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Miller happy to be still be in Buffalo

by Staff

After a summer of speculation and rumors, Ryan Miller said Wednesday he's happy to remain part of the Buffalo Sabres.

"Darcy [Regier, general manager] has to build a team and maybe he feels that he wants me here," Miller told reporters Wednesday in Buffalo. "I'm happy to be here obviously. I have a great connection with the city. I've enjoyed my time here. I'm just looking forward to getting started and do it all over again."

Miller went 17-17-5 in 40 games last season, snapping a seven-season stretch of at least 30 wins, and his 2.81 goals-against average was the highest of his career. Last season also marked the second straight season and fourth time in the last six the Sabres had missed the postseason.

"Last year didn't go the way we all were thinking," he said. "The last few years have been kind of frustrating, all culminating with [last season. I've been here a while and people are going to start focusing their attention on me, whether I should still be in town or not I guess. It all becomes about the same every year. You have to go out and prove yourself anyway. This falls in line with that. People expect me to have to go out and prove something but I would argue I have to do that every year as a goaltender for an NHL team. You have to go out and perform and play. You're not going to get any free rides. It's the same preparation for me."

The Sabres' struggles led to Regier to investigate trade options for a number of his veteran players. However, Miller said neither he nor his agent ever requested a trade.

"We obviously had to have discussions [with the Sabres] about some possible teams," Miller said. "I have a limited no-trade agreement, so we just knew there was a possibility of it out there. There wasn't a need to go out and say anything [and] I didn't know if that [a trade] was the best thing for me anyway. I just wanted to let things play out and look at the environment out there. I didn't go into great discussions about that. It really wasn't something where we had in-depth discussions about that sort of thing."

Miller enters the 2013-14 season in the final year of his contract, but said there's no been limited talk between the sides regarding an extension. And that's a fine by Miller, who said he's open to anything the Sabres would like to do.

"I'm not going to close off anything," he said. "It is a chance to see how things go. They want to see how things go. … They have a chance with ta few guys now reaching the end of their contracts to see if we all fit together or if we fit into a longer-term plan. It's part of the business. It's also part of the business on our side to explore if it works for us as well."

Miller knows he's going to be asked about his future until either he gets traded or signs an extension. However, he said he won't let anything distract him from what he has to do to succeed on the ice.

"If you play long enough you're going to have this kind of discussion surround you at some point," he said. "It's nothing I wouldn't expect at some point of my career. I have to be professional enough to do my job. I'm able to do a job in a city I'm familiar with and a city I'm very much at home in. I like to be in Buffalo, I like the people. This isn't a bad situation. I signed a deal to be here and I’m committed to seeing it through."

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