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Five options for Ryan Miller, now that St. Louis isn’t one

May 19, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT

St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Six Getty Images

Since we can cross the St. Louis Blues off Ryan Miller’s list, here are some other teams with which the 33-year-old goalie could sign as an unrestricted free agent this summer:

— Anaheim Ducks. Probably the favorite option. It’s been widely speculated that Miller wants to play in California in order to be closer to his actress wife, Noureen DeWulf. It’s also thought Miller is open to signing a shorter-term contract, which could allow John Gibson, 20, more time to develop before he becomes a full-time starter in the NHL. Anaheim could also fetch an asset by trading Frederik Andersen, if it does decide to bid adieu to Jonas Hiller and bring in another veteran stopper.

— San Jose Sharks. The next closest NHL market to Hollywood. And the way the playoffs went for Antti Niemi (.884 save percentage, didn’t even start Game 6 versus the Kings), nobody would be shocked if general manager Doug Wilson made a change in goal. Niemi, 30, is only signed through next season.

— Vancouver Canucks. The closest thing to Hollywood that Canada can offer. (We’re probably giving too much credence to this angle, but whatever, it still works.) At the moment, the Canucks have Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom penciled in as starter and back-up. But is the former really ready to take on that role? And couldn’t the latter use a season in the AHL to rediscover the form that once made him a blue-chip prospect? It all probably depends on which direction the new general manager, whoever that may be, takes with the Canucks. If it’s more of a rebuild, signing Miller doesn’t make much sense, and he probably wouldn’t have any interest anyhow.

— Minnesota Wild. It’s not Hollywood and Niklas Backstrom is signed for two more seasons. But Backstrom’s play underwhelmed this season, and he’s also 36 years old with a growing injury log. Meanwhile, Josh Harding‘s health is a big question mark, and Darcy Kuemper is still somewhat in the unproven stage. The Wild showed a lot of promise in these playoffs. They can’t afford to take a step back next season.

— Pittsburgh Penguins. Have to include this option, what with a new GM coming aboard shortly and ownership’s frustration with the past five postseasons. Marc-Andre Fleury was good but not great in these playoffs. He wasn’t the reason they lost, but he could’ve been better. Put it this way: given all that’s happened the past few days, what are the chances Fleury signs an extension with the Pens past next season? Seems kinda low, no?

Honorary mention: Washington Capitals.

  1. bucfanforlife - May 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    miller played worst than fleury

    • thailer35 - May 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      You speak least than English.

      • sjsblitz - May 19, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        Me fail English? That unpossible

    • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      gotta be carful lots of english teachers on pro hockey talk. because arguing is more important that talking hockey.

      • shaundre93 - May 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM


      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        if your going to correct that, then correct “carful” too.

      • thailer35 - May 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        No arguing here. Just comedic relief. And I really enjoy talking hockey, especially when people can make valid, intelligible points. Debating is very much a part of talking hockey, not “more important that“.

        But to your point, I didn’t bring up my point of view on where I think Ryan Miller should go previously, so I will now to appease you. I really don’t care where Ryan Miller goes as long as he doesnt come to Phoenix. There is my super interesting and relevant opinion on Ryan Miller.

        By the way, I really wanted to add a visual to your car full of English teachers, but all I could find was this car full of puppies…

        Gotta be car full of puppies!

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        thanks for further validating my point by making corrections to a statement i made that i thought was obviously written that way for a reason…

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        by the way i saw no debate on his statement, only a correction to his english. a debate would have went something like, “no, MAF played worse”.

        dont worry about it by the way. not often free agents worth anything sign in Phoenix.

      • r8rbhawk - May 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM


      • lonespeed - May 19, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        “if your going to correct that, then correct “carful” too.”

        I think you meant to use ‘you’re’ in that spot. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        yeah and every time somebody corrects me your A. wasting space and B. both proving my point and failing to see the small small amount of humor in what i am doing here.

        and i should be capitalizing things and placing commas and yada yada yada and yada isnt a word and there i missed an apostrophe….

        WHO CARES

      • r8rbhawk - May 19, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        That’s the point, we all do the corrections to get a laugh, no one here truly is a grammar-nazi. We just play one on the internet.

      • patthehockeyfan - May 19, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Skitt’s Law: “any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself”

        (which is why I never correct commenters’ remarks)

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        ive never heard of this law but its incredibly sensible.

      • patthehockeyfan - May 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        You’re going to love it, c9:

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        haha thank you for that, great stuff.

      • comeonnowguys - May 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Weird, I thought that was called “Muphry’s Law.” (Sic)

    • blomfeld - May 19, 2014 at 11:45 PM


      • babykaby - May 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Dumfeld, don’t you ever get tired of being a really tiny useless dick? Just asking.

  2. strictlythedanks - May 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Wild could use him

  3. c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    he may or may not be a great goalie still i dont know. this surprised me a little, but he didnt play that good in the playoffs really.

    i dont think elliot is the answer either, he seems to only play good in spurts.

    • shaundre93 - May 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Me thinks Allen and Elliot do a platoon thing until one of them (preferably and probably Allen) takes the job. Then the Allen era begins

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        yeah i dont know a whole lot about jake allen i think ive seen him play like 3 games and i forget them. so no opinion really…

        why didnt he play any games this year? he got 15 in 2012-2013.

        just simply didnt need him ever, or did the blues think he could benefit from being in the AHL all year, no NHL action?

        it seems slightly irresponsible to plan on a guy being your number 2 goalie when he didnt see a single game of action the previous year.

      • shaundre93 - May 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        I think he’s very solid but you probably won’t ever consider him elite. Ceiling I’d say is somewhere in the neighborhood of Crawford/Niemi, which is pretty ideal for a team like Stl who can make a good goalie look great. As far as why he didn’t play, I have no idea. I thought he looked better than Halak last season. I guess they just wanna be patient with him… Usually not a bad thing

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - May 19, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        He was one of the best, if not the best goalie in the ahl this season. He’s had real good numbers the last few years

      • doubleg04 - May 19, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        The reason Allen didn’t start a game this year is they wanted him to play and not just sit on the bench. So they left him down in the AHL which I agree with let him play and get the time in goal. If I remember right when one of the goalies got injured during the year they brought up the one of the other goalies other then Allen.

    • cliffatola - May 19, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      He never was a great goalie it stands to reason his numbers were near the top of the league just by the sheer volume of shots he faced and bad teams in front of him. If he sees 15 shots more than the other keeper his numbers will be inflated, just like they were. If he couldn’t do better with a team like St. Louis in front of him which is a very goalie friendly environment he never will.

      • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        sabres were pretty good at one point and had a couple conference finals appearances.

        the team in front of him didnt play very well down the stretch.

      • mjw9326mjw9326 - May 20, 2014 at 7:20 AM

        Millsie was a damn good goalie who, unfortunately, has peaked and is perhaps on the downside of his career. He likely will not get the kind of money he wants after the performance he put on with the Blues.
        Anaheim, maybe, if the price is right.
        I would seriously doubt Vancouver would be a good fit. If he wanted to go to a losing team, he would likely go back to Buffalo, where he was loved.

  4. bcsteele - May 19, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    He’s going to the Ducks and they are going to get a bargain on him. That’s where he wants to be, they know that, and that gives them all the power. The worst thing he did for himself was let that leak out.

    On that note, Gibson and Miller for the Ducks will be dangerous. And Gibson could do worse in an able mentor of the game.

    • avfanforlife - May 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Ducks have plenty of goaltending options already. Won’t be Anaheim.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - May 19, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    I highly doubt he comes here. Fleury had a solid playoff performance this year. Fleury will get an extension I believe.

    • c9castine - May 19, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      fleury did alleviate my concerns a bit this year but i wouldnt go that far just yet.

    • maalea - May 20, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      MAF is on the last year of his deal, if I’m the new GM, I let him play it out and see if he has truly rebounded. He is not elite, others of his level can he had.

  6. Eutaw's Finest - May 19, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Part of me thinks “why not in the district?” simply because Holtby hasn’t exactly been a shining star on this Caps team, and while he shows flashes of very good goaltending, he also tends to get in his own head and goes games giving up junk goals, playing out of position and watching his GAA jump.

    On the other hand I get it- don’t add a vet to the mix because it will only halt any progress Holtby has a chance to make. He needs to be the Caps starter in ’14 or else they are wasting his potential riding pine.

    But back to Miller, yea he ends up in Anaheim, which may not be a good thing for the fans if he plays like he did in the playoffs.

    • oster87 - May 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      He’s played amazing in every playoff game but one that I saw.

      The Caps have been through a slew of goalies recently – none of them made a bit of difference. It’s their mediocre defense and system that is holding them back – not their goaltender. Holtby was absolutely lights out under Hunter’s defensive system and while it was pretty boring to watch he was playing some great hockey during that time and the Caps were a tough opponent to beat.

  7. pleasefiredan - May 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Miller is a name. Nothing else. Never did nothing never will.

    • ejheim62 - May 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Miller is the one beer to have, when you’re having more than one!

      • bozokarl - May 19, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        I thought that was Schaefer.

  8. hockeyornothing - May 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Miller to the Ducks and helpful to Gibson too. Every one is happy. Hiller to Wild or Caps. Elliot perfect for St. Louis.

  9. hockeyornothing - May 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    And you’re

  10. sharksman - May 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    if the Sharks get rid of nemo they will go with Stalok
    Cant imagine Wilson “going younger” and getting older in goal
    It would be he same thing going with miller anyway, need a good young goalie and the sharks already have one on the roster
    will need a back up but Miller will not sign anywhere to be a backup

  11. boltman23 - May 19, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    What about winnipeg?

  12. garrison1981 - May 19, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Wings should trade Howard for Def n sign Miller until Mrzak is ready! I know spelling is off!

  13. areaman714 - May 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    If it is with the Ducks, it will have to be cheap, cheap, cheap. I think the Ducks want to go after a big second line center this year and they don’t need Miller screwing with the cap space.

  14. pjblake2redwings - May 19, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I would rather have him here in the D than Jimmy Howard… luckily we have Petr Mrzak waiting to take over ruling the AHL but until that happens I would loooove Miller Time in Detroit. #wishfulthinking

  15. 1harrypairatesties - May 19, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Yes, let him go to the Sharks & bring Niemi home to Chicago to back up Crawford.

  16. tmoore4075 - May 19, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Jimmy Howard’s stats were better this year than Miller’s with the Blues, especially playoff time. Pointing that out for people to not say “oh he was on the Sabres.” Before he got the flu in the playoffs, Jimmy’s stats were a GAA of 2.02 and a save % of .931. Miller had a GAA of 2.70 and a save % of .897 in the playoffs. Plus you add in the age, I take Jimmy Howard. He was inconsistent this year, but so was the entire team with the turnstile of injuries they had going on. I’m not shortsighted and remember how good he was down the stretch in 2013 and in the playoffs. I won’t write him off after an inconsistent year and will give him a chance next year. Good thing some of you aren’t GM’s. You’d be trading guys left and right if they had one down year, even if the player had a NMC like Jimmy does.

    • pjblake2redwings - May 19, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      you are a douchebag

    • dtownbeatdown - May 19, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Howard had 3 good years in a row… but that was 3 seasons ago. He has been very inconsistent the past two seasons. And Ryan Miller still has more playoff wins than Howard overall and that was playing with a far less talented team majority of that time. Even our backup Gus played far less games and almost had as many wins. Howard got the wings 21 wins in 51(19 loses plus 11 overtime loses) games, the year before in a shortened season he had 21 wins in 42 games. And since you think your shat don’t stink, please tell me what holland has done in the past 5 seasons to make us a contender Mr. GM? Howard would be a solid backup but he is not an elite goalie, and that is what this defensively broken team needs. Not saying Miller is the answer either.

  17. billiam55 - May 19, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    he would do great with the Wild!

  18. ejheim62 - May 19, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    can’t picture him going to the Penguins unless they can move MAF – and I am not certain there’d be enough interest to find a decent trade partner. Unless, of course, the new GM is that put-off by MAF, in which case, he might dump him and sign Miller. I doubt it’ll happen, but hey, who knows?

  19. hockeyornothing - May 19, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Still think Miller to the Ducks for cheap

  20. President Charles Logan - May 19, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    St Louis you are out of your mind for now wanting to re-sign this guy .. lol@ Brian Elliot instead…

  21. oster87 - May 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Capitals don’t need to be anywhere on this list.

    Goalie is not their problem, it’s their defense. The tried out Kolzig, Huet, Varlamov, Neuvirth, Holtby, Grubauer, and Halak all with about the same results. They need to fix their horrible defense and system – not ruin another promising goalie. Holtby has shown he can show up and match the best of them (played every bit as good as Thomas and Lundvist in nearly all of his playoff games) stop wrecking his confidence bringing in new goalies and pushing him down the depth chart. Get an actual defense in there and the guy is lights out (as boring as Hunter’s system was – it got results).

    • cliffatola - May 20, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      For the love of god they need to fire Kolzig as their goalie coach but yes they need to really fix their blueline, I say no to Miller in DC too !

  22. djshnooks - May 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the idiot of the day award goes to “PleaseFireDan!”

    Miller “never did nothing?”

    College – Hobey Baker award.

    2005 – AHL all-star & goalie of the year.

    2007 – NHL all-star starting goalie.

    2007/2008 – led Sabres to 2 straight ECF.

    2010 – NHL foundation player award (first American-born player to win the award), 1st team all-star, Vezina trophy for best goalie, MVP of Olympics, best goalie and all-star selection at the Olympics.

    Buffalo Sabres franchise leader in career wins and most wins in a season (41)…for the same club as Hasek, the best ever.

    But, yeah…Ryan Miller sucks, moron.

    And not to mention, he was having his best statistical season of his career this year playing behind the worst team in the NHL.

    The playoffs were far from Miller’s fault…and with a healthy team who can score around him, he will win a cup.

    He is an elite, top-5 goalie in the NHL.

    End of story.

    (I have seen every game the guy has ever played…and I saw every game Hasek ever played, the greatest goalie ever…and Ryan Miller is barely a notch behind Hasek.)

    Career NHL numbers:
    559 games played, 294 wins, 194 losses, 29 shutouts, 2.59 GAA, .915 SV%.

    Career playoff numbers:
    53 games played, 27 wins, 26 losses, 3 shutouts, 2.49 GAA, .917 SV%.

    Career international numbers:
    7 games played, 6 wins, 1 OTL (Canada, 2010), 1 shutout, 1.30 GAA, .946 SV%.

    Those are all elite numbers, ranked among some of the best goalies of all-time.

    But yeah, Ryan Miller is a horrible goalie.

  23. nikk1977 - May 19, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Yeah… So Anaheim is going to break the bank and sign Miller although they have the deepest stable of young up and coming goaltenders in Gibson and Andersen… Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Sorry – I don’t see that as happening, especially given the mammoth contracts to their two studs.

  24. skr213 - May 19, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    this Sharks fan says PLEASE NOT SAN JOSE! that’s all we need: another guy who doesn’t want it bad enough and falls flat in the playoffs.

  25. jtowme - May 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    The Pens need to fix their defense before any goalie can look good in the Consol. They have lots of young guys with potential but that’s no short term fix. I’m not sure Miller can look good behind that defense. Maybe Ryan Miller along with Barry Trotz is the answer.

  26. zinger99 - May 19, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Miller a top 5 elite goalie? Hahahahahaha!
    You Buffalo fans crack me up! Don’t even get me started on Hasek! The best ever? You Buffalo fans should watch other teams besides the Sabres. See what greatness really is. Miller and Hasek couldn’t carry Grant Fuhr’s jock. Or Roy’s.Or Brodeur’s. Or Billy Smith’s. Or….oh,this is too easy.

    • bozokarl - May 19, 2014 at 10:26 PM

      “Hasek couldn’t carry Grant Fuhr’s jock” I do believe Hasek and Fuhr played together from 92-93 to 94-95 and Hasek ended up the starter. Vezinas Hasek-6 Fuhr-1. Harts Hasek-2 Fuhr-0. Hasek’s the all time leader in save % and in the top 10 in GAA and shutouts. Fuhr’s not even in the top 50 in any of those catagories. The only thing Fuhr has on Hasek is wins with 14 more than Hasek.

  27. ralphwilsonisrich - May 19, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Fuhr had who around him a bunch of all stars, and Hasek had whom in Buffalo

  28. zraskovich - May 19, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    I could see Miller to San Jose and the Wild adding another Finlander to the roster in Niemi.

    • fightingwild - May 20, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      Just isn’t going to happen. The Wild have goalie troubles. That is very true, however they are not going to sign yet another goalie to a one way contract when Kuemper is RFA & due for a one way himself. Chuck Fletcher has has already stated he will carry three goalies if he has to. As much as the fans love Harding & his abilities to be a number 1 when he is healthy his MS has been detrimental to the Wild in the second half of the last two seasons. Backstrom is one crabwalk from IR at any given moment. The Wild will find someone who will accept a two-way contract knowing how fragile the top three are & knowing that at some point in the season, probably around christmas, they will be the number 1 for the Wild.

  29. jaythehelmetguy - May 19, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    If you ask me, top three decisions are Ducks, ‘Nucks and Sharks. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t see Miller going to the Pens since they could really score a deal if Halak chooses not to sign with the Isles. I’m not sure about Anaheim getting him with a goalie like Jonas Hiller but then again crazier things have happened in the NHL. I could see him signing with the Sharks but we have to remember that Niemi is 30 and Miller is gonna be 34 by the time next season starts, so he probably has six years at most, so does San Jose want to take a chance on a guy who might play well for a year or two and then drop off (a la Martin Brodeur these past few years), however, I think San Jose has an extremely high likelihood of landing him along with Vancouver, who definitely needs the most amount of help in net with no real starting goalie. If I had to put money out there I’d say he’ll end up in Vancouver simply due to the goaltending situation up there. I consider Minnesota an outside chance but I’m definitely not ruling them out with Pominville on the team and Vanek possibly going over there this offseason, but I’m going to assume his price is too high for what the Wild are willing to pay. So tl;dr Miller=High price; in order, I’ve got 1. Vancouver 2. San Jose 3. Anaheim 4. Penguins 5. Wild

  30. grimm19 - May 20, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Miller doesn’t seem to have too many options after he choked in the playoffs. As far as him signing in Pittsburgh, it just won’t happen. Fleury played well enough to keep his job, and I still think Lemeuix holds him in high regard. Plus, if Miller went to Pittsburgh with that defense his numbers would suffer tremendously.

  31. paulerhythm - May 20, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Miller has got 2, 3 tops, good years left and we wants to to Anaheim. He wants to go to a contender. So, Anaheim will do whatever possible to make that happen.

  32. djshnooks - May 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Hasek couldn’t carry Fuhr’s jock?????


    Hasek stole the starting job from him!!!

    I watch lots of hockey. I’ve been watching lots of hockey for 30+ years. Sorry, you’re a complete and total fool for that comment.

    If I felt like it again, I’d put you to shame like I did the last guy who spouted diarrhea from his mouth and embarrassed himself.

    Hasek is a first ballot hall of famer…is Grant Fuhr, or any of the others you mentioned?

    I can’t believe I even read that nonsense. This is what I mean by little kids who are uneducated when it comes to sports.

    Greatness? Ever heard of the French Connection? People in Buffalo know plenty about greatness. Just because there is not a trophy to show for it, means nothing.

    You say watch more hockey, other teams…I do plenty of that, as I’m a contributing writer for a website. Maybe people should pay more attention to Buffalo…go back, watch some Hasek games, then get back to me and say he sucks, or can’t carry Grant Fuhr’s jock.

    Watch how the Sabres were the most dominant team in the NHL during his time.

    Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.

  33. zinger99 - May 20, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Yeah,Hasek stole the starting job from Fuhr after his best days were behind him,so you can imagine how impressed I am! Four Stanley Cups. And look up who Wayne Gretzky said he would want in goal
    if it came down to one game for the Stanley Cup.(it’s not Hasek) Because after all,Buffalo sports fan,thats what its all about. Not Presidents Trophies. Not Vezinas. Fuhr has been in the Hall of Fame since 2003. Do your homework. Hasek was in his prime and was badly outplayed by Ed Belfour in the ’99 Final. It was a good goal by Hull,by the way. Everyone not in Buffalo seems to know that. So,you haven’t taught me anything. You’ve just reinforced the fact that Buffalo fans wear mediocrity on their sleeve like its some badge of honor. So go to your arena next year and gaze upon your Division Title banners. Shouldn’t you be ironing your ‘No Goal’ shirt?

  34. flyerguy73 - May 20, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Where are all of the idiot buffalo sabre fans saying this guy was a god? I’ve said from the beginning he was a average to below average goalie. Gotta love it. Love seeing him thrown under the bus where he belongs.

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