Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ryan Miller Press Conference

The Sabres held a press conference today to "announce" the extension of Miller and to answer questions from the press essentially. During those questions, Miller came out with this quote:

"I chose Buffalo. It is a bit of a buy-in. I buy into what they're about," he said. "That's winning hockey games based on caring about the players and individuals. I have a great relationship with everyone in this organization. It made a lot of sense to stay here. I have great friends and teammates. I trust my coaches, I trust my management and that's not a situation you can always step into, especially with free agency."

This quote signifies everything that the Sabres have been working towards in the last few years and everything that signifies this team. Ryan Miller is the face of the Sabres. He will be until kingdom come or until he decides to hang up the skates. It is a refreshing thought that a player actually wants to stay in Buffalo and play with the group of players that are here. This makes the most sense because most of these guys have groomed their play in Rochester together and have grown together in Buffalo. So it makes sense that they would want to play together and win a Cup together.

Most people in Buffalo didn't see this though, including myself. We thought that the team could grow and be as big as they were in 2005 and 2006 with the inclusion of Briere and Drury. We were obviously wrong. With the core group of players now: Vanek, Miller, Pominville, Gaustad, and Paille, these guys are going to react from comments and other play better than they probably would have with Briere and Drury as the captains. It would not shock me if Pominville was the permanent captain of the team heading into training camp and the rotational captain finally ending.

This team will play better than the team that we saw last year. They will be a playoff team because they have grown and learned together enough to know how each other plays and can adjust to the play of each other. The grooming in Rochester and the grooming here have prepared this group to play to their potential.

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