He Really Wants To Be Here, Volume IIJuly 22, 2008
I honestly think that the Sabres are addicted to press conferences. Today wasn’t so much a “rally the fans after something bad happens and assure them that all is well”, type presser. Instead, we got a happy press conference allowing Ryan Miller to take the stage and explain why he stayed in Buffalo for six more years.
Miller stressed repeatedly that he stayed in Buffalo because the people embraced him, he’s playing with a group of guys that he knows and trusts, and he respects and trusts management and the coaching staff. He also stressed that it wasn’t about the money. If it was, he probably would have gotten the hell out of dodge on July 1, 2009. A guy that’s in it solely for the money, and not the love of the game or winning wouldn’t make a statement like this: I’d trade all the money in the world to be able to bring a Cup to Buffalo with my group of friends and my group of teammates.
That, my friends, is the textbook definition of loyalty. Miller pointed out that he’s spent seven years as a professional, and six of them, he’s played with the same group of guys. Kevin Sylvester mentioned that something like this is roughly the equivalent of graduating college and starting a job working with your college friends. (While that could be great fun, I worked with my college friends when I was in college. It was a miracle we got anything done). I really want these guys to be rewarded for staying together. They’ve come so close in two of the past three seasons. There’s no reason that this year can’t be theirs.
I have to give management a bunch of credit for doing whatever was necessary to keep the core group of Miller, Gaustad, Paille, Vanek and Roy together long-term. It meant that hard decisions needed to be made. We saw the end result of those hard decisions in February when Soupy left town at the trade deadline.
Time out for a second.
Miller’s left eyebrow is cocked higher than his right one. Its bugging the heck out of me because its in the center of my screen.
Addressing the “I’m going to sign with Detroit next season” rumors was probably one of the best things Miller could have done. I did like that he pointed out that he’s only felt real loyalty to two teams: Michigan State and Buffalo. Detroit never entered the equation. Most of us knew that those rumors were complete bull, but it was nice to hear those words out of Miller’s mouth (again). So pbbbbbbt to those members of the media who insisted otherwise.
Miller seems happy and optimistic. Management is the same. Gaustad and Paille were enthusiastic when WGRZ caught up with them at a Camp Good Days event. The fans are enthusiastic and somewhat looking forward to the season. I wish we were dropping the puck today instead of in two months.