Ryan Miller

Miller sees opportunity for Sabres to ‘reset’ as organization


In the wake of today’s massive upheaval in Buffalo, one of the team’s most important players saw an opportunity arise.

“Hopefully this is a chance for the Sabres as an organization to kind of reset,” goalie Ryan Miller told the team website. “We have plenty of hockey left.”

Miller, who has easily been Buffalo’s best player this season, now finds himself in curious spot. With all indications suggesting he won’t re-sign with the Sabres, speculation suggest he’ll be made available via trade — but trade scenarios got cloudier after GM Darcy Regier was let go and no immediate successor was named.

Pat LaFontaine, the new president of hockey operations, said the search for a new GM is already underway and that he’s got a shortlist of candidates. At this point, it seems highly unlikely that any hire would compel Miller to stay in Buffalo… meaning the immediate topic of interest is how he’ll mesh with new head coach Ted Nolan.

Assuming the Sabres won’t make the playoffs — a safe one, to be sure — handling Miller will come down to a few things: Olympic preparation, showcasing for a possible trade and weighing the development of Jhonas Enroth.

Miller has played well enough to challenge for Team USA’s No. 1 gig in Sochi and, depending on the severity of Jonathan Quick’s injury, could end up being the clear-cut starter.

Showcasing Miller probably won’t be a major issue. Miller’s a known commodity throughout the league and this year’s bounce-back effort from an average ’13 season has raised his stock. The only time it might come up is closer to the deadline, or if he needs to play his way out of prolonged slump.

The Enroth situation will be interesting. He has one year left on his deal and, assuming Miller won’t be back, has a good shot of heading into 2014-15 as Buffalo’s No. 1. It sounds as though prospect Matt Hackett is still a bit away from challenging for an NHL starting gig, so it is possible the Sabres will look to play Enroth more as the season progresses.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.