The backup goalie spot for the Buffalo Sabres is an interesting question for next season. Barring injury, you can probably pencil Miller in for 65-70 starts again in the regular season, leaving 10-15 for whoever the backup is. There are a few trains of thought out there as to who that should be.
- See if Jhonas Enroth is ready. He’s progressed well at the AHL level (2.37 GAA, .919 SP last season), and could be a solid, inexpensive option for next year. A bit more of a wild-card than an established vet, but more upside.
- Trade Enroth for a top-6 forward (center?) or D-man (if neither Hank nor Toni re-sign I imagine) and sign a vet backup. I call this the Marty Biron, as that’s who most folks want back as the backup. Probably costs a bit more than Enroth, but wouldn’t be a huge cap hit.
- Keep Enroth in the AHL and sign a vet backup. Could still be Marty, Enroth would play more, but with Miller here long-term, it may be better to try and get something for Jhonas, especially with the number of teams that have goalie questions.
Stick-tap to TheFinnishLine on Twitter for the idea of trading Enroth, as I hadn’t thought of it. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Miller is our guy, and Enroth could net us (with a pick or a prospect or two) a new center to drop next to Vanek, or a top-4 defender to fill in for Hank or Toni if neither comes back. I’d lean toward the forward myself, and give some of the Portland guys a try on the back line, but either way it wouldn’t bother me. If they can’t make a trade, I think I’d want him here as the backup, and not with the Pirates. I don’t think he’s going to get too much better there, and having a mentor like Ryan Miller could be good for him.