Anaheim Ducks:

Ryan Miller Trade Rumors Quashed?

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Well it wouldn’t be a week without some Ryan Miller trade speculation. Earlier this week there was some smoke, even if there might not be a fire, with some nuggets going around the Web that Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks is being held as trade bait.

That was tied to Miller supposedly saying he’d be willing to be traded. Then some Ducks scouts were at the most recent Sabres game versus the Islanders. Rumors swirled connecting him with his LA-based actress wife Noureen DeWulf and that he might be looking to pull a Gretzky and head to Cali. (Hey, at least then his attitude would match his city! I’m just sayin’. And you can get away with saying anything if you add “I’m just saying” after it.)

Nureen Dewulf With Ryan Miller 199x300 Ryan Miller Trade Rumors Quashed?

Here's the happy couple. She starred in the hit movie, "The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It", but I'm sure you knew that.

Well, first of all, Phil at Black & Blue & Gold says there’s nothing to get excited about with the Ducks scouts.  Apparently, it’s pretty routine for scouts to check out other teams and it was mostly likely coincidence.

Pierre LeBrun at ESPN has since contacted Ryan Miller who cleared things up.  He texted Pierre:

“I am proud of being a Sabre for all we have accomplished, and I am excited about the new chapter Terry and Kim Pegula have inspired. I am working hard to get healthy and build my game back to where I want it so I can start to contribute to an effort to build a championship team.”

At least Miller is texting the right things, even if he doesn’t say similar things in post-game interviews.

Miller’s $6,250,000 salary and cap hit would be a huge problem in moving him, even if the Sabres wanted to. The offseason market for goalies wasn’t even that great so perhaps the demand just isn’t there.

On top of that, Bruce Boudreau got hired by the Ducks as their new coach. This might kill the rumored strategy that the Ducks had before hiring him of shopping guys around. Or it might strengthen those rumors. This makes my head hurt and is why it’s probably fruitless to speculate on this sort of thing.

But hey, we’re fans, that’s what we do, right? And I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, but the Sabres have a young guy in Enroth who’s been very solid with Miller out. Jhonas Enroth and Drew McIntyre could do just as well as Miller has this year. Miller could now be labeled “injury-prone” or at least have ongoing concussion symptoms. He didn’t even look at top form most of this year. If we can move him now we can get close to full value for him. That and he’s kind of a jerk in interviews and doesn’t fit the attitude of the city.

Now, I really don’t feel that way, at least mostly. A tiny sliver of me believes that we would be ok without Miller. For the most part though I think we need him and it would be absolutely ludicrous to trade him at this point.

Good thing it looks like there’s nothing at all to these trade rumors. Right?

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Sabres European Trip Bodes Well For the Season

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A new day is upon us. Apple’s driving force has passed on, the Bills are good, and the Sabres are big spenders in free agency. Change is the only constant, but change be a good thing.

Tomorrow is the day that Sabres fans start to see if all the offseason work and hype will translate into real success on the ice. So far, the preseason offers optimistic portents.

The Sabres preseason record (against NHL teams) stands at 4-1-1, with the loss to the Bluejackets being the 3rd game played in as many days. The Sabres also had another win against the Adler Mannheim (or Mannheim Eagles), allowing sports writers covering the Sabres to giddily use some version of “Mannheim Steamroller” in a headline.

John Vogl of The Buffalo News was one to not take advantage of such an easy title, instead going for “Sabres make them shout in Mannheim“.  In his writeup he talks about how raucous the crowd was: they started dumming, chanting and singing just minutes into the pregame warmup. Jochen Hecht, a former Mannheim Steamroller, er Adler, led the crowd in a cheer. And, showing their class later in the game, the fans cheered “Let’s go, Buffalo!”.

Amazing, and perhaps we Sabres fans can take a few plays from their playbook.  Are drums or vuvuzelas allowed in the First Niagara Center?

Not everything has gone perfectly in this European trip though. A group of die-hard Sabres fans got stuck in an airport (Philly, of all places). They missed a practice, a meet and greet with the players and a luncheon. Ouch.

That aside, it’s been a very successful Eurotrip for the Sabres and hopefully they can cap it off with a win in the first game that matters against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks tomorrow. For those of you taking the day (or part of the day) off to enjoy the 1:00PM start, enjoy! For everyone else that has to work, hopefully you don’t hear the score before you get to your DVR or NHL Gamecenter.

Go Sabres!

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