BUFFALO – In Ted Nolan’s mind, franchise goalie Ryan Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, is more of a building block for the Sabres than an asset.
“You build around him versus as a pawn to try to get something to make you better,” the interim coach said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “You learn to deal with the now as a coach, and we got one of the better goaltenders in the world here. I’d like to build around him, myself.”
Is Miller open to that?
“I’m not too sure,” Nolan said.
Nolan has said he’s talked to Pat LaFontaine, the president of hockey operations, about creating “an environment where people want to come here and stay.”
“So hopefully he likes what we’re doing, and you never know,” Nolan said.
He added: “You look at all the championship teams, it starts from the goaltending up.”
Nolan isn’t surprised New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist signed a seven-year, $59.5 million extension today.
“You look at all the top guys, our top guy, Ryan Miller, he’s consistent all the time,” he said. “You look at Jonathan Quick, he gets a big contract, Lundqvist. There’s those guys and the rest of them.”