With NHL training camps scheduled to start in the coming weeks, it's relatively safe to assume that Ryan Miller will start the 2013-14 season as the Buffalo Sabres starting goaltender. Despite manager Darcy Regier's public admissions about a rebuild and Miller's decision to sell his Buffalo-area town home, the Olympic-hopeful will likely be auditioning for USA Hockey while wearing Buffalo Blue.
Many have speculated that Miller is a piece on the move, because the 33-year-old goaltender has one-year remaining on his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. With backup Jhonas Enroth, 25, earning substantially less than Miller's $6.25 million annual average salary ($2.5 million over two years, according to CapGeek), it makes sense to fully embrace the youth movement in Buffalo by attempting to cash in on Miller.
In addition, Miller might not be interested in hanging around for a complete rebuild, one that might significantly diminish his chances of competing for a Stanley Cup.
Regardless of the rationale, the only component Miller is concerned about regarding his future is that it doesn't turn into a public circus. In speaking with Corey Masisak of NHL.com, Miller explained that he hopes to avoid the situation that occurred in Vancouver all of last season, via NHL.com:
"It seemed to be one of the more talked-about stories," Miller told NHL.com at the U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp. "It was interesting that it played out so publicly though. I thought it was an unfortunate distraction for everybody. I don't think it should ever really play out like that. I thought they both handled themselves well, and I thought it was an unfortunate situation that they were kind of cast into.
"Hopefully any of my seasons wherever I'm at don't turn into something like that. You're there to do a job, but it is a business. If you're going to get traded, hopefully it is just ... you're traded. It is not like a huge buildup or a huge debate or anything. Hopefully it is a little more cut and dried than that."
Despite all the speculation saying otherwise, Miller also stated that he is open to staying in Buffalo.
Considering the amount of goaltending jobs available, Miller might be limited in his selection as a free agent. While the two sides have had preliminary discussions regarding a contract extension, nothing substantial has occurred.