On Friday, the Sabres traded goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott to the Blues for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first-round pick in 2015 and a third-round draft pick in 2016.
With Miller in his final year of five-year, $31,250,000 million US deal and the Sabres in the basement of the NHL, it was a near certainty that the U.S Olympian was going to be dealt before the March 5th trade deadline.
Miller and Ott are expected to join the Blues in Phoenix as they get set to take on the Coyotes on Sunday at 8 p.m EST. Miller will start on Sunday, while Ott is also expected to make his Blues debut.
Miller was the Vezina trophy winner in 2010 and has gone 15-22-3 with a 2.72 GAA and .923 SV% with Buffalo this season. He has a lifetime 2.60 GAA and .916 SV% in 532 career starts. He moves from one of the worst defences in the NHL, to one of the best, instantly becoming one of the most valuable goalies on the fantasy market.
“I am very excited for an opportunity to have a new adventure,” Miller said. “I have a strong sense that (St. Louis) has a very special team.”
The Blues also get Ott, who was the Sabres captain and played close to 20 minutes a night in Buffalo. He plays a physical, chirpy game that will be a huge asset in a seven-game playoff series. In 59 games with the Sabres, Ott recorded nine goals and 11 assists (20 points).
In return the Sabres get Stewart who has 15 goals and 11 assists (26 points) in 58 games this season. He brings the same physical edge to the Sabres lineup that they lost by trading Ott. However, Stewart has more offensive upside than Ott. Stewart is in his first year of two-year, $8.3 million US ($4.15 million AAV) deal. In addition they get Carrier, 19, who was a second round pick (57th overall) in last year’s draft. He has 17 goals and 39 assists (56 points) in 60 games in the QMJHL. He has 15 points (5G / 10A) in 21 games since being traded to Drummondville from Cape Breton.
The Sabres continue to stockpile draft picks. They received a first and third in this deal and a first and second in the Thomas Vanek trade. They are also looking to move Matt Moulson and pretty much everyone except Zemgus Girgensons which will further add to their increasing list of future assets.