Blues move on from Ryan Miller: GM Armstrong admits 'calculated gamble' didn't pay off

by May 19, 1:15 PM

Tthe St. Louis Blues re-signed backup goaltender Brian Elliott on Monday, a transaction that will officially turn the page on the short-lived, unsuccessful Ryan Miller era in St. Louis.

"Brian will team up next year with Jake Allen to provide our goaltending tandem," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We're looking forward to those two guys competing and performing well."

The St. Louis Blues paid a high price and sacrificed some offensive punch to acquire Steve Ott and Ryan Miller at the 2014 NHL Trade deadline, a move that was somewhat baffling at the time and obviously didn't pay off for the Blues.

"At the trade deadline, we took a calculated gamble of bringing in Ryan and we didn't have the success that we needed as an organization ... certainly not all reflective on Ryan," Armstrong said. "It's a team game and as an organization we are responsible."

Armstrong added that the terms of the trade, which included a conditional first-round pick were the Blues to re-sign Miller, played a role in the teams internal calculus not to offer Miller a contract. "[There were] additional payments necessary to Buffalo if we signed Ryan," Armstrong explained. "That would have been basically moving back a full round in the draft ... and we just felt at this time, it was better for us to go with Elliott and Jake Allen."

It won't be a surprise if the Blues give Allen a long look as their permanent starter next season. The highly regarded former second-round pick was the best goalie in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves this past season, posting a .928 save percentage and a 33-16-3 record in 52 games.