Sabres' Miller is looking forward to his new team

Colin Miller said he grew a lot in Vegas

Paul Hamilton
June 29, 2019 - 3:31 pm

Photo: Stan Szeto - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Colin Miller is home in Canada, but he did speak to the media on Saturday over the phone. Miller knows that what’s going on in Vegas is special, so he’s torn with this trade to the Sabres, “I think there’s something very special going on there in Vegas and they’re going to have a great team moving forward, but to turn it around, it’s going to be a great opportunity, seeing what Buffalo did last year through a healthy stretch of the season it was very encouraging for the city of Buffalo and the team, so just excited.

“I’m looking forward to taking on a little bit more of a role than I have in Vegas and help the team in any way I can.”

Miller likely will get more responsibility in Buffalo. He said he can’t try to do too much, “I just need to play my game. In Vegas I learned a lot of valuable things. We learned a lot over two years about the playoffs and what it took to win, so hopefully I can transition that over and try to be part of something that’s winning.”

The Sabres have the longest playoff drought in the NHL, but Miller thinks this team is close, “It’s been a little bit since there’s been playoff hockey in Buffalo, they were right there last year, so it’ll be a lot of fun trying build something special here.”

Miller played in Boston before going to Vegas. He knows that there was absolutely no atmosphere in the Sabres arena, but he thinks that is going to change quickly, “I think when I first played in Buffalo, you saw the excitement about what the team starting doing better and how passionate the fans were and they really came out, so that would be the thing I’d remember the most, is how fun that building is to play in when the fans are really behind you.”

Miller knows the type of team the Sabres have, and he thinks they’re building towards what he thinks works in the NHL, “A lot of speed and a lot of skill. In the new NHL that is absolutely what you need. You see all the teams that are successful like Tampa and Toronto, its speed, speed, speed and that aggressive style, so I think it’ll be exciting to see what we can do.”

Miller knows the playoffs and did a lot of winning in Vegas. He thinks this Sabres team has the character to take the next step, “If there was one thing I was most proud of in Vegas it was the character of the guys and the friendships that I made because we had such good people in that locker-room and there were good people throughout the organization and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here in Buffalo.”

Jason Botterill knew the situation the Golden Knights were in. He has liked Miller for a long time, “We’ve followed Colin closely for the last couple of years. He brings a very strong shot from the point, an ability to make that first pass coming out of the zone, another good skater, so we felt it was another opportunity to grab a good player.”

Buffalo now has nine NHL defensemen. Botterill said, “To me this gives us options and it gives Ralph flexibility. You look at our defense the last couple of years we’ve dealt with injuries, so we want to improve our competition.”

In the French Connection 3-3 tournament on Saturday, Team Blue won in a shootout. Tage Thompson won the Craig Ramsay Award for his week at camp. In four games on Saturday, Thompson had two goals and four assists for six points. He also scored a gorgeous shootout goal.

Dylan Cozens hurt his thumb after picking up an assist in Game 1. He took a hard hit from Brandon Hickey. Cozens said he'll see a specialist on Monday, but the thumb isn't broken.

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