The St. Louis Blues have re signed their franchise goaltender. No not Ryan Miller, whom they acquired via trade from the Buffalo Sabres at the NHL’s trade deadline, but rather Brian Elliot, making it official that Miller will reach free agency. The New York Islanders would be foolish not to tender Miller a significant offer.
The Islanders are a franchise in desperate need of a reliable starting goalie, and Miller has proven over the years that he is more that just reliable, he is one of the league’s best. Miller has a career record of 284-186-57 with a 2.60 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. A four time all-star, Miller won the 2009-10 Vezina trophy as the league’s best goaltender and has represented the United States two times as an Olympian.
It is fair to note that the Islanders have made an attempt to solidify their most glaring weakness already this offseason. They traded a fourth round pick for pending free agent Jaroslav Halak earlier this month. Halak would be be a younger(Miller will be 34 at the start of the season, whereas Halak is only 29) less expensive option for the Islanders, as Miller will command a very lucrative deal in the free agent market, but the Islanders have been a fixture at the salary cap floor in recent years, the signing of Miller would be a big sign to the fan base, and other free agents, that this team is finally serious about taking the next step towards becoming a contender.
Either goaltender would be a huge upgrade from the aging Evgeni Nabokov, who has been mediocre at best in his tenure on Long Island. The Islanders are more than a single player away from being a legitimate threat in the East, but landing a top echelon goalie like Miller would be the single biggest upgrade they could make.