What we can expect from the former Sabres star
By Michael Sopow, Sports Reporter
On July 1, goalie Ryan Miller signed a three-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks. Following 11 years with the Buffalo Sabres and a brief stint with the St. Louis Blues, Miller has come to the Canucks on a contract worth approximately $18-million.
Miller has taken over from previous Canucks goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, who were both controversially traded by former general manager Mike Gillis.
“It’s a new start for me, but it’s a continuation of my career,” Miller told the Canadian Press in a September 20 article. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I want to work to continue to do things that make me proud. Getting back to the playoffs and challenging and pushing and ultimately winning the Stanley Cup is my goal. I want do that before I say it’s a career.”
Miller will bring the experience of a veteran NHL goaltender to the team, as Miller has played in 53 playoff games in his career thus far. The trade has given previous starter Eddie Lack a chance for growth, as many felt his immediate replacement of Luongo would, for a time, be detrimental to the team.
“It is surprising if you go back in time, but with the way things played out and the environment of the NHL, things change quite a bit, sometimes quickly,” said Miller in the same interview. “I’ve never been on a team where something hasn’t changed.”
Although we’re barely into the 2014/15 NHL season, Miller has already demonstrated his goaltending abilities, in posting a perfect season so far, including a shootout win. Shootout reliability is something the Canucks aren’t necessarily used to, but the skill is definitely welcomed for the coming season.
Back in July, Jordan Heath-Rawlings, deputy editor at Sportsnet.ca wrote, “Miller’s been a difference maker many times in his career, both for the Buffalo Sabres and for the US Olympic team. He’s capable of stealing games when he’s on and is accustomed to facing a high volume of shots while remaining remarkably consistent.”
The Canucks’ latest game ended in a 2-0 win; what can be said of this result is that Miller is a welcome addition whose skill is invaluable.