St. Louis, MO, United States (4E Sports) – After an unsuccessful run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the St. Louis Blues have signed netminder Brian Elliott to a three-year, $7.5 million extension and will let goaltender Ryan Miller turn unrestricted free agent in July.
Elliott will team up with incumbent Jake Allen for the 2014-15 season, according to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.
The Blues acquired Miller and forward Steve Ott from the Sabres for goalie Jaroslav Halak, right wing Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first-round pick in 2015 and a conditional draft pick.
In 19 regular-season games with the Blues, Miller went 10-8-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .903 save percentage, and followed it with a 2-4 record, 2.70 GAA and .897 save percentage in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“We took a calculated gamble of bringing in Ryan and we didn’t have the success that we needed as an organization,” Armstrong said in a conference call. “Certainly it was not all reflected on Ryan.”
“We just felt at this time it was better for us to go with Elliott and go with Jake Allen. They provide us with a good tandem as we move forward,” he added.
Had the Blues made the Western Conference Final or resigned Miller, the Blues also would have sent the Sabres their 2014 first-round pick, while the Blues would have received Buffalo’s 2014 second- and third-round picks.
If the Blues trade Miller’s rights prior to making their first pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, they will have to send their 2014 first-round pick and a 2016 third-round pick to the Sabres but will get back the Sabres’ 2014 second- and third-round picks. If they trade his rights after the draft the Blues will send the Sabres a 2016 second-round pick to complete the trade.
Miller was considered the missing piece for the Blues, who felt like they had the necessary tools in all other areas to make a deep postseason run and perhaps win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. But after going 7-0-1 in his first eight games with the Blues, he won five of his final 17 regular-season and playoff games.
The 29-year-old Elliott, who would have become an unrestricted free agent in July, has done nothing but win since joining the Blues prior to the 2011-12 season. His 23-10-4 record with a League-leading 1.56 GAA and .940 save percentage in 2011-12 was part of a tandem with Halak that helped the pair win the William Jennings Trophy.
Elliott is 55-24-7 in three seasons with the Blues. He went 18-6-4 with a 1.96 GAA and .922 save percentage this season but was on the bench during the postseason.