In the midst of what is, if not rock bottom for the Buffalo Sabres, at least the lowest any of us have experienced up until this point (have to always consider the possibility for things to deteriorate further), I can say from my observations that no one seems to be handling it particularly well. That is not to say that everyone is handling it in the same way, just that no one seems to be handling it well. Maybe a good way to handle a situation like the one the Sabres find themselves in doesn’t exist, at least not for the fans who follow the team closest and have done so for years. Everyone is pissed off at someone, or some group, whether that be ownership, management, or the media for using the vulnerability, confusion and disappointment of the team’s fans to push what in the end is nothing but rumors, conjecture, and scapegoats in an effort to prey on their attachment to the team for page views and newspaper purchases. The fire sale was always coming, yet its arrival has brought fewer calm and reasonable voices than it has frenzied debates that have no winners.
In the end it’s sadly appropriate that this is how Ryan Miller departs, an afterthought, overshadowed by larger front office and ownership disarray, being merely the first domino in the final gutting of a team that has been rotting from the inside for years. He couldn’t even have the transaction to himself, had to share the podium with a guy that had spent barely enough games here to constitute a full season, couldn’t have the final home game before the deadline to himself, getting yanked from the lineup with most fans in traffic on the way to the FNC or downing their pregame wings and beer at Cobblestone. Aside from the RT’s of the St. Louis Blues twitter- which aren’t in any way as interesting or applicable as some think- the discussion has already shifted to who’s next, what’s next for a team that seems at once to be rudderless and piloted by capable hands. Discussion about what Miller looks like in a Blues jersey, or says about his new home, or produces for his new team is only relevant in what conditional draft pick the Sabres end up receiving in return. I’ve never understood the purpose of keeping a dossier on a player’s actions following his departure to a new place, I think it’s far better to look back at the time he was here, the times we got to watch him and remember how lucky we all were for that.