Sabres GM Murray, Miller say that trade is best possibility

TSN.ca Staff
2/26/2014 9:25:31 AM
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If Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray had to guess, goaltender Ryan Miller would prefer not to wear the only NHL jersey he's ever played in past the March 5 trade deadline.
Speaking to reporters before the Sabres' first game since the Olympic break on Tuesday, Murray said more than two teams, but "less than 10", have inquired about the goaltender and that Miller probably wouldn't mind a fresh start.
"I don't think signing here is his first choice at his age, where we're at," he said. "We're the 30th-place team."
And although Murray says re-signing Miller is realistic, it's the club's current position at the bottom of the standings that appears to be forcing the rookie GM's hand.

"It's not the route we're looking at right now. The route we're looking at is to get value for him," he said.

After a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in which Miller made 36 saves and had two assists, the goaltender didn't disagree with anything his general manager said.

"The things that they're going to have to do are probably going to come during the trade deadline, and maybe I'm one of them," he said. "I don't want to close anything off right now, but I know they're kind of looking around for opportunity. I think that's probably best for everybody."

The 33-year-old was selected by the Sabres in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. He has been the team's starter for the last nine seasons.

Miller is the Sabres' all-time leader among goaltenders in games played (540), wins (284) and trails only Dominik Hasek in shutouts (28).

His tenure and accomplishments in Buffalo are not lost on Murray when he fields calls from other GMs.

"Players that treat you right and have played hard for you over the years, you try to do what's best for them too, as long as it fits into what you're doing," he said.

"And by trading Ryan to a contender, a good team that maybe is lacking only his position, I think that we've certainly not done a disservice to him and we've helped the organization in our own right. Our goal, I think from both sides, is to pursue a proper trade."

A proper trade, according to Murray in "a perfect world" would give the Sabres young players a few years into their development. Murray says he doesn't necessarily want to start from scratch with draft picks, but that he will if need be.

"I don't think teams are going to bend over backwards to make life easier for us, so it's going to be the determination to be made on what the best deal is offered and if it's draft picks, it's draft picks and we'll turn them into assets and players," he said.

Another Sabre that Murray says is attracting a fair bit of attention is captain Steve Ott. Both Miller and Ott are impending unrestricted free agents.

Once again, Buffalo's dismal record has handcuffed Murray into making a decision on a player he feels could help any team.

"The way (Ott) plays the game, the way he conducts himself, that's not the type of player that I want to trade away, that's the type of players I want to bring in, he said. "It's the type of player we've been trying to bring into the teams I've been with and we're not a playoff team so that changes the dynamic, obviously."

Murray also confirmed he's had talks with interim head coach Ted Nolan about a contract extension.
"We're along that path," Murray said.
Nolan took over behind the bench in place of Ron Rolston last November.

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