Ryan Miller said his fate with the Buffalo Sabres is out of his hands.
The All-Star goalie just played his 500th game with the team in its season finale, with Miller fittingly carrying the Sabres to a 2-1 shootout win over the playoff-bound New York Islanders. It’s been a common theme since Miller took over in 2006, with the goalie taking the lead and willing an otherwise mediocre team to a victory.
The Sabres just ended a disappointing season, missing the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six years, and it could mean the end of the road for Miller. The team fired head coach Lindy Ruff early in the strike-shortened season and go into this offseason with a great degree of long-term uncertainty.
Facing what could be a one- to two-year rebuilding process, many expect the Sabres to trade Miller in the offseason to a contender.
Miller, who has one year left on his contract, has said publicly that he would like to return but added that it’s not his decision.
“My status, it’s really up to [General Manager Darcy Regier] and the direction they’re going to go,” Miller said. “It’s definitely signs of a little bit of a shift in the long-term plan, so I don’t know. … Ultimately, it’s not going to be up to me. We’ll see.”
Ryan Miller appears to be expecting a trade. The goaltender recently put his Buffalo townhouse up for sale, though he has been spending the offseasons away from Buffalo since joining the team.
In other years that meant returning to his native Michigan, but now that Miller has gotten married to actress Noureen Dewulf, he spends the summer months in Los Angeles. Facing such a long distance, Miller may be looking for a trade to a Western Conference team.
Whatever happened, Miller seemed resigned to his fate.
“If it’s to be in Buffalo, I’m going to savor my whole career somewhere I like to be. That’s great,” Ryan Miller. “If it’s somewhere else, I’m going to have to accept it and move on. That’s sports.”