The Ryan Miller to St. Louis trade rumors have persisted for the better part of two years. As the Buffalo Sabres work through their rebuild, all signs have pointed to the team trading away their goaltender. Though other teams have been linked, the rumors almost always seem to come back to the St. Louis Blues.
While it's important to remember that these rumors are pure speculation, we can still analyze if a potential trade would even be possible given the team's current financial situation.
Let's first start with this excerpt from an article seen over on SI.com:
"No matter how well Jaroslav Halak has played for St. Louis (and to be fair, he was great on Thursday night in Boston), there’s a sense that he’s more like long relief than the closer. Ryan Miller, arguably the best goalie in the league this year, might be the guy who can get the Blues over the hump.
Now you have to think the Sabres have made/will make an effort to convince Miller to stick around now that there’s new management in place. If that fails–and assume it will because it’s hard to imagine him wanting to stick around for a rebuild at his age (33)–the Blues make some sense.
St. Louis does have a couple of intriguing prospects in Dmitrij Jaskin and Ty Rattie, and one of them could be key to getting a deal done. The trick for the Blues will be the cap. St. Louis is only $396,859 under the ceiling. Miller’s hit is $6.25 million, so even if the Blues included Halak and his expiring $3.75 million hit, they still wouldn’t have enough room. That means the Sabres would have to be willing to eat some money as they did in the deal that sent Thomas Vanek to the Islanders last month, and for the right prospect/package, they might."
That's a pretty accurate summary. The Blues have the pieces to get a trade done, but the financial aspect is a pretty big issue. As mentioned above, either the Blues would have to send a piece the other way who carries a decently large cap hit or the Sabres would have to eat some salary. Neither option is very appealing. The Sabres want to find the biggest bang for their buck and the Blues won't want to deal away any significant parts.
The Blues are enjoying some outstanding goaltending so far in 2013-14. Despite all of the success between the pipes, some big decisions need to be made. Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott are in the final year of their current contract. Will both men return? There's almost a zero percent chance of that happening considering Jake Allen is waiting in the AHL. At least one goalie is on his way out. Perhaps more than one.
Miller has played well in 2013-14 and is usually labeled as one of the best goaltenders in the league. The team he is playing for is horrible, yet he's still doing a solid job in net all things considered. He'd be an outstanding addition, but the Blues need to tread cautiously. Given Halak's success this year and Elliott's steady play, would it really make sense to trade away the club's best prospect(s)?
In my opinion, I'd sit on my hands. Halak and Elliott have been strong in net. Don't mess with a good thing. The Blues have been one of the best teams in the NHL and it seems like an unnecessary risk to make a drastic change at this stage. Wait and see how things develop. If a major injury or a slump emerges, then this trade would make a lot more sense. Injuries have limited Halak in the playoffs, so it might be a bit unfair to remove him if he maintains his current rate of success.
Don't risk the franchise's future for a fix the team may not even need. If you really, really want Miller, go out and get him over the summer.
Keep an eye on these rumors. Usually the Blues make a trade no one sees coming, but this is a rumor which just won't go away.
I'm not keen on this trade talk. I think that Halak and Elliot have proven that they can go head to head with some great goalies on the opposite end of the ice. I certainly think that they haven't been solid enough through these games that we've started poorly and gone down by several goals very early in the games. Not a lot of goals going in have been clearly the goalie's fault, but I think if they could come up with some big saves to keep these games from getting out of hand, and to kind of give the team a bit of a lift when they're not starting like they should, it would be promising.
I certainly don't like the new talk of trading possible Oshie for Miller. Miller is a great goalie but he's what, 5 years older than Oshie and while he doesn't have a great team around him right now to make him look as good as he is, there's really no telling what moving a guy on our top line off of the team completely, when we're kind of struggling with our identity, would do to the team. Not when other guys like Berglund and Stewart are not playing the way we all hoped they would.
We need time to see how this plays out. I see all this about how goalkeeping was the problem but I thought that against the Kings last season, Elliot really had a great series. It wasn't our goalie that lost it but Quick that won it. Or maybe our inability to score when we should have against him that ultimately won the Kings the series. The one game we had them on the ropes and went up 2-0 early, we were so surprised that we'd just done that, and didn't even know how to respond!
I'd love to see more fan support. As a Blues fan planted in Louisiana, I've yet to see them play in person which is a damn shame considering my sister has 2 tickets to every home game :(
This article is ridiculous. You trade players when they have high value and are playing well, not during a slump or injury. Army had proved he is way too smart for that. Maybe "the trade no one sees coming" is the trade only long time fans see coming. In reality, this trade will never happen. Ownership has spent some serious money and they got a damn good team, but the fans have shown we don't have their back. A quarter of the way through the season and we have yet to have a sellout. Tom Stillman and company won't put any more of their money into a shaky investment. The rams got a sellout before the blues...the fucking rams. Let that one soak in for a while.
I can't help but agree here. I don't see the Blues doing this during the season so long as Halak and Elliott are both healthy and playing well. There's no real reason to tempt fate (and prospect depth) as long as they do, and, to reiterate on what you already said, it's entirely possible that Miller could be had over the summer, if the eventual outcome of the season and post-season warrant a move in that direction.
Personally, I've been more than a bit suspect of folks who want one or the other of the Blues current goalies gone. Certainly, neither of them played up to the league's elite level last season, due to a combination of injury and the team neglecting their defensive responsibilities. While I'd say it particularly about Halak, I think it's pretty safe to say that, given the choice, most folks who had to choose would put either of the Blues goalies in with this team from the past three years and generally expect good results, no matter who the opponent was. Not saying that they're Lundqvist, or Quick or Rinne pre-injury, but they've clearly been more than good enough to carry the load. (See also: Second in the league two years ago and won the Jennings, first in the league in points percentage and third overall so far this year, while sporting a franchise-best start to the season.)
@IanRagsdale Great comment! Now you just need to correct the whole "never seen them play in person" thing, and you'll be set.
@LGB42 I'm not sure you read the article. No where is a trade advocated for. Simply, the rumor is discussed. The Blues can not spend more due to their cap situation, so the investment would remain the same.