Just as he has been his entire career, Ryan Miller was straightforward with a small group of reporters Friday afternoon in First Niagara Center.

Miller said he appreciates the words of Ted Nolan, likes some early give-and-take he’s had with Pat LaFontaine and still feels good about his game even in the face of his team’s terrible record.

Everyone knows Miller is a student of the game, both the on-ice side and the business side. And hockey as a business is a big part of Miller’s story this year, with his bid for the U.S. Olympic team coming as he’s heading into unrestricted free agency.

Miller took keen notice of the seven-year, $59.5 million contract Henrik Lundqvist signed with the New York Rangers on Wednesday. And he made it sound like if the Sabres have any interest in keeping him, that’s the ballpark they have to be talking about.

“I thought it was actually lower than he was probably going for,” a smiling Miller said when asked about the Lundqvist deal. “I think he got a good term, good money and with the salary cap going where it’s going, I think he sets the standards.”

Nearly $60 million for a goaltender used to make teams blanch. Not anymore. Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick all got big bucks the last two years, and the NHL’s influx of money from its new Canadian television deal that starts next year only figures to bloat the salary cap past $70 million.

“I anticipate with the TV deals and such, it’s going to keep going up,” Miller said of the cap, before returning to a chilling Lundqvist point. “Maybe that will seem like a pretty average price down the line.”

Miller is likely to start for the Sabres tonight against the Montreal Canadiens in Bell Centre. It’s interesting to note both he and Lundqivst have pretty similar stats.

Both have played 21 games this season, with Lundqvist posting a 9-11 record while Miller is 5-16.

Miller entered Friday’s games second in the NHL in saves (700) and third in shots against (763) and had somehow managed a .917 save percentage in spite of a 3.05 goals-against average. Lundqvist was at 2.43 and .919 while facing 182 fewer shots – nearly nine per game.

It’s the same story for their careers as well.

Lundqvist has 285 wins, a 2.26 GAA and .920 save percentage in the regular season while he’s 30-37 in the playoffs. Miller has 274 wins, a 2.61 GAA and .915 save percentage while going 25-22 in the postseason.

The difference is Lundqvist is 31 and Miller is 33, but Miller said Friday he sees no reason why he can’t play into that range of 38-40 years old.