Latest Blues Rumors – February 12, 2014

Could the St. Louis Blues deal for Ryan Miller? Will they shop winger Chris Stewart? Read on for the latest Blues clues.

Could Chris Stewart be an affordable option for clubs seeking scoring depth?

Could Chris Stewart be an affordable option for clubs seeking scoring depth?

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford touched on the rumors linking the Blues to Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. He noted GM Doug Armstrong will have to decide if he’ll pursue an upgrade at the trade deadline or stick with their current tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. He believes one reason why nothing happened leading up to the Olympic break was concern about acquiring a player who subsequently gets hurt in the Olympics. Rutherford claims the Blues have interest in Miller but doesn’t know if they have the package the Sabres want in return.

Jeff Gordon reports Blues winger Chris Stewart remains in the rumor mill, having been linked to the NY Rangers and Ottawa Senators. One reason the Blues could afford to move Stewart is their depth on the wings. Another is shedding the $4.2 million he’s owed for next season, freeing up room to re-sign other key players. Gordon suggests Stewart could be a more affordable option for clubs seeking scoring depth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand the reasons why the Blues are linked to Miller. He could significantly bolster their chances to win the Stanley Cup this season. The problem, however, is fitting the remainder of his salary within their own limited cap space, plus ponying up the big return the Sabres seek. It’s believed they want at least a first round pick and a top prospect as part of the return. You can bet they’ll be eyeballing one of the Blues good young players. I doubt they’ll have interest in Stewart as part of the package. There’s also no guarantee Miller won’t test the UFA market.

 What must be remembered is the Blues’ window to win a championship has just opened. They’re a strong young team with almost all their key players under contract beyond this season and over $23 million in projected cap space for next season. They’ll be a contender for the next several seasons, and could sign Miller as a UFA if they’re so inclined this summer. Time is on their side. It would be best if they stand pat with their current goalies. If it doesn’t pan out, they can pursue an upgrade in the off-season.

As for Stewart, he would certainly be a more affordable option than Thomas Vanek or Mike Cammalleri both in salary and return. He’s a streaky scorer but brings a physical edge to his game. Here’s a thought: Stewart to the Devils for Martin Brodeur if the latter asks to be dealt by the trade deadline. Hey, no worse than some trade suggestions I’ve seen.


  1. Blues have never won a Stanley cup this is there chance,go for it and get Miller

    • Sure, either that or apply the logic that Spector explains and sign him in the off season without trading away a king’s ransom and go for it next year and the year after and the year after…

      And also, it’s not like Halak is incapable of providing solid enough goaltending to backstop this team on a deep run – think Niemi with Chicago in 2010; when a team is this solid and firing on all cylinders, an all-world goaltender to carry them is not a necessity.

      In addition, Halak had some great playoff experience in Montreal – particularly in that series against Washington where he did in fact elevate his game to “all world” status.

      • A 1st from one of the best in the league in a weak draft + a top prospect is hardly a kings ransom.

        • I suppose that’s true.

          All counts I’ve followed have insisted the asking price will be high. Buffalo did make a nice deal for Pominville, especially if Hackett can become an NHLer in next 2 years.

          Granted Regeir is gone – – we’ll see what tricks Murray has up his sleeve.

          As a disenchanted Canucks fan I picked the worst possible time to become a Sabres fan – the ushering in of the Pegula era. I always liked the team, and I was ready to become a hardcore surrogate fan of the club – – buying into the hype, promises and excitement.


        • Buffalo isn’t looking for a first in this years draft, they want a 1st in the 2015 draft.
          Why can’t STL look for a sign and trade with Buffalo holding part of Miller’s salary for this year. If there is a will then there is a way to make it work. As far as waiting to the off season to sign Miller that’s stupid, if StL management feels they have a legitimate shot at going all the way this year then you can’t be thinking about next year, you go all in this year. If they have plans on trading Stewart this year they will re-coup some of what they give for Miller. To me it’s all what STL management feels the clubs chances are with Miller vs their chances with Halak. They can trade Halak to the Islanders and in the end save money on Stewart and Halak and afford Miller. My opinion is STL has the most to gain trading for Miller and the least to lose because by trading Halak and Stewart and getting Miller they will come out ahead all the way around.

  2. Regarding Miller, Buffalo is silly if they think they can pull in a big return for Miller. The days of getting a first, second, and third round pick for a rental Keith Tkachuck are over. If the Sabres can get a first round pick for Miller, they should be happy.

    One of the biggest problems for the Sabres is that the only teams who would be interested in Miller are contenders. But most of the contenders have a solid goaltending tandem already. It’s kind of mind-boggling that the Sabres are holding out for a seemingly unreasonable return.

    The most logical solution is the Blues trade Stewart somewhere for picks and/or prospects (whatever they can get). They then include those assets plus some of their own to the Sabres for Miller.

    • And lose 4 games in the first round by 2-1, 1-0 type scores like last year to the Kings….goaltending isnt a problem.

    • The question to me is – if Miller backstops the US team and brings home a medal-its pretty simple…..his value goes up. IMO I think the contenders for Miller are MN and St. Lou. I can see Bflo getting Stewart and a prospect in return for Miller. I think Hitchcock wants Miller and its been kind of an inner struggle with his GM. Although I think the Wild have a stronger need for Miller.

      But I believe Miller’s Olymplic game is his audition and how the US does will speak volumns on his value.

      • IMO winning a medal will do nothing for Millers value. He already thinks he’s worth more than he is. He would definitely be helpful to the Wild but the Blues have an outstanding duo in nets and a great team and great coach. Miller will not increase their chances of winning the cup. I’m no expert but I mentioned before that Quick will play most of the Tourney and Miller will watch. Buffalo should be happy to get 1 player for Miller in a trade and/or a pick, there just aren’t enough options available for them to get more right now. Maybe over the summer.

        • Summer is too late. If Miller isn’t traded or signed by March 5, the odds strongly favor him waiting for July 1 and taking the best deal offered.

      • @Steve,
        As I said yesterday I don’t think Millers Olympic performance will in any way increase his value. There are 2-3 teams at max interested in him. And Honestly I can’t see 1 of them (St. Louis) really willing to break the bank on Miller considering he is a UFA and is would only be looking at him as a possible rental. And also it appears that they are doing fine without him at this point. That leaves 1-2 teams to really duke it out over him. They would be overbidding themselves for Miller. But again, he is still a UFA so I think any GM has to approach a potential deal as a high risk of losing him in July. Right now Miller will initially be riding the bench to start the Olympics. Any talk of him getting a medal seems unlikely at this point. I strongly agree with Spectors assessment of St Louis, Their window is just opening. Why risk so much for possibly so little?

        • @Spectre and NYR4LIFE

          • Oops,
            I think the reason they take the chance now is because you never know who gets hurt next year or who demands a trade or anything else that can cost you this window. There is no guarantee that the window doesn’t become one or two years.
            Especially if Miller signs in the off season with someone in their division and buries them for the next 4-5 years. Window closes pretty quick.

      • @steve I have to agree with most others here. Miller has been around for a while and people already know he’s a good tender. The US winning or not winning won’t have any real impact on his value.

        Miller has also appeared fairly ascerbic in the few interviews I’ve seen with him. This may be his intense dislike for the media or it could point to personality that can be difficult to deal with. If I’m a GM I certainly don’t overpay for Miller if it risks the chemisty of my current team. Goalies, even good goalies, haven’t fetched a whole lot lately. The Sabres are going to have to settle for whatever they can get for Miller at the deadline from the few available landing spots or watch him walk.

    • Heatley for Stewart straight up. Bash away!

      • Thinking more along the line of LAK if they cannot get Moulson or Vanek.
        A pick and a prospect should do it. LA Needs goals and Stewart’s physical game fits right into LA system.

        • But if Im the Blues Im not trading Stewart to the Kings unless they dramatically overpay for him. Last thing Id want to do is set them up and face them in the conference finals or something along those lines after last year.

          • Kings might ( I said might) have to overpay. They are sliding and not that far from missing the playoffs. They need a scoring forward without having to breakup the team they have. They just may have to overpay with picks and prospects. Moulson or Vanek would cost more.

          • True with Vanek, Im not so sure about Moulson tho, could be right but I think getting Moulson from Buffalo might be cheaper (a little) than trying to get Stewart from St. Louis for the Kings, this time of the year at any rate.

        • @allforducks that’s just what the rest of the league needs, the Kings with another big forward :) St Louis should look to deal him to a team with young assets that won’t compete with them for a while. Maybe the Oilers, Panthers, Islanders

      • Sorry Thunder but I’d be shocked if Minny gets anything for Heatly. I think it more likely they have to give up assets for someone to take him off their hands to create cap space.

    • Regarding the days of the huge rental return being over – you don’t even have to look past Buffalo, nor look further back than last year’s trade deadline.

      Buffalo Sabres traded Jason Pominville and a 4th round selection in 2014 to the Minnesota Wild for Matt Hackett, Johan Larsson, a 1st round selection in 2013 and a 2nd round selection in 2014.

      From Tkachuck to Hossa, to Kovalchuck, to Iginla, and I’m sure others between that escape me, since the concept of “playoff rental” entered our vocabularies, these sort of premium returns have been obtained for elite pending UFAs on non-playoff teams.

      No reason to assume that will change anytime soon.

      • True, in the Pominville deal (which worked out good so far for the Wild), Hackett and Larsson haven’t done jack in the NHL so the Wild lost nothing in that trade, except for the 1st round pick. I’m thinking many of these deals end this way, we’ll see what happens with Miller, Vanek, Moulson etc, but I’m sure GM’s will overpay/overdeal. IMO.

      • But do you see a common thread in that list? All are forwards. Most of those players were being sought out by 10-15 teams. Not 2 or possibly 3 teams. And really, only 2 would be looking for rental service. St. Louis and Minnesota. My honest opinion is the Sabres asking price will keep him in Buffalo and they will get nothing in return. Possibly he goes to Minnesota, but at a lower asking price. I doubt very much St. Louis sells the farm to acquire a player they really do not need. Maybe a team outside jumps in….NYI? and overpays, but why would they when they can probably go after him with no cost but $$$$ in a few months anyway?

        • @NYL4LIFE, yes, I agree and I’ve been saying alll along that I think Miller stays in Buffalo for the remainder of the season and possibly even re-signs for a 2-3 deal worth 6-7M per. I think Minni waits to see if he is still available this summer and if so, then they try to sign him, possibly 4 years @ 6M per?

          • Lol next contract Miller signs will be longer than 4 years Im pretty sure it will be his last so 6-7 year deal 6-7 mill remember th similar to Lundqvist comment…

          • I think if he hits the open market there will be more teams interested. NYI, Florida, Minnesota, I would throw maybe even Philly in there providing they could move Mason and have the cap room. But Buffalo would look even more foolish than Vancouver if they fail to either re-sign him or get anything in return. At least Vancouver had the flexibility to trade Schneider and save a little face. This has Loungo like deal written all over it. Essentially identical players and identical Gm’s looking for ridiculous compensation. If Vancouver couldn’t move Loungo who was already signed with no worries about “rental status ” and losing him to free agency, No way Buffalo can pull this trade off imo.

          • @Shticky, I don’t think the Wild will offer up a deal like that so their probably out, unless I’m being nieve.

          • Pretty good comparison there I agree, the asking price is ridiculous. Same as the idea on the open market Miller is going to be much more sought after than on the trade market, which could make it an even tougher trade to pull the trigger on for some teams that are close to the cap or have a number of their own RFAs and UFAs to sign next year.

          • Miller and Lou are hugely different. Lou’s contract is an albatros dangling around his neck. Miller is potentially a short term financial problem you can allow to walk if it doesn’t work. Lou kills you for what feels like a few decades.

          • I dont think there is much of a difference at all, both goalies, both GMs asking too high a price for goalies that best days are numbered, both goalies will have rather large contract considerations to take in to account when dealing for them. There are lots of parallels. Lous contract isnt great but at least you knew Luongo was locked up Miller may walk thats just as much of a draw back if not more than Lou.

          • @The Man_Oss
            Miller is looking for a Lundqvist like deal. If you consider Lou’s deal an “albatross” @5.3 imagine how ugly Millers contract wll look 3-5 years down the road. I’m not sure how anyone sees these two as different. Their numbers are nearly identical (slight edge to Lou) their success and failures are very similar……I just do not see much of a difference in these two guys.

    • Getting 1st’s for rentals days are over? Hmmm ok.

      • Luongo is 5.3 for anther 7years to take him to 40. Miller is probably looking for a 6-7. Year deal that is going to pay him more than that so Miller at 6-6.5 till hes 39 or Luongo at. 5.3 till hes 40?
        If your thought is to trade for Miller as a rental only and let him walk as a UFA And give up a bunch of picks and prospects for him you better hope you are going find away to score some goals in the playoffs and win a couple rounds at least or you look like a fool doing this deal. Imagine the Blues do this kind of deal and bow out in the first round then Miller signs with the Ducks or Islanders it would be the first nail in the coffin as the gm of the Blues.

  3. If The Sabres aren’t interested then call Carolina they need a #3c & a Top 6/9 forward and Cam Ward has a Cup & a Conn Smyth and would be at least $1m less per yr than Miller and is 4yrs younger at 29.

    • Since that one good year Ward has done squat. And the guy is pretty injury riddled.

      Miller’s an upgrade over Halak, Ward’s a downgrade.

  4. I say Stewart to the Sens and in return the Blues get Michalek and DaCosta with a 3rd rounder. Michalek’s contract is up this year so the Sens will replace his $4M with Stewart. The blues unload Stewart and get Michalek who is also a streaky scorer and would fit better in the Blues style of play. If they then choose to keep him, they can resign him or let him go for the yougn up and comers. Stewart has fallen out of favour with his coach.

    • Heatley could be pretty successful with the Blues during the playoffs with all those good forwards feeding him the puck.

    • Have you watched the Blues play? They are a very physical hard team to play against. Not saying your deal is without merit but Stewart “fits”. The Blues style of game much better than Michalek. Stewart may have fallen out of favor (maybe a little) but the Blues are not just trying to dump him, or give him away. 20-25 goal guy with size locked up for another year for just over 4mill if the Blues decide to move him they will get some decent offers Im sure.

      • @Shticky, they are “brutal” to play against, big, strong and tough, I’m not sure why they haven’t won it all yet, this could certainly be the year. As long as Spector keeps mentioning him as a trade rumor we’ll keep coming up with ideas, crazy or rational.

        • I dont think the offer is too bad over all tho maybe Pumpel or Stone and a second is a bit more in the neighborhood of what it may take. IMO

          Michalek (ufa) Stone or Pumpel. + second or third rd pick for Stewart seems closer

          • Probably Stone more than Puempel. I think He’s one of Murray’s ‘No touchy’ players. But if they are getting Michalek back, would they really have to add that much more?

          • Im not sure Michalek has much value at all at this point hes a UFA 4 mill probably not going to get 20 goals currently has 10 and a minus -22 last year was not a good one either.

  5. id say the blues trade chris stewart to the sabres for a 2014 second round pick. stewart is in the dog house in st. louis ,so the blues would release 4 mill in cap space and all the sabres would do is get a player with potential to score 25 goals plus a season and only give up a second round pick.

    • 4 mill in cap space for a guy with size that scores 20-25 goals that can (probably should) play on a a teams second line is a steal. He is not getting traded for a second round pick.

    • No way that happens Doncos.

      Like Shticky says guys worth more then that

      He could be included in the Miller trade however.

      We send them Foligno and Miller and get back Stewart and a couple of there assets.

  6. Re: Miller

    Still think the key area to watch is Anaheim. If Miller indeed wants to come west then Anaheim is
    most logical spot. Key is Hiller, as long as he remains unsigned Miller knows he has a shot.
    Also, every other team interested in Miller knows this. If Hiller was signed then teams would be
    willing to offer more as they would know Anaheim would not be open. Why would you pay much
    if you thought that Miller would walk away July 1. This also allows Anaheim to low ball Hiller.
    They have 3 goalies waiting in the shadows with Fasth, Andersen and Gibson and as long as
    Miller remains unsigned, they know that as a last resort they can sign Miller on July 1.
    This is the game inside the game. Buffalo should offer 2 year deal 16 million, 10 million
    first year / 6 million second. The Big payday gets his attention the first year and the 6 million
    second year makes him an affordable asset to trade

    • No way. I read an article the other day that goalies tend to lose there ways by the age of 34. Miller won’t be playing as good as he is now two years down the road thus we would get a lot less for him then we would this season.

  7. I don’t care what the Sabres offer Miller – he doesn’t want to be here. He’s 33 and has only a few years left to win a Cup. Would you stay in Buffalo if you were Miller?

    St. Louis should get this guy. A first + Elliott might make that work. Once Miller gets a feel for the team and organization, I don’t think it would be too hard to sign him.

    Anaheim is another possibility for the future, but something needs to be done with Miller now. The Ducks are sticking with Hiller, that much is obvious.

    The Sabres can’t afford to be embarrassed with another Drury/Briere fiasco under the new regime. Something MUST be done!

    • For some reason I just cant seem to get past the idea that Snow rights up a contract very similar to Lundqvist for Miller in the off season,
      If Im the Sabres a first round pick and a decent prospect from anyone not on Millers no trade list and Im waiving good bye. None of this trying to dictate a deal with packages of young roster players picks and prospects, or holding out for better offers.
      Field some offers pick the best one after the break and get it done, or youre right its another Drury/Briere situation.

      • Shticky,
        I agree 100%. Something will be a lot more forgivable than nothing at all.

      • I agree Shticky but I do believe Sabres would have to take salary in return for teams to fit it all under there cap.

    • A 1st and Elliott for Miller??

      If that could’ve gotten Miller that would’ve happened already.

  8. Where can we find LIVE score updates for today’s Olympic Mens Hockey games? Thanks.

    • Just download the CBC Olympic app.

  9. As much as I want the Sens to do something. Would getting Stewart actually do anything? New face I guess but if they traded Michalek with others it would be one streaky player for the other. One positive is he’s a cheaper replacement but other than that I think it’s a lateral move. Would he fit in with the Paulrus system? It will be interesting to see what Murray does. I do think he’ll do something.

    Ahh, the other Murray lol. Miller will move for sure, but it will be a low return than what is expected. I think Tim knows he won’t re-sign so losing him for nothing is just a waste. Rather get a first rounder than nothing at all. You can only work with what you have. And I don’t think Tim has a lot of leverage with him.

    • Miller for Stewart (+), then Stewart to Ottawa for whatever Tim Murray feels is a decent return from his uncle…

      • I just don’t see a trade between uncle and nephew because Tim probably knows the prospects in the Ottawa system as well as if not better then his uncle. Whoever Tim asks for his uncle will think he will be getting fleeced…no deals

  10. Stewart for booth, similiar salaries and term! Maybe a change of scenery will do both some good. Maybe vancouver throws in a pick or something to sweeten the deal.

    • Ya accept Stewart is younger better than Booth by alot this almost seems reasonable.
      Crazy Doncos offer is better than this one.

  11. Let’s just get crazy and say the Blues do this:

    From Tampa: Brett Connolly and 3rd round pick.
    To Tampa: Halak (cover for injury riddled Bishop)
    From Buffalo: Moulson, Ott and Miller
    To Buffalo: Stewart, Pjaarvi, Connolly, Veilleux, 1st and 3rd round pick

    Gives Buffalo a nice haul of a youngish power forward where they lack size and toughness, 3 decent prospects with two already having NHL experience and 2 draft picks.

    Gives Blues a more consistent goal scorer in Moulson, a great aggitator in Ott so they still maintain toughness and he has some skill to boot and a world class goalie.