|2012 - Ryan Miller||40||2302||17||17||108||2.81||1270||1162||.915||0|
Contract: $6.25 million cap hit in 2013-2014. Currently scheduled to be an Unrestricted Free Agent after next season.
Report Card for 2012: 6.21 out of 10
Introduction: You know the story by now. Ryan Miller is entering the last year of his contract, and as the (unofficial) rebuild of this franchise continues, there is a prevailing sentiment that his career as a Buffalo Sabre could be coming to an end sooner than later. Miller has found himself a polarizing figure during his tenure. You either love him for his consistency and candidly honest comments in the media, or you consider him overrated and imagine other ways in which that $6.25 million could be spread around the roster. He's the unquestionable face of this franchise, and has been since the departure of Briere/Drury.
Perhaps Miller won't truly be appreciated for his time here in Buffalo until he's gone. He surpassed Sabres (and NHL) legend Dominik Hasek this year in both wins and games played in Buffalo. The season finale marked his 500th game suiting up in the blue and gold (ahem, or red and black). But now is not the time for a Ryan Miller retrospective. Perhaps that time won't be for a number of years still. Who knows. This is simply a look at Miller's 2012-2013 campaign.
Key Stat: 2.81 GAA. This marked the highest goals against average of Miller's career since becoming a full time starter in 2005-2006. View it as a small blip on the radar if you'd like, but it's the first time he's been over the 2.60 mark since 2007-2008. And although it was a shortened season, Miller finished the year with zero shutouts for the first time in his career.
Thumbs Up: Miller's numbers were down across the board, but his .915 save percentage was almost identical to his last two seasons which both saw a .916 percentage in each. He's been very consistent, which shouldn't be overlooked, especially considering he faced more shots than any other goalie in the NHL this year.
Miller also set several Sabres franchise records this year, including games played and saves made, passing the great Dominik Hasek in both categories.
Thumbs Down: During a horrific game against the Rangers in April, Miller let in three goals as the first period was winding down, and found himself getting razzed by the fans. Miller responded by sarcastically waving to the crowd, which drew comparisons to Patrick Roy's final appearance for the Montreal Canadiens. Roy of course went on to win two Cups in Colorado, which Miller referenced in his post game interview when the media brought up the comparison. I think the comments were blown a bit out of proportion, but it sure would sting if Miller is moved this offseason and has this be one of the last memorable moments of his Buffalo career.
This feels strangely brief considering the circumstances in front of Miller in the coming year, but to be honest, his season was just sort of......meh.
Voting: Using the good old grade system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season, C an average season, and F a very poor season, grade Ryan Miller on his performance this season compared to the expectations you had for him.