NHL Trade Rumors: 4 Teams That Should Pursue Ryan Miller

Steven ConklinCorrespondent IIFebruary 23, 2012

NHL Trade Rumors: 4 Teams That Should Pursue Ryan Miller

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    The Buffalo Sabres will most likely not make the playoffs. 

    Before the season started, Buffalo looked like a team that could fly under the radar and make some noise. They are currently six points behind Toronto for the final playoff spot. 

    It is possible the Sabres could make a run into April, but this team has been too underwhelming to inspire confidence. 

    The same is true of Ryan Miller. 

    The 31-year-old goaltender has been better of late. but the 2011-2011 campaign has not been good for him. His save percentage (.908) is the lowest it's been since 2008.

    His 2.75 goals-against average is a career-worst. 

    But even with his struggles, the U.S. Olympic goalie is still coveted and a top talent. Most teams would jump at the chance to land his services. 

    Sources say Miller is unhappy in Buffalo and would waive his no-trade clause. 

    Seeing No. 30 moved by the deadline would be no surprise.

    So who should entertain the possibility of Miller in their crease?

Chicago Blackhawks

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    Ever since NBC's Jeremy Roenick suggested Chicago would benefit from moving Patrick Kane for a top goaltender, Ryan Miller has been a name often heard in the Windy City. 

    Chicago could certainly improve in the net. 

    Corey Crawford has seen his share of struggles this season but recently has impressed, allowing just one goal in each of his last three starts. 

    But is Crawford capable of helping the Hawks to a title?

    Miller might be the better option. A change of scenery might bring his skills back to where they've been in recent years.

    It wouldn't hurt for the Blackhawks to explore the Miller possibility, regardless whether Patrick Kane is the price.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    There is no team in the NHL with a worse goaltending situation than the Tampa Bay Lightning. They know it. We know it. It is common sense. 

    Senior-citizen Dwayne Roloson has been horrendous this season. Most of the Lightning's struggles can be blamed on him,

    Backup Mathieu Garon has been better, but he is in no way the guy who could help Tampa Bay get back to last year's form. 

    Ryan Miller in Tampa Bay is a good possibility

    The Bolts have plenty of assets to move in exchange for the Sabre. Miller's arrival would instantly boost this not-so-electric team. 

    If the Lightning had a goalie who prevents more goals than Steven Stamkos scores, they'd be in great shape. 

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Colorado Avalanche are definitely contenders for the playoffs this season. 

    Grabbing a goalie like Ryan Miller would give Colorado the edge over Calgary, Dallas and Minnesota, all teams that would like a playoff seed as well. 

    Semyon Varlamov has not proven himself as the net-minder the Avalanche expected or need. 

    Jean-Sebastian Giguere has been great in back-up duties, but there is no question Miller is an astronomically better option. 

    The Denver Post's Adrian Dater tweeted that most Avs are up for grabs. 

    So why wouldn't Colorado move some pieces for a goaltender who could help them for years to come?

    It'd be better than waiting around for Varlamov to finally prove himself. 

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    It is hard to see Ryan Miller being traded to Buffalo's division rival, but the Maple Leafs could use a goalie heading into the postseason. 

    Toronto is on the cusp of being a playoff team, There is no question the offense will score goals with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

    If the Leafs do see postseason play, the team's weakness will be its goaltending. 

    Jonas Gustavsson (2.89) and James Reimer (2.98) are 39th and 42nd in the league in goals-against average. Toronto will need better. 

    With a cluster of young talent and defensemen, Toronto has the assets and cap room to make a move. 

    If Brian Burke brought in Miller, this would be a Leafs team that could upset its way deep into the playoffs. 

    Steven Conklin is a contributing writer for the Bleacher Report and a student at the University of Central Missouri. He joined B/R in October 2011 and is currently a B/R intern. Any comments, questions or suggestions are more than welcome.