Goaltender Ryan Miller will hit the open market on July 1, and speculation has already begun on whether he could end up in San Jose. The St. Louis Blues, who acquired Miller late in the 2013-14 season, announced on Monday they would part ways with the goaltender after his unsuccessful stint there, which ended with a first round defeat to the Blackhawks. The Blues signed Brian Elliott to a three-year contract extension, and he’ll pair up with prospect Jake Allen in the St. Louis net next season. As for the Sharks, their situation between the pipes is unclear. General manager Doug Wilson has already indicated there will be some significant changes to the current roster, and while many believe that to mean Joe Thornton and/or Patrick Marleau will be leaving town, Wilson could very well opt to change his team’s look in the crease, too. Starter Antti Niemi, 30, is about to enter the final year of his contract with a salary of $3.8 million, and if Wilson decided to move him, it shouldn’t be all that difficult. Despite his uneven regular season and awful playoff numbers against the Kings – 3.74 goals-against average and .884 save percentage, including two games he was pulled and another he was benched – Niemi is still just one year removed from being a Vezina Trophy finalist, and backstopped Chicago to a Stanley Cup in 2010. And, although it’s impossible to tell from his on-camera media scrums, Niemi’s personality and laid back nature makes him a very popular guy among his teammates. Maybe he needs a change of scenery, as he was unable to handle a push from Alex Stalock, who simply played better than Niemi in the second half of the season. Niemi never found that consistency he enjoyed in the shortened 2013 campaign, perhaps contemplating his security as the undisputed starter.
Ryan Miller to Sharks could make sense
CSN Bay Area | May 20