Buffalo Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan spoke to the Buffalo News Wednesday and said he believes they should build their team around goaltender Ryan Miller, who is set to become an unrestricted free agency this summer.
"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," Nolan told 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."
Though Nolan said he does not discuss contracts with players. He did however mention he had spoken with President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine about creating a culture that draws in the best players.
"I talked to Pat about this and I said the one thing we want to do is create an environment where people want to come here and stay here," Nolan said. "Hopefully he likes what we're doing. You never know."
After the New York Rangers recent signing of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Miller, Jaroslav Halak (Blues) and Jonas Hiller (Ducks) are the remaining top unrestricted free agent goaltenders.
Nolan seems confident in the netminder.
"You look at all the top guys, our top guy Ryan Miller, he's consistent all the time," Nolan said. "That's why Lundqvist gets a big contract. There are those guys and there's the rest of us."