All the suspicions and questions ever had about the Sabres being more of a "friends and family" network rather than a competitive hockey team were all but answered last night. Upon reading Ryan Miller's comments in John Vogl's new article, I don't see how anyone could think differently.
"It was a pretty tough day," Miller said Tuesday. "I'm not going to lie. I'm not real happy about the way it all turned out, but that's the business of hockey."
"We don't make those decisions. That's more proof because if I had any more influence, Paul would still be here."
These comments alone provide enough evidence for me to believe the Sabres' core has grown too comfortable and is in desperate need of a shake-up. Obviously some of these guys were more worried about their own friendships than winning hockey games -- not too hard to see with only a glance at their current record.
Now, what Miller said during this interview wasn't too far from Jason Pominville's comments when he said, "It was a little bit of a tough day but we can all understand the circumstances." It was the way he said it and underlying criticism that stood out.
Everyone has a right to express his own opinions, but Miller overstepped his boundaries with some of his yesterday (emphasis mine).
"No matter the way you view hockey, you have to understand how important players like Paul can be and how long it takes to develop a guy that plays that way at such a high level. Winning those faceoffs is not easy. Killing those penalties is not easy. Not a lot of guys are willing to do that job every night, and he was."
Not only did Miller slap Darcy Regier in the face with the first comments I posted, but the comment directly above gives an indication of how he views the rest of the team as well. Comments proving that Miller is just as selfish (perhaps more so) and bullheaded as many have accused him of being over the years.
It kind of makes you think Trevor was right when he alluded to Miller's teammates not liking him. If they did, they would have done a better job sticking up for him after Lucic emasculated him (remember, one of the guys who failed to defend him that day was his BFF Paul Gaustad). I'm not going to dig deeper into the Miller/Goose friendship because I honestly don't care about their relationship. But let's be real here and get back to the point: If Miller is going to go out in the media with stupid comments like these, what do you think he says to these guys behind closed doors?
Big ups to Trevor for decoding that one way back in November.
As far as Darcy goes, I don't know where he stands on Miller's thoughts. But I'm pretty sure GMs don't like being second guessed by their own players. Even with the amount of doubt we've had surrounding Regier over the years, I understand that he's not going anywhere for a while so I'll just have to hope he does a decent job while he's here. You would think that this thought process would apply even more so to his players.
Which makes me wonder what he'll do with Miller come the off-season. I sometimes think the Sabres have kept Miller around because he brings attention to the city and the team. Outside of one or two really good years he hasn't held up to that standard lately, and his image of "best goalie in the world" has long since faded.
So here's your chance, Darcy. Get rid of him as soon as possible (July 1st) before his attitude and play alike smolder even further. You don't want to put yourself in the same situation you did when you traded Hasek, do you?
At this point, even if Darcy couldn't get much in return for Miller I wouldn't give too much of a shit. I just want his crybaby ego outta here. I'm not saying that Miller is the only reason for the Sabres' failures over the last couple seasons -- just read any post prior to this one -- but his narcissism and narrow-mindedness haven't helped. He doesn't appear to be any different than Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson.
How many championships have those two won?