Where are the doves? Miller wants moderate owners to speak up

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Once optimistic that NHL labor peace could be achieved, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is just confused now.

“I can’t make sense of what the owners truly need because they want everything,” Miller texted the Buffalo News on Monday. “That is why it seems like the finish line is moving.”

Miller is a strong candidate to represent the NHLPA in tomorrow’s players-owners meeting in New York. And while he’s not particularly impressed that commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Donald Fehr will be sitting this one out – “they are paid to make a deal” – he’s hopeful it gives less hawkish owners a chance to speak up.

Miller also criticized the NHL’s demands to restrict players’ contract rights (e.g. imposing a five-year maximum length on contracts), arguing it will handcuff the league’s elite general managers.

“I understand that position to the extent you don’t want contracts to cripple a team, but they are really taking away team building as a skill,” he wrote.

The same case was made recently by Dallas forward Ray Whitney.