Latest Capitals, Devils and Ducks Rumors – April 19, 2014

Could the Capitals shop Mike Green this summer? Will the Devils try to bring back Brian Gionta? Does Jonas Hiller’s playoff benching herald the end of his tenure with the Ducks?

Could the Capitals shop Mike Green this summer?

Could the Capitals shop Mike Green this summer?

WASHINGTON TIMES: Brian McNally recently reported Capitals defenseman Mike Green acknowledged he could be on his way out of Washington this summer if the organization decides to go in a different direction. Green’s entering the final year of his contract ($6.25 million in actual salary, $6.083 million cap hit). McNally noted the Capitals won’t need to move him to free up cap space this summer unless ownership decides to put the club on a budget for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Various lower-body injuries have affected Green’s performance in recent years. Though he’s still a good puck-moving defenseman, he’s not the offensive star he was several years ago. If the Capitals were to shop Green, they might have to pick up part of his remaining salary to make him more enticing to rival teams. 

NJ.COM: Rich Chere notes the Devils need to bolster their offense, speculating about the possibility of bringing back former Devils forward Brian Gionta. Now captain of the Montreal Canadiens, the 35-year-old Gionta is eligible for UFA status this summer. Chere wonders if the chance to play alongside younger brother Stephen (who’s also eligible for UFA status) might be an incentive for Brian if he isn’t re-signed by the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One can’t dismiss that possibility, and if he’s an affordable option (say, on a two-year deal for $3.5 million per season) it might be a good depth addition. The Devils, however, must get younger offensive forwards. Their leading scorer, Jaromir Jagr, is 42. Patrik Elias, Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe are all in their thirties. They won’t get any better going forward.

SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector recently observed the Anaheim Ducks are starting rookie Frederik Andersen in goal over long-time starter Jonas Hiller in their divisional semifinal against the Dallas Stars. He speculates they’re inwardly concerned about the state of Hiller’s play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mark (no relation) doesn’t suggest Hiller’s tenure with the Ducks could  be coming to an end. I do. Unless Hiller gets a chance to start and carries the Ducks deep into the playoffs, this spring could be his last with them. He’s eligible for UFA status this summer. Andersenn has shown a lot of promise, plus they’ve got highly-touted John Gibson waiting in the wings. If they stick with Andersen throughout, Hiller will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

10 Comments

  1. There is more than just Hiller involved here. I doubt Miller signs with St Louis until the Hiller saga is resolved in Anaheim. Anaheim is still the best hope for Miller to get to west coast. Options seem to be

    1) If Hiller does not play in playoffs or plays but not outstanding then he is gone.
    2) Ducks can then go forward with
    A) Trying to sign Miller as #1 with Andersen as backup and send Gibson down to AHL
    for another year or trade Gibson / Andersen as part of a deal to get a top 4 D-man
    B) Go with Andersen as #1 and Gibson penciled in as backup but also sign a vet as an
    insurance policy such as Tim Thomas or JS Giguere as a mentor / insurance policy.
    3) I can also see that a week before July 1 UFA, Miller is not signed and Hiller is not signed and
    that St Louis realizes their stuck and actually trade Miller for Hiller so that have a chance to talk
    to Hiller for a week or so before anyone else. If they can’t sign Miller in 3 months since they
    traded for him, might as go for next best option, can always go after Miller July 1 if he
    does not sign with Ducks.
    4) All this drama ends quickly if one or the other signs in the next few weeks.
    5) One other small option is that Ducks have already decided that they don’t want expensive goalies
    and trade Hiller to Calgary ( Burkie rides again) for a low round draft pick (5th or 6th or 7th) so
    that they can have a few weeks of EXCLUSIVe talks before UFA July 1.
    This and a buck gets you a small coffee at McDonalds.

    • I think Hiller is done in Anaheim and he might find a home in Winnipeg or the Island. As much as I think Miller should stay in St. Louis, I can see him being tempted to sign with Anaheim. While there are some older goalies available via UFA, I think there are some quality goalies that a change of scenary could be beneficial for them – Reimer, Pavelec and Enroth.

      One thing I have noticed with the playoffs is that LA was pounded the other night, Sharks came out running everything and kept getting in Quick’s face – LA is going to have to fight back if they want to stay in the game. I knew Boston would play the same way, but Detroit stepped up – this year was rough for Detroit – injuries and retirements effected the team, but the injection of youth has allowed them to hang in there and improve. They could be the surprise. Tampa Bay has shown their weakness at goalie – relying too much on Bishop – they need to play a little more physical to slow Montreal down.

      • Goalie carousel will be in full swing this summer. Islanders will likely end up with the rights to Hasek and Tretchiak. They will sign them both to long term deals (Snow rides again).

    • Ducks are in an enviable position on the goalie front and also have a lot of stud prospects ready for the show. It’s a good time to be a ducks fan :) Only issue I see for them now is do they have to horses to win it all? The west is incredibly tough right now with the Blues, Hawks, and Kings all being deep tough teams.

      Guessing this is the last hurrah for Selenie and other aging vets on the team. Could be a number of holes for youngsters to step into. The D will be interesting to watch in the next few seasons as they have a lot of older veterans and it remains to be seen how the kids manage when they take over. Couple of very big contracts also mean that the Ducks will need those young cheaper players to produce for them to stay elite.

      • Don’t disagree with you. I actually picked Ducks to be a wild card this year. The kids stepped up and played well and several more will move up next season. “D” will be their weakness and like most other teams need a top 4 D-man. Hopefully Murray does not panic and trade a bunch of the youth for an aging vet or two. To me the way to go is draft and develop and with 4 picks in top 60 this year they can add to the future development. Even if they bomb in the playoffs, stay the course and don’t panic.

    • Miller will resign with the Blues if they win the Cup. Otherwise he will be on his way to Anaheim.

  2. Andersen looks like he could be a stud! I would say wait to see how he keeps playing in the playoffs, has been really good so far. If he backstops the Ducks deep into the playoffs I wouldn’t see any reason to break the bank on Miller especially with Gibson in the organization as well. Ducks kept Hiller instead of Bishop hindsight is 20/20 but I wouldn’t do the same thing by getting rid or Andersen and or Gibson and signing miller.

  3. Nobody brought up what I’ve been pondering for a few weeks now. Marty B wants one more year on a cup team and 30 starts… perfect for ANA. They get one of the best if not the best to mentor two young stud goalies for 1 season and marty gets a shot at the cup… he wouldn’t be outrageuosly expensive either

    • Andersen would be a better starter then Marty B right now. He has had a great HOF career but now he is a backup now nothing more. Time to hang up the skates and call it a career. Any GM who thinks he could take them to the next level is sorely mistaken.

      • I was suggesting he be a backup…. not the starter. anderson starts, marty b backs up and gibson on standyby