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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Let the Games Begin: Miller on the Move

Wild on Sports
Let the Games Begin: Miller on the Move
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

The NHL Trade season is officially upon us! With the Olympics come and gone and the trade freeze lifted, teams in the bottom third of the league are looking to clean house and shift their focus to next season.

It had been widely speculated that Sabers and Team USA goaltender Ryan Miller's days in Buffalo were numbered. Despite being the face of the franchise for the past decade he was in the final year of his contract and playing for a team that has not sniffed a playoff run in years. Miller is a winner; there is no doubt about that. You had to imagine it was not if but when he would be dealt to a contending team.

Well, that day has come and oh what a blockbuster it was. The Sabers and St. Louis Blues agreed to a trade on Friday that will send Miller and Sabers Captain Steve Ott (also a free agent to be) to STL in exchange for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier and at least one 1st round pick (1 guaranteed, 1 conditional).

The deal could not have worked out better for either team. The Blues are one of the better teams in the Western Conference and sure contenders. Miller gives them a chance to win now. He is a big games goalie and shines in the spotlight. He will get his chance to shine in a Cup run. Ott brings some nice grit and leadership that will serve the team well down the stretch.

For Buffalo netting the goaltender of the future in Halak along with very serviceable winger Stewart and the two high picks will set them up down the road. They potentially now have three first round picks in what is expected to be one of the deeper drafts in years. It has been an ugly few years in Buffalo but this deal may have opened up some light at the end of the tunnel. 

Win-win, everybody likes that. Expect for fun to follow. Buffalo is in full sell mode now. There are likely several more pieces on the move.


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