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Miller practices, says he's staying in Buffalo

by Adam Kimelman
Ryan Miller told reporters he felt good after his first full workout with his Buffalo Sabres teammates in about three weeks and is excited about getting back -- with the Sabres.

Miller hasn't played since Nov. 12, when he suffered a concussion and whiplash when he was hit by Boston's Milan Lucic.

"I think it's funny when you hear things like 'wouldn't mind.' That implies somebody's asked me and I've never made a comment about my status with the team. My comment about my status with the team now is I'm proud to be a Sabre, I'm excited for what we can accomplish moving forward and I want to be a part of it." -- Ryan Miller

However, Miller's name is in the news thanks to his being mentioned in a column by Edmonton Journal and Hockey Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson, who wrote that Miller "wouldn't mind" a trade out of Buffalo. That speculation was ramped up when three Ducks scouts -- among them Anaheim general manager Bob Murray -- were at the First Niagara Center on Tuesday to watch the Sabres-Islanders game.

Miller, however, made it clear that he's very happy staying in Buffalo.

"I think it's funny when you hear things like 'wouldn't mind,'" Miller told reporters. "That implies somebody's asked me and I've never made a comment about my status with the team. My comment about my status with the team now is I'm proud to be a Sabre, I'm excited for what we can accomplish moving forward and I want to be a part of it. There's no reason for me to want to leave the situation. We have great new ownership who's excited to put a winner on the ice and I want to be a part of it. For me to want to change that situation and get out, I think the grass doesn't get much greener than it is here.


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"For me, it's something you just laugh about. It's something where somebody needs web hits or something for their site or wants to be the person … if the trade happens two years from now, they broke the story because they threw spaghetti at the wall to see if it would stick."

Miller added that even though his wife, actress Noureen DeWulf, is based on Los Angeles, he has little interest going to the West Coast -- or anywhere else.

"My wife's career is out there and mine is here," he said. "My career keeps me here. I'm fortunate to have a break and she's here as much as she can be and that's how we live our life. I know a lot of other couples have it a lot worse. … This is what I want to do with my life. I want to be a goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres."

Miller has two years left on his contract, which according to the Buffalo News includes a limited no-trade clause that allows Miller to submit a list of eight teams to which he would not accept a trade.

However, Miller said there never have been any discussions with Sabres management on submitting that list.

"I've never in my time here talked to Lindy (Ruff, coach), Darcy (Regier, GM) or ownership about a trade and they've never come to me asking for any options," Miller said. "I can understand why there's speculation. I went through a tough stretch of hockey and didn't have a chance to dig myself out yet because of the injury. I know I need to be better and I'm working on that. For me to say I don't want to be here just because of that? I have a long history here. I feel like I've grown up here and this is where I want to win."

Miller won four of his first five starts this season, but then lost four straight, culminating with him allowing three goals on 11 shots and getting pulled just 6:23 into a game Nov. 2 against Philadelphia. For the season, Miller is 5-6-0 in 11 games, with a 2.86 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

As Miller struggled, backup Jhonas Enroth has stepped up, and is 8-4-1 with a 2.27 GAA and .926 save percentage in 15 games.

Coach Lindy Ruff said there's a chance Miller could play Friday against Detroit or Saturday against Nashville, however Miller said there's no target date for him to play again.

"I haven't sat down to talk to the coaches about it because I haven't really finalized anything with the doctors," said Miller. "They want to know how I feel after some intense days of practice. We've had two good days. That’s one of the reasons we have the (heart) monitors on. I had two pretty good tests the last two days on the ice. I have an evaluation (Thursday) and I want to be good with that."

Miller said outside of some residual neck soreness, he didn't feel limited in any way on the ice.

It was a little tight wearing the mask again, but nothing where it's been an issue," he said. "The trainers are feeling for that tightness in there and I've been pretty good the last few days."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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