The latest on the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson suspects the Oilers, who need a Kris Letang-type defenseman, will try to get a blueliner when they shop Ales Hemsky near the trade deadline, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers were eyeing LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov…He doubts the Tampa Bay Lightning would have interest in Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin…He also believes a package of Sam Gagner and a fifth or sixth defenseman might not be enough to land a top four defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Kings part with Voynov or have interest in Hemsky this time around…Khabibulin is now too old and expensive, and like Matheson, I doubt the Lightning want to go that route again after gambling on Dwayne Roloson this season…Gagner’s value could increase near the trade deadline.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Jerry Sullivan wants Sabres owner Terry Pegula to act, either by firing GM Darcy Regier, or head coach Lindy Ruff, or forcing a trade by shopping Ryan Miller, Derek Roy or Drew Stafford.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Pegula’s lieutenant Ted Black said they appreciate the frustration of Sabres fans but is calling for patience….LeBrun also reports the Anaheim Ducks won’t be shopping Teemu Selanne, but GM Bob Murray could start entertaining offers for Bobby Ryan again if the Ducks haven’t improved by the trade deadline. Craig Custance meanwhile suggested the Ducks could be a possible destination for Ryan Miller if the Sabres were to shop him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, there’s not going to be any panic moves by the Sabres, who still remain in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. If, however, the team hasn’t improved in a month’s time, it could put pressure upon the front office to shake things up. If Miller were to be dealt he’d likely want to go to a California-based team to be near his actress-wife, but we shouldn’t assume that’s going to happen this season. I do agree that if the Ducks haven’t significantly improved by February the Bobby Ryan trade rumors will flash up again. Ryan for Miller, perhaps? Just spitballing here, folks, not saying it’s gonna happen.