Goalie market still undefined in slow trade year

Jen Fuller

We're 15 games away from the trade deadline, and there's still no clear suitors for Ryan Miller.

One of the biggest stories heading in to this season was what the Buffalo Sabres would do with the expiring contracts of star players Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller.

Vanek was traded surprisingly early in the year for Matt Moulson and some picks, but the question of what to do with Miller still remains. His play this year has been fantastic, and he's worked his way back in to the discussion to be the Olympic starter for Team USA.

However, despite his impressive play, we haven't heard too many solid rumors about Miller going here or there. And now, ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun sheds some light on on the stagnant trade market around the league.

In his latest Rumblings post, LeBrun gives his thoughts on a possible Miller trade:

It’s whole-heartedly expected that Ryan Miller will be dealt before the March 5 trade deadline, but as of this week, sources close to the situation said there wasn’t a whole lot going on.

Let’s give new Sabres GM Tim Murray some time to get his feet wet and figure out the market place for Miller, who is an unrestricted free agent July 1.

One also suspects that at some point Murray will speak with Miller’s camp led by agent Mike Liut, and that had not happened as of Wednesday evening.

Also, the market needs to better define itself for Miller, who is having an outstanding year, as there’s no real obvious landing spot for him right now.

Before the March 5, either an injury needs to happen to a starter on a contender or a contender has to realize that adding Miller is the kind of upgrade to what they have that could make the difference in winning a championship.

After Edmonton traded for Ben Scrivens and Nashville traded for Devan Dubnyk, the always-small market for goaltenders is growing ever thinner. There are still a few teams in contention that could use an upgrade in net, the trade market in general has been stagnant thanks to the league's odd salary cap situation over the past few years.

With the cap going down this season for the first time in history, and with it expected to rise significantly next offseason, many teams are either unwilling or unable to make significant moves. The Sabres do have the luxury of being able to take on just about any salary they so choose, which could help grease the wheels, and they also have a bevy of first and second round picks over the next two season to help facilitate any type of deal.

We're still not sure exactly how new Sabres GM Tim Murray wants to play this one, and it seems much of the decision rests on whether or not Miller wants to stay in Buffalo. What would you like to see, Sabres fans? Do you think there's any playoff team out there that could use a big upgrade in net a few weeks from now?

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