The Buffalo Sabres ended months of speculation Friday by trading former Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller and agitating forward Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues for three players and two draft picks.
Goalie Jaroslav Halak and forward Chris Stewart are the main pieces headed to Buffalo. Prospect William Carrier, a second-round draft pick of the Blues in 2013, plus a first-round pick in 2015 and a third-rounder in 2016 are also part of the package going to the Sabres.
The deal, just days before the March 5 NHL trade deadline, puts a halt to speculation about Miller’s future with the Sabres that has been going on since the start of the season. The 33-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
“I’m very excited to have a new adventure,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to see what they can do here (in Buffalo). I thought I’d be more concise with my speaking but I’m just jumping around.”
Miller is 15-22-3 in 40 games this season, with a .923 save percentage and 2.72 goals-against average. The U.S. Olympian is a two-time all-star and winner of the Vezina as the league’s top goalie in 2010.
Ott, an 11-year veteran who wore the C for the Sabres, has nine goals and 11 assists in 59 games this season. He was acquired by the Sabres in 2012 for forward Derek Roy.
“It was a big honour to be the captain of this team,” Ott said. “Obviously I’m really excited to have this opportunity with St. Louis. My biggest dream as a hockey player is to just have a chance at the Stanley Cup.”
Through 40 games with the Blues this season, the 28-year-old Halak is 24-9-4 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.23 goals-against average. Stewart, a former first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche who has been with the Blues for four seasons, has 15 goals and 11 assists in 58 games.