Report: Trading Ryan Miller is "first option" for Sabres
It might seem like "no duh" idea, but there's an important distinction to be made here that harkens back to one of the organization's darkest days.
It's not breaking news that the Buffalo Sabres are looking to trade Ryan Miller. Heck, we've been hearing that story for the past two trade deadlines, summers, and just about every month in between.
Still, it's certainly interesting to note that a report from John Wawrow of The Associated Press today revealed that trading Miller is new GM Tim Murray's first option, according to a source from inside the organization. Here's the exact text:
A person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press that general manager Tim Murray continues to pursue offers for Miller with the intention of trading him by next week.
''Tim is testing the waters as hard as he can,'' the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Murray declined to speak to reporters Monday.
The person said the team's first option is trading Miller, who is in the final year of his contract and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. Option No. 2, the person added, would be making a bid to re-sign Miller if a trade can't be completed.
As we stated at the top, this isn't exactly breaking news around here. But what is important to note is this: so far, all we've heard from both sides has been the usual "testing the waters" story - we'll talk with him, I want to know where the team is going, etc. The usual stuff. The politically correct stuff.
This report, however, is the first evidence we have that a decision has been made - we're trading Miller - and no matter how you feel about that decision, the fact that Murray has made it so quickly and decisively after gathering the relevant information is a good thing.
As a general manager, you can't afford to be wishy-washy. Too many dollars are in play, and too many egos are at stake to hem and haw for too long over any big move. Remember what happened in 2007 when the former GM took too long to decide which free-agent-to-be he wanted to put his dollars behind? By the time he realized he'd made a mistake, the Sabres two best players were gone and the organization is still feeling the effects.
So far, it seems Murray is backing up his introductory words with the appropriate actions:
"I'm not afraid to make hard decisions," Murray told USA TODAY Sports. "I'm not afraid to make mistakes, although I don't want to make a lot of mistakes. I'm not afraid to be decisive."
This decision is a good first step. Now let's see where the second one goes.