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St. Louis Blues Trade For Ryan Miller, Steve Ott in Blockbuster Deal

by Photo of Gil Santos

St. Louis Blues acquire Ryan Miller and Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres.

St. Louis Blues Trade For Ryan Miller, Steve Ott in Blockbuster Deal

Editor's Note: Miller won his first game last night with his new team, a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Miller stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced. - Ross

The St. Louis Blues are going for it all this year. They pulled off a blockbuster deal with the Buffalo Sabres for goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott. In return, the Sabres receive goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forwards Chris Stewart and William Carrier, a first round pick in 2015 and a third round pick in 2016.

Before the deal, the Blues were stacked both offensively and defensively, but their main weakness was goaltending. Miller has been seeking a trade to a contender for the past two seasons. and the move is a great fit for Miller and the Blues. With the addition of the 2010 Vezina Trophy winner, he could be the final piece of the puzzle for the Blues' run at their first Stanley Cup. For Miller, he is now in a great situation to also win his first Cup.  

For the season, Miller owns a 15-22-3 record with a 2.72 goals against average and .923 save percentage. While his GAA is mediocre, his save percentage is exceptional given the circumstances in Buffalo. The Sabres are the worst team in the NHL with a 17-34-8 record, giving up the third most shots and scoring the least goals in the league, relying heavily on Miller to be nearly perfect to win games. In St. Louis, Miller doesn't have to be perfect as he now has a top notch defense in front of him and an offense that will give him plenty of goal support. 

The Blues also add a great high-energy guy and a former captain in Steve Ott. He won't light up the scoresheet as he has 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) in 59 games played, but he plays hard on every shift and is a great agitator who can throw other players off their game. His leadership should also be a valuable asset in the playoffs. 

It looks like Sabres' general manager Tim Murray's subtle attempt to intensify trade talks for Miller worked. Just three days after Murray admitted it was best for both parties to seek a trade, he got the job done. Despite losing their franchise goaltender and yet another captain, the Sabres received a decent haul for their pending free agents. Halak gives them a decent stop gap in net. He posted average numbers in St. Louis 2.23 GAA and .917 save percentage in 40 games started. With a strong Blues' team in front of him, Halak boasts a 24-9-4 record. 

Stewart can serve as another trade piece to add more young players and/or draft picks. The 26-year-old right winger is on pace for a typical year with 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) in 58 games. Moreover, the Sabres acquire 19-year old prospect, left winger William Carrier, who is currently playing for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The former 2013 second rounder has 7 points in 14 games thus far for the Voltigeurs. Buffalo also continue to stockpile future assets with the addition of two future draft picks. 

In the end, both teams received what they wanted from the deal. Even if the Blues do not re-sign Miller or Ott to long-term deals, the deal will be worth it if they win the Stanley Cup. The Sabres received more than they probably expected for Miller and Ott, which makes it a great deal for both sides.

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