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Sabres' Miller has exploratory talks with LaFontaine

Friday, 12.06.2013 / 3:26 PM NHL.com

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller told reporters Friday he's had some talks with Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine, but termed them exploratory.

Miller is due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

"Just exploratory, get to know each other," Miller said. "They're trying to get up to speed on the organization before making any decisions. They (LaFontaine and interim coach Ted Nolan) came into a situation where some things happened, one very recently with the [Thomas] Vanek trade. You have to pause for minute and evaluate where you are because you can't keep shedding everything. I think they're trying to figure out the guys they want to hang on to and think they can build a core around and see how it goes."

The Sabres are 2-6-1 since Nolan and LaFontaine came on board, but Miller said he has noticed things turning in a positive direction.

"There's improvement but there's a long way to go," he said. "We have to stick with it. … We're improving in the right areas and games are becoming hockey games instead of lopsided events. We're in games and we have to find ways to win."

Miller said he pays attention to what goes on around the NHL, including injuries to goalies and the contract extension recently signed by the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist. However, Miller said his focus right now is making the Sabres better and he's comfortable letting the future play itself out.

"My thinking has just always been to wait to see what plan presents itself," he said.

Nolan went on the record with the Buffalo News recently saying he wants Miller to stay right where he is.

"You look at all the championship teams and it starts from goaltending out. … I prefer you build around him rather than use him as a pawn to try and get something to make you better," Nolan said. "You learn to deal with the now as a coach and we've got one of the better goaltenders in the world here and I'd like to build around him myself."

Miller said he appreciates hearing that from his coach but said it doesn't change his mindset or his plans for the future.

"I've heard a lot of talk in my time," he said. "It's about action at this point. I'm not going to sit here and let promises get thrown around."

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