He’s Just Happy To Be HereJuly 18, 2008
In our continuing attempt to digest the fact that the Sabres signed someone – Ryan Miller – to a pretty significant long term deal, we here at SOTC listened to Miller’s interview with Howard Simon this afternoon.
He’s happy to be a Sabre, and was encouraged to sign with the team when he saw Gaustad get signed to an extension. (I do want to point out that Ryan was practically gushing over Gaustad, pointing out that Goose is growing into quite the player and quite the active guy in the community.) Miller also specifically said that in his heart he wanted to be in Buffalo. He could’ve tried out the free agent market, but what good would that have done anyone? The contract situation would have been a distraction during the season, and he didn’t want to deal with that. (Gee, who the hell does that sound like, Soupy? Then again, I do think that Ryan could have potentially given Soupy a run for his money in the “can’t play hockey and negotiate a contract at the same time” competition.)
He freely recognizes that his contract will give the media something to talk about when he has an off night, but hopes that doesn’t happen too often next season. I did like his point of view about how he learned from Drury and some of the other veterans about how stepping up to give an interview in the locker room does take some of the heat off the other guys. Drury and Briere did it for him, and now he’s stepping up and doing it. He reinforced that in his interviews he’s always honest with the press. Between Miller’s blunt honesty and Pomminville’s earnest enthusiasm, the media should always get a good quote.
He was briefly distracted from the interview when the pizza delivery arrived for the groomsmen’s lunch. (Younger brother Drew is getting married this weekend, and Ryan is the best man.)
He feels comfortable in Buffalo, that he can go to the grocery store, be recognized and yet be left alone to do his thing while shopping. Just speaking from the past experience at seeing a Sabre in the grocery store, I’d be too tongue tied to say much of anything other than “hi” to a Sabre.
Its, dare I say it, refreshing to have some optimism coming out of the media and the players. Last summer, the entire team turned into a bunch of kicked puppies after the co-captains left town. When your coach admits that it took a month for him to get over the loss of them, you know that all was not right with the team. I think the team was so busy trying to justify that they could survive without Briere and Drury that they beat themselves while doing it.
And while I haven’t listed to the full Darcy interview, reading a summary of it gives me a ton of hope. They’ve had productive talks with Teppo(!) and want him back in some capacity. If Teppo comes back, his presence combined with Rivet’s would give the team a very strong veteran presence on the blue line.
All in all, not a bad day, eh?