Buffalo Sabres

Miller to the Blues in Goalie Swap


Ryan Miller and Steve Ott discuss what life will be like in St. Louis

by Drew Sarver

The Buffalo Sabres decided to pull the trigger on a Ryan Miller deal, five days prior to the NHL trade deadline.  The Sabres lifer was sent to the St. Louis Blues Friday along with captain Steve Ott for goalie Jaroslav Halak, winger Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first round pick next year, and a conditional third round pick in 2016.

It was an emotional day for Miller, who went from the cellar dwelling Sabres to the Central division leading Blues (tied with the Blackhawks with 84 points, but St. Louis has two games in hand.) to become their #1 goalie. He’ll be backed up by veteran Brian Elliott.  Miller is atop or in the top three of the majority of the Sabres goalie records and first donned the Sabres uniform for 15 games during the 2002-2003 season.

Though Halak and Elliott are solid goaltenders, the addition of Miller gives the Blues a better shot at a serious run at the Stanley Cup. The Blues have never won the NHL’s most prized hardware despite the fact they went to three straight finals their first three years in the league. (They were beaten twice by Montreal and once by Boston in 1968-1970.)

The Blues haven’t been back to the finals since, but with players like David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen, and Kevin Shattenkirk, the addition of Miller makes St. Louis a serious threat in the Western Conference. The deal also raises Miller’s fantasy value since his goal against average will be reduced and his wins will increase.

Ott’s hard nosed play and versatility to play in a scoring or defensive role in all three forward positions will be a very good asset as well.

Will Halak stay or go from Buffalo?  Good question of which there is no answer yet. With Enroth already moved to #1 with Miller gone, Halak could be traded again before Wednesday’s deadline.

Drew Sarver is the publisher, managing editor, and a contributor for Designated For Assignment. He can be followed on twitter at @mypinstripes or contacted by email at dsarver@d4assignment.com.