If you are Ryan Miller you got what you wanted, a shot at the Stanley Cup, but things fell apart.? Miller is among the top Free Agents in the NHL, but after a disappointing Playoff’s one question looms; what’s next?
Miller has the ability to keep your team in the game, but some say he is not the kind of goaltender that will steal you games. I won’t get into that too much, but this season he was trade to the best team he has played on in years, and it wasn’t enough. He posted an average GAA (2.70) and an abysmal SV% (.887). Miller faced 185 shots allowing 19 goals. I know a player cannot be judged by numbers alone, and Miller is not to blame for an epic collapse. The Blues were only able to score 14 goals.
If you are Miller, do you look to resign with the Blues, or is testing the open market what’s best? It has been longed rumored that Miller would love to get as far west as possible, leaving his options fairly limited. The market for goaltenders is still thin, and the asking price for Miller is sure to be fairly high. A lot of what happens in the upcoming months is all up to Ryan.
One possibility I’ve discussed with M G Bombay (@OutsideCrease) is that the Anaheim Ducks attempt to sign Miller to a short-term deal say 2-3 years. That would bring Miller very close to his wife, who is in Los Angeles. It would also allow the Ducks to take some time and evaluate their depth at the position. However the Ducks have a small log jam in net. They do have John Gibson waiting in the wings, and Jonas Hiller will be a UFA at the end of this season. Frederik Andersen is under contract for one more year.
I believe Anaheim would be able to move Gibson, or Anderson if need be, but I do not think Miller is going be open to a bridge contract. I think he is looking for a place to call home for the rest of his career. If Miller is dead set on staying out west his choices will be limited, and at 33 -years-old it seems clear that Miller does not want to be part of a rebuild.
There are only two or three teams I can see making a run a Miller. I could see the Minnesota Wild trying to trade Ilya Bryzgalov, and bring Miller in. The Wild were rumored to be one of the teams attempting to trade for Miller at the deadline, but t hey may have some cap trouble. If Miller is willing to go home and play in the east again, the Detroit Red Wings are an interesting thought, but they have Jonas Gustavsson and Jimmy Howard. “Monster” is going to be a UFA, and Howard is under contract until 2018-2019. The Red Wings would have a lot of moving parts.
It looks like Miller needs to find a way to stay in STL. It offers him a strong look at the Stanley Cup for the next few years, and he seems comfortable there. It’s too bad really, timing is very important in the free agents market, and timing is not great for Miller.