Another expiring contract in this deal, Ott is one of the NHL’s most agitating pests. His versatility might explain why he wore the captain’s “C” in Buffalo, however, as he can win faceoffs and chip in a little bit of offense here and there. In other words, the kind of player Ken Hitchcock loves.

Stewart, 26: Stewart has been a part of a blockbuster trade in the past, as the Colorado Avalanche sent him to St. Louis in a deal that also included Erik Johnson and Kevin Shattenkirk. Stewart is a streaky scorer who can be dangerous when he’s trending up; he has 15 goals and 26 points in 58 games after scoring 18 goals and 36 points in 48 games last season. His career-high is 28 goals from 2009-10 with Colorado.

He’s an interesting piece in this deal (and maybe a future deal?) as his contract doesn’t expire until after the 2014-15 season. He carries a $4.15 million cap hit.

Carrier: Carrier, 19, was the 57th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. He has 15 points in 20 games with the QMHJHL’s Drummondville Votigeurs this season.

Picks: Buffalo continues to load up on draft picks. With Matt Moulson still in tow and even these new assets carrying at least some trade potential, new GM Tim Murray could revamp this roster in a hurry.

  1. charlieconway96 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Miller’s once darkened lucky stars are shining bright today.

    • ravenscaps48 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      He deserved this. Good luck, Ryan Miller. You will do great in St. Louis.

      • alexbaymac - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        I have to agree…even though as a Blackhawks fan, I hate where he’s going! LOL

  2. canucks30 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Risky trade for the Blues but if Miller plays up to his previous form from 2006-07 and the 2010 Olympics, the Blues will be tough to beat.

    • rabidbillsfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      What do you call his recent play? He has defensive help now.

    • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      one of the best defensive core in the league with an actual goalie, I have not seen this since joseph. I am excited. it would be a shame if we cannot resign both players. ott along with backs, really, this is going to be a fun ride through the playoffs. if the blues don’t win it will still be fun, there are a lot of great teams in the west we still need to beat.

  3. govtminion - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Wow. That’s… wow. Big move by the Blues. Looks like they want a Cup right about NOW.

    • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      DAMN RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. jb8588 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Considering both guys were set to be UFA’s, the sabres did pretty well in this trade. Nice haul.

  5. terrier92 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Great trade for both teams

  6. pirovash88 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Makes me wonder if Halak’s performance in the Olympics had anything to do with him being traded to Buffalo.

    • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      not at all, he was at the best inconsistent with the blues

  7. thailer35 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Good luck dealing with that, Chicago.

    • r8rbhawk - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      Ugh, I know. As a hawks fan this trade pisses me off. As a hockey fan this is a good trade for both teams

      • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        not sure of how the new playoff system works but I hope blues hawks for the conference it would be great to renew the old rivalry

        I am cheering for the hawks a lot cause I like your team, just not against the blues

    • blackhawksdynasty - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Doesn’t worry me one iota, and I’m sure the Hawks aren’t shakin in their britches. Happy for both teams, the players and the league, as these big trades energize fans and players alike.

      Great rosters on paper don’t equal automatic or easy Cup wins. (Pitt. tried to buy a Cup last year and were steamrolled in the playoffs)

      It still takes 16 wins in the 2nd season to hoist the silver chalice. Last I checked, the road to the Cup still goes through Chicago.

    • inspect1 - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Deal with what? Blues already had good goal tending. Are you suggesting the Hawks should be concerned about Steve Ott?

  8. savior72 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    I reported these details minutes before this story was posted, but somehow my comments were never posted. Hmmmm

    • thesportsjudge - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      You want a medal?

      • withseidelinn - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        Cookie would be more suitable

      • thesportsjudge - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        Ya, I wasn’t really thinking(now THAT is a story for PHT!)

  9. crazemastercraze - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Works out both ways. I think it was smart STL decided not to take a chance on Halak for the playoffs. It sucks for the fans in Buffalo they didn’t get to see Miller play one last time.

  10. kgun80 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    As a Buffalo fan I like the trade. But I’ll miss watching one of the best in the world play. I’ll tell Blues fans right now Miller will have fluky bad games but the great majority of the time he is very good and when he is motivated he can take over games. I think after the Olympic snub by that idiot he will be very motivated! Good luck!

    • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      Halak has a fluky goal (or 2)…. (or 3) almost every game. Stew just needs a change of scenery and new gameplan, and he should be fine.

      • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        your thoughts about stewie were the same thoughts the blues had, he is a big body that cannot get motivated. he is a good player when he wants to be, but he rarely shows up

      • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Hopefully he turns it around. Too bad he wasn’t playing as well as he did last year. Probably could’ve kept on if those picks…

      • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        *one of those… dang phone

  11. jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Good deal for both sides! I just was literally pumping my fist and yelling “whooo!”… My wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm (maybe because we’re at a restaurant). Best of luck to Halak and Stewcat, but I’m soooo happy with Armstrong’s move.


    • charlieconway96 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      Its also possible that she doesn’t share your excitement because you’re at a restaurant posting on PHT and not giving her your undivided attention. Just saying its possible, I’ve tried to understand women but continue to fail miserably. Godspeed sir.

      • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        Nah, we’ve been married for 4 years, together for 10. Texas Roadhouse isn’t romantic, and I think she’s playing Candy Crush… 😄

      • charlieconway96 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:51 PM

        “Texas Roadhouse isn’t romantic”, and here lies the basis of my misunderstanding of women.

      • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Well, I DID give her the last piece of bread with the cinnamon sugar butter… and they say chivalry is dead!

      • charlieconway96 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        God bless your sensitive and caring soul!!!

  12. nightfireop - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    as a kings fan, this is a scary thought; the blues can be serious cup contenders now. however if there’s a west coast team that i’d like to see win the cup before the nucks, i’d like to see the blues win. the last of the original six expansion that haven’t won a cup yet. besides it would be nice to see backes and oshie’s hardwork pay off.

    • itswhereyourmindsat - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      You’re a kook

    • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      I like you…

    • blackhawksdynasty - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      If StL is on the west coast, I’ll be enrolling in the next available geography class – and I’m way too old to go back to school

      • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        Hey, we’re on the Mississippi West Coast…

  13. itswhereyourmindsat - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Now my Kings have a new goalie to beat up on

    • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      have fun trying to beat a good goalie finally
      you had fun with Elliot but Miller is by far better than both Elliot and Halak

    • 19to77 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Depends. If the Blues bow out in the first round and can’t resign their acquisitions, they just dealt five pieces for roughly a month and a half of Miller and Ott. If they win the Cup, this is one of the best deals in franchise history.

      • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        I would like to think that army has already been talking to Miller and Ott, at the least we are rid of Stewart

        this could turn out VERY good or be just rentals. Allen is ready to step up so I am excited to see him in the blue note again. Elliot will walk with the signing of Miller. I really hope we sign Ott. he is the player we have needed

    • 19to77 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Ha. The Kings, scoring. That’s adorable.

  14. bencia823 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    big win for the sabres. If the Blues can’t lock Miller down, this trade will be extremely costly. The blues were incredibly difficult to score on before this trade, and aren’t likely to be a whole lot better in that regard now.

    • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      at least for this CUP RUN. HOPEFULLY we can lock both players down with a deal and I know army is already working on that. OTT brings the presence we have needed, good to get rid of stewart. just wondering who is going to dress for the game tonight

  15. lowenni - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    WHOA. Blues defense will be unstoppable now with Miller backing them up. Pretty solid deal for the Blues, especially with acquiring Ott as well.

  16. bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    as long as we can sign both players, I have NO problem with this deal. The future looks bright as the sun finally shines down upon the gateway city

  17. rabidbillsfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    So now that Miller is on a Playoff team, will he get some love for the Vezina? I think he will absolutely shine out there. If the Blues win the cup, who cares what they gave up.

    • bluesdroogie - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      its still only the blues, they get no love either. blues fan since 88, I love this deal even if it is only a rental, which I think miller and ott should love the fan base here and both probably will stay and resign

  18. sixchr - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Wow, St. Louis isn’t missing around. If they weren’t already good enough then what does this make them?

  19. hosewater2 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Great deal. Both teams.

    Somewhere Chris Stewart is already pouting, and I hope Buffalo can deal him off for their sake.

    • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      Stewart has more goals than Dustin Brown… hahaha

  20. jimeejohnson - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    St. Louis BBQ > Buffalo hot wings.

    • ralphwilsonisrich - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:54 PM


    • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      I’ll take a pork steak and toasted ravs ANY day!

    • billsfanaddict - Mar 1, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      ill devour buckets of wings a week and never get tired of ’em & am from upstate ny… but that said, ill take some pulled pork from pappy’s smokehouse over the anchor-bar-dozen just about any day

  21. jpat2424 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Still not gonna win a damn thing

  22. buffalo65 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    How many cups did Joseph win? Good trade. Blues didn’t give up too much. Gotta go for it.

  23. flyerguy73 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Average goalie going to a great team.

    • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Buffalo is a great team??? And Halak is a little more than “average”…

    • rabidbillsfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      How’d your great goalie fair the other night bud, coincidentally against the same team Enroth is shutting down right now with, what, a few hours notice? Get back under your bridge, Troll, Mommy is calling.

  24. kingsfan93 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    GREAT trade for BOTH teams

    GREAT to know Ryan Miller be with a good team that he DESERVES to be with. R. MILLER is a GREAT goalie that is a winner who will do well.

    GREAT match-up it will be if the Blues vs Kings (my team) in the playoffs. too.

  25. savior72 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM


  26. penvik - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Not sure the blues upgraded at goalie at all. Halak is a playoff menace. From a penguins fan point of view we never had issues scoring on miller. In fact, it was a cakewalk for Sid. But Halak on the other hand gives me nightmares still. Great trade for buffalo, they robbed the islanders and the blues in the same season. Wow, just wow!!

    • rabidbillsfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      And when do the Pens plan on playing the Blues in the playoffs? The Pens have been the Peyton Mannings of the NHL, if anything, the Blues just propelled themselves to Stanley Cup favorites.

  27. wretchu - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Few comments.

    First, as a Blues fan, love the trade. Stewie has high potential, but he’s far too inconsistent. For a team that plays on as tight a budget as St. Louis does, there’s not a lot of room for (relatively) high priced players that aren’t consistent threats.

    Don’t know much about the prospect, but the loss of the two picks shouldn’t be too much of a loss. Obviously any team, especially one with not a lot of cash to spend, needs to have a lot of picks, but right now there’s enough young talent either currently on the roster (Schwartz, Tarasenko) or very close to it (Jaskin, Allen) to make a couple of light drafts survivable. Obviously though, this can’t be the situation long term, but with a team that has a legit chance at a Cup, you just have to take this opportunity.

    It does hurt me a bit personally to lose Halak because I have always liked him, but he, like Stewart, was just as likely to amaze you as he was to make you want to pound your head into the wall. It’s just a shame he couldn’t stay more consistent, because he does have the talent to lead a team to the Cup.

    On a final note though, about that comment about that “vote of confidence” from Doug Armstrong. It was interpreted as meaning that he’d be standing pat with Halak, but take a very close look at what he said. Pulling directly from the original article: “St. Louis historically has been a graveyard for goaltenders. I’m not being critical of the fans, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve ever been happy with who’s in the net. Jaro doesn’t deserve to have the past put on him… Jaro has been our starting goaltender for exactly two playoff games… He hasn’t failed. He’s going to have the opportunity to show what he’s capable of. That’s how it is in sports. Until you win, you can’t win.”

    A lot of talk about how Halak is a great goalie, gotten a bit of a bad rap in St. Louis, and deserves a chance to show what he’s capable of… but notice what’s missing? A word like “here”, as in “He’s going to have the opportunity to show what’s capable of HERE.” All in all, it was just brilliant misdirection by DA. It’s a bit of an ego boost for Halak if the trade happens, but it doesn’t outright commit to him as the team’s #1 goaltender.

    • jhaegs - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:34 PM


      • angrytwitterguy - Mar 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        You’re lazy then? Gotcha, I bet you don’t make much money either

  28. inspect1 - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    I think Buffalo got the better deal. Stewart is an excellent player. Yes, so is Miller, but St. Louis already has good goal tending. Steve Ott… so what?

  29. rabidbillsfan - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    3rd to a 1st this year with WCF appearance or a re-sign… Icing on the cake. 5+ Firsts in next 2 years, that is definitely something.

  30. djshnooks - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    If Miller plays to his previous form?

    Again, some people have no clue what they are talking about…he has better stats on the Sabres than Quick does on the Kings. This is one of his best years.

  31. stevedurbano - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    The biggest concern is that they MUST – 1. Win it all this year or 2. Sign Miller. If they don’t this will be a heavy price to rent a goalie for a few months. It concerns me that they apparently tried and failed to sign him during the trade negotiations. St Louis has a core of rabid fans but ultimately its a baseball town and that can cause problems for some guys. Still, he could have vetoed the trade so that’s a good sign. Above all I’m glad they didn’t trade Allen.

  32. savior72 - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Anybody with thoughts on what kind of contract Miller will be looking for/what the Blues can afford?

  33. valoisvipers - Mar 1, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Same as everyone else, he will want a lot of money for a long time.

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