The Ryan Miller trade has finally come, and it’s an even bigger blockbuster than expected.
The Buffalo Sabres were all but assured of shipping off their All-Star goaltender, who is in the last year of his contract and at 33 wasn’t going to be up for the long rebuild the team is undergoing. But when the Sabres finally did move Miller, it came as part of a blockbuster deal that also sent forward Steve Ott to the Blues.
The Blues, leading the Central Division and currently No. 2 in the Western Conference, now have a goalie who can take them on a long Stanley Cup run.
After the trade was announced, Ryan Miller addressed the media and fans in an emotional sendoff.
“It’s definitely humbling and flattering that they would make that kind of move and bring us in with the intention of giving them some help to push for a Stanley Cup,” Miller said, his voice cracking with emotion several times during his remarks. “We’re excited for the opportunity there. But also, it’s about the responsibility we have to that organization to show up and get up to speed and compete as hard as we can to live up to the trade.”
In exchange for Miller and Ott, the Sabres get goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a conditional 2016 third-round pick. The 2016 pick will turn into a first-round pick if the Blues reach the Western Conference finals or re-sign Miller before the draft.
The Ryan Miller trade shows that the Blues are looking to win now.
“The deal was made on the here and now. We’ll worry about the future after the season,” said the Blues general manager, Doug Armstrong. “Obviously, Ryan Miller’s résumé speaks for itself. It gives us a better chance for success.”
With the Ryan Miller trade is likely not the last move the Buffalo Sabres will make before Wednesday’s trade deadline. The team’s general manger, Tim Murray, said that several more players are garnering interest and insiders say that both Halak and Stewart could already be on the trading block.