BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An emotional Ryan Miller said goodbye to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night while embracing the challenge ahead of him with the St. Louis Blues.
The Sabres traded their star goaltender and captain Steve Ott to the Blues for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forwards Chris Stewart and William Carrier, a 2015 first-round draft pick and a conditional draft pick.
"I'm just very emotional right now," Miller said. "I think it's been 12 years with this organization and I'm very excited for an opportunity to have a new adventure, a new opportunity. I have a strong sense that they have a very special team."
Miller, 33, has been the face of the Sabres' franchise for the past decade. A two-time All-Star, the 12-year veteran has a career record of 284-186-57 with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2010 as the NHL's top goaltender.
"This is where I grew up and where I've had a lot of moments in my life, and things obviously are forever going to be tied to this part of the world," Miller said. "I hope to continue that relationship as best I can moving forward."
The trade further establishes the Blues as a Stanley Cup contender. St. Louis is tied with Chicago for the Central Division lead with 84 points and has three games in hand on the Blackhawks.
Ott, 31, is an 11-year veteran who joined the Sabres in 2012. He has 264 points (103 goals, 161 assists) in 673 career games.
Both Miller and Ott are in the last year of their contracts, making trades inevitable for the last-place Sabres. The Sabres are 30th in the NHL with 44 points (18-34-8).
"We've kind of been prepared for this," Ott said. "To have that opportunity to go along with Ryan for myself personally, I know how great he is and both of us want to live up to expectations, and I know we're both focused to do so."
Both players were late scratches for Buffalo's game on Friday night against the San Jose Sharks. The trade was announced shortly after 7 p.m.
The Sabres received a starting goaltender in return in Halak. The 28-year-old has a 139-81-26 record with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in eight NHL seasons. He has acquired by St. Louis from the Montreal Canadiens after the 2009-10 season.
Stewart, 26, has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Blues. A first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2006, Stewart has 228 points (115 goals, 113 assists) in 377 career games.
Carrier, 19, was drafted 57th overall in 2013 by the Blues.
This was the first trade for Sabres general manager Tim Murray since taking over for Darcy Regier in January.
"There's lots of future in it," Murray said. "And the 2015 first-round (pick) we believe is a strong pick. We have a starting goalie coming back in Halak, who has been I believe pretty well thought of in his career. We have a power forward coming back who is not old, who has term left, who in the past has put up goals. Plays a physical game, a gritty game, can fight. ... So a couple high picks, a couple players that can play for us right now and can help us."
The conditional pick can become a 2014 first-round pick if Miller re-signs with the Blues or if the Blues make the Western Conference Finals, the Sabres said
By Mark Ludwiczak, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: February 28, 2014 07:40:58 PM
Sabres deal Miller, Ott to Blues
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