Published January 08, 2015
Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Miller's long tenure with the Buffalo Sabres has come to an abrupt end, as the former Vezina Trophy recipient has been dealt to the St. Louis Blues as part of a blockbuster five-player trade.
In addition to Miller, Buffalo's franchise leader in wins, the Sabres sent captain Steve Ott to the Blues. St. Louis parted ways with starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart and prospect William Carrier.
The Sabres also obtained a pair of draft choices in the swap, St. Louis' first-rounder in 2015 and a conditional third-round selection in 2016.
Miller and Ott, both unrestricted free agents at season's end, were both scratched from the lineup moments prior to Friday's game with San Jose. The pair are scheduled to join the Blues in Phoenix for the team's matchup with the Coyotes on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Miller, a two-time All-Star who was named the NHL's top goaltender for the 2009-10 campaign, has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for the Sabres, whose 42 points rank last in the league. The Michigan native has posted a 2.72 goals against average in 40 games, while his .923 save percentage is 10th-best among netminders.
Miller broke into the NHL with the Sabres in 2002 and has served as the club's No. 1 goaltender since the 2005-06 season. His 284 wins are the most in team history, and he owns a 2.60 GAA, .916 save percentage and 28 shutouts over 540 career games.
The veteran's best season came in 2009-10, when Miller compiled a 41-18-8 record, 2.22 GAA and five shutouts to lead Buffalo to a Northeast Division title and take home the Vezina Trophy. That same year, he backstopped the United States to a silver medal-finish in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Halak is also in the final year of his contract, as well as a capable goaltender in his own right. The Slovakia native compiled a 1.97 goals against average in 2011-12 and amassed a 24-9-4 record with a .917 save percentage and four shutouts in 40 games this season.
Over eight NHL seasons, Halak has produced a 139-81-26 record with a 2.38 GAA, .917 save percentage and 29 shutouts. The 28-year-old had been with the Blues since 2010 after spending his first four seasons with the Montreal Canadiens.
Stewart, a six-year veteran, has scored 28 goals in a season on two occasions, once with Colorado in 2009-10 and again the following year, when he was traded from the Avalanche to the Blues midway through the schedule. The 26-year-old wing had 18 in 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign and recorded 15 goals and 11 assists while tallying a career-high 112 penalty minutes through 58 outings this season.
In 377 career games with Colorado and St. Louis, Stewart has notched 115 goals and 113 assists.
Ott brings the Blues veteran leadership and gritty play, as the 31-year-old has amassed 135 penalty minutes or more in seven of his 11 NHL seasons. His 1,318 career PIM's are the eighth-most among active players.
The feisty center owns 103 goals and 161 assists in 673 all-time regular- season games, netting a high of 22 markers while with Dallas in 2009-10. Ott has registered nine goals and 20 points in 59 games this season.
Carrier, 19, was a second-round selection by St. Louis in the 2013 NHL Draft and has split time between Drummondville and Cape Breton in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season.