Sabres GM Tim Murray: pending UFAs Miller, Moulson, Ott won't necessarily be traded

Jan 25, 7:09 PM

The Buffalo Sabres boast one of the league's worst offenses, are even more permissive defensively than their 2.82 goals against per game rate would suggest (thanks to the stellar play of Ryan Miller), and currently sit  26 points removed from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In other words, the rebuilding Sabres are your classic "trade deadline seller."

The Sabres have selected early and often at the NHL entry draft over the past few years, they already own two first rounders for the 2015 entry draft (both probable lottery picks) and have accumulated a number of quality young prospects through moves like last season's Jason Pominville trade. With a burgeoning youth movement already underway and pending unrestricted free-agents Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson and captain Steve Ott on the roster; the Sabres also have a number of quality trade chips to play with at the deadline. 

The club's employment of desirable mercenary assets like Miller, Moulson and Ott lends new Sabres general manager Tim Murray significant flexibility to double down on the club's rebuild and continue accumulating talented young assets by the bushel full if he so chooses. But that's not necessarily how the situation in Buffalo will play out over the coming months according to the freshly minted Sabres general manager.

"For me, it's all about the return," Murray told Buffalo News sports writer Mike Harrington on Saturday. "These are good players. So if the return was up to a certain point and not great and we then decide we want to talk to them about staying, then that's an option too."

Murray added, "Certainly their names are in play and we'll see what happens but it doesn't guarantee they'll be moved at all."

Feb 27, 1:23 PM

Ryan Miller scheduled to start Friday amid trade speculation

Feb 27, 1:23 PM

The Sabres appear prepared to give Ryan Miller the nod against the San Jose Sharks on Friday in what could be his final start in Buffalo.

Miller added "Buffalo's a great place to play hockey. Great people, great fans. Never want to miss an opportunity to say thank you."

General manager Tim Murray is intent on trading Miller prior to the trade deadline, so this decision by Nolan may set up an opportunity for the fans to bid a fond farewell to the team's number one goaltender since 2005. 

At the same time, there's always the risk that Miller might be injured during the course of the game, thereby crippling his trade value.

Miller stopped 36 of 38 shots in his last start against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Feb 25, 10:04 PM

Sabres GM Murray on Miller: 'Our goal right now on both sides is to pursue a proper trade'

Feb 25, 10:04 PM

The Buffalo Sabres and goaltender Ryan Miller have been back and forth with the media on what they want to see in their futures. Reports flip-flop daily about the status of Miller.

Chris Ryndak of sabres.nhl.com asked what the ultimate goal with Miller was with the trade deadline of March 5th fast approaching. General manager Tim Murray responded with a definitive answer.

"The route we’re looking at is to get value for him, to put him in a position to succeed. However you want to describe him here in all the years he’s been here as a good soldier or whatever and I think, I've said this before, if you look at the teams I've been with in the past, we've done that.

By trading Ryan to a contender – a good team that maybe is lacking only his position – I think that we've certainly not done a disservice to him and we've helped the organization in our own right. Our goal right now on both sides is to pursue a proper trade."

When asked if Miller had interest in signing an extension with the Sabres, Murray explained it's likely not Miller's first option. " I know what I think his first choice would be and I don’t think signing here is his first choice at his age, where we’re at – we’re the 30th place team."

In terms of who's calling for the goaltender, Murray didn't give any specifics, but he gave reporters a ballpark figure. "I know that we've had more than two teams call us about him. I don’t know if they’re kicking tires or if they’re serious, but there has been interest from more than two teams, less than 10 teams. Are they all serious? I don’t know that. I can’t answer that."

Miller was selected to represent Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and has a .923 save percentage and 2.72 goals against average in 40 games. He has faced 1,411 shots this season, good for fifth most in the league.

Feb 25, 7:46 PM

Report: Sabres 'preference' is to deal Miller before deadline

Feb 25, 7:46 PM

The Buffalo Sabres have one of the most sought-after goaltenders in the NHL that has been made available prior to the trade deadline. Ryan Miller has been followed by trade rumors for the entire season and was believed to be working on an extension.

Bob McKenzie reports the Sabres "preference" is to have the goaltender dealt by the deadline as he mentioned Tuesday on Insider Trading.

"The priority, the preference is still to try and get a trade for netminder Ryan Miller and virtually every player on their roster. General manager Tim Murray is open for business, there isn't a single untouchable on this team, maybe with the exception of Zemgus Girgensons." via Insider Trading

Darren Dreger also mentioned there could be a multi-team deal brewing as the Sabres have high interest in St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of buzz but there's some suggesting maybe there's a three-way deal involving the St. Louis Blues, and perhaps the Minnesota Wild. Jaroslav Halak might be included, Jake Allen, I know the Buffalo Sabres would want to get him as part of a package." via Insider Trading 

A three-team deal would take time and Miller's status as a Sabre seems to change daily.

Feb 25, 10:39 AM

Report: Sabres unlikely to trade Ryan Miller, intent on working on contract extension

Feb 25, 10:39 AM

The Buffalo Sabres will resume play when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, and one of the major question marks surrounding the team going forward is the status of goaltender Ryan Miller.

While many suggest he'll be dealt prior to the trade deadline, the team may be attempting to re-sign the impending unrestricted free agent, according to Sportnet analyst Brian Lawton.

The decision will ultimately be dictated by the trade market and Miller's willingness to stick with the Sabres through a rebuild.

Feb 24, 5:20 PM

Report: Sabres still shopping Ryan Miller with trade deadline looming

Feb 24, 5:20 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A person familiar with discussions has told The Associated Press that Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray continues to pursue offers for goalie Ryan Miller with the intention of dealing him before the NHL trade deadline on March 5.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Murray did not speak to reporters Monday.

The person said the team's first option is trading Miller, who is in the final year of his contract. Option No. 2, would be making a bid to re-sign Miller if a trade can't be completed.

Miller was a no-show at Sabres practice Monday because the United States backup goalie was travelling from the Sochi Games.

Miller was scheduled to arrive later in the day, and is set to start against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Feb 5, 3:43 PM

Sabres GM Murray confirms he's talking to 'several teams' about a Ryan Miller trade

Feb 5, 3:43 PM

Sabres general manager Tim Murray spoke on WGR550 Radio in Buffalo on Wednesday, and confirmed that trade talks are ongoing in relation to goaltender Ryan Miller

Murray added other names have also come up in these discussions.

The Sabres have two games remaining prior to the Olympic break, including a "rivalry" tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Feb 4, 9:17 PM

Report: Wild and Capitals looking into the possibility of acquiring Ryan Miller

Feb 4, 9:17 PM

According to a report from TVA's Renaud Lavoie, at least two teams (the Minnesota Wild and the Washington Capitals) are seriously kicking the tires on acquiring Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller:

The Wild and the Capitals are 14th and 15th in the NHL in save percentage respectively this season. In other words, both clubs have received roughly average goaltending. As such, their potential interest in acquiring a pricey, capable goaltender seems somewhat surprising. 

The Wild, however, are facing some uncertainty regarding the health of Josh Harding while backup netminder Niklas Backstrom has struggled to find his fastball this season. 

Meanwhile, Capitals general manager George McPhee was recently paraphrased opining that his club would have 10 more points in the standings if they'd received better goaltending from the likes of Braden Holtby and Michael Neuvirth this season.

Feb 4, 6:26 PM

Ryan Miller and the Sabres haven't substantively discussed his future with the club

Feb 4, 6:26 PM

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is the presumptive starter for USA Hockey's men's team at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, but whether or not he'll be starting for the Sabres this spring (or next season, for that matter) is a murkier proposition.

On Tuesday Miller discussed his future in Buffalo with reporters at length and revealed that he's yet to engage in serious discussions with the team regarding either a contract extension or a potential trade. "Anything’s possible, just with the way the season's gone and the direction it could be headed," said the pending unrestricted free-agent, "We'll just wait to see what the plans start to become."

Continued Miller: "There’s been a change here. There was a change here before. So it's like waiting to see what the plan is and waiting to see what they have to offer. We haven't talked about anything with regards to contracts, talked about anything in regards to trades. They're doing their business."

Jan 23, 9:15 AM

Ryan Miller, Sabres facing big decision about goalie's future in Buffalo

Jan 23, 9:15 AM

Now that a new general manager is in place in Buffalo - bringing with him the promise of a "quick rebuild" for the Sabres - one of the major questions moving forward is what to do with goaltender Ryan Miller. 

An impending free agent at the end of the season, the 33-year old has expressed some interest in remaining with the only NHL he's ever played for, but may not have an appetite to toil through several more losing seasons.

As ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports, Miller is Buffalo's most valuable trade asset, but may not command as much attention on the market as forward Matt Moulson.

LeBrun cites one NHL GM as saying the Sabres should do all they can to keep Miller in the fold: "Miller has been outstanding, so I would keep him for sure. Not that many goaltending options and the one you know [is] better than someone you don't know."

Sabres GM Tim Murray shared these thoughts on the situation:

I think if Ryan thinks that we’re three years away from being competitive, at his age ... he’s not going to come out and ask for a trade, and I know that -- he’s been here a long time, and I wouldn't expect that. But you do have to be fair to a guy that has put his time in here and be realistic on what’s left and how much time it’s going to take ... It’s not the best scenario, but I think I can figure out what deep down Ryan really wants and what’s fair to him. And maybe what’s fair to him is a chance to win a Cup.

For his part, Miller is playing some of the best hockey of his career, despite his team's woeful record. His .925 save percentage is fifth in the NHL among goalies with 30 or more starts, a staggering number considering Buffalo's minus-48 goal differential.

As such, Murray was quick to add any potential trade involving Miller "depends on the market," meaning he won't simply give the goalie away.

This situation is likely to remain a hot topic leading up to the NHL's March 5 trade deadline.

Dec 6, 1:27 PM

Ryan Miller continues to open up about his future with the Sabres

Dec 6, 1:27 PM

Ryan Miller opened up after Sabres' practice on Friday, and while he has indeed had "exploratory" talks with Pat LaFontaine, he admits he'd like to have a better sense of where the franchise is going moving forward. 

He also said Henrik Lundqvist's recent contract extension "sets the standards" for goaltenders.

Here are the highlights, via Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

On Henrik Lundqvist's extension with the New York Rangers:

I thought it was actually lower than he was probably going for. I anticipate with the TV deals and such, the cap is going to keep going up. Maybe it will seem like a pretty average price down the line.

On the direction of the Sabres:

They came into a situation where some things had happened, one very recently with the Vanek trade. You have to pause for a minute and evaluate where you're at. You just can't keep shedding everything I guess. I think they're trying to figure out guys they want to hang on to and they think they can build a core around. We'll see how it goes.

On his role in the midst of the team's scoring woes:

We can't score, we've got to keep pucks out. That's part of my job. So I guess I'm part of the solution in that regard. I can keep the puck out, I can compete and battle and hopefully these guys can feed off the group of guys keeping the puck out.

In 21 games with the Sabres this season, Miller has posted a record of 5-16-0 with a 3.05 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

Dec 6, 12:41 PM

Ryan Miller has had 'exploratory' talks with Sabres about contract extension

Dec 6, 12:41 PM

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller shared a couple of interesting pieces of information on Friday.

On one hand, he revealed that he has had preliminary talks with President of Hockey Operations Pat Lafontaine in regards to a possible contract extension with the club.

At the same time, he left the door open for an early exit, alluding to a desire to help the team gain assets through a potential trade at some point in the season.

While popular opinion seems to dictate that Miller - an impending unrestricted free agent - will not be with the team past this season, it would appear as though the door remains slightly open for his return. 

And at the very least, it would seem as though his intent is to not leave the team hanging, whether he decided to re-sign or not.

Dec 5, 9:54 AM

Ted Nolan believes the Sabres should build around Ryan Miller

Dec 5, 9:54 AM

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and, as such, is the subject of innumerable trade rumours as his current team seems set on a full rebuild.

In interim head coach Ted Nolan's opinion, Buffalo should try to build around Miller.

"You look at all the championship teams and it starts from goaltending out. ... I prefer you build around him rather than use him as a pawn to try and get something to make you better," he said, via The Buffalo News. "You learn to deal with the now as a coach and we’ve got one of the better goaltenders in the world here and I’d like to build around him myself."

Nolan added: "You look at all the top guys (and) our top guy Ryan Miller, he’s consistent all the time."

While Nolan's future with the team is not set in stone, he has expressed his vision for the team to President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine: "I said the one thing we want to do is create an environment where people want to come here and stay here."

The Sabres are in the midst of a general manager search, who will no doubt have something to say about the future of both Ryan Miller and Ted Nolan in Buffalo.