BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and center Paul Gaustad had been beside each other every step of their 10-year professional careers.
Naturally, seeing the Sabres deal Gaustad to Nashville for a first-round pick Monday jolted Miller, who’s sad to see his close friend leave.
“A pretty tough day,” Miller told reporters Tuesday in Anaheim. “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.
“Like I’ve said, we don’t make those decisions. That’s more proof because if I had any more influence, Paul would still be here. I really appreciate the way he plays, and he’s been one of my best friends for a long time there. Obviously, that’s going to continue, but it was nice to have him as a teammate and have those other intangibles.”
Miller also said: “Personally, he’s a close friend, and also I think he’s a big part of the team. 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 who plays that was at such a high level. Winnings 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.”
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff called losing Gaustad “a real tough one.”
“Paul has been a good soldier for us,” he told reporters. “I think through this stretch, even recently, he’s been one of our hardest working, most competitive. (He) laid it all on the line.”
In other Sabres news, center Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alexander Sulzer, acquired from Vancouver for winger Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, had their physicals Tuesday in Buffalo and will meet the team in Anaheim, Ruff said.
The Sabres have also recalled winger Corey Tropp from Rochester.