Latest Maple Leafs, Oilers and Sabres Rumors – October 9, 2013.

More speculation over Jake Gardiner’s future with the Leafs, talk of the Oilers shopping for a goalie, and a call for the Sabres to move Ryan Miller.

TORONTO SUN/THE GLOBE & MAIL/NATIONAL POST: Terry Koshan believes defenseman Jake Gardiner must improve his game (especially the physical defensive part) if he hopes to avoid being dealt by the Maple Leafs. James Mirtle and Michael Traikos go over the pros and cons of moving Gardiner, ultimately agreeing it would be a mistake by the Leafs to give up on the 23-year-old blueliner too soon.

Is Oilers GM Craig MacTavish shopping for a defenseman?

Is Oilers GM Craig MacTavish shopping for a defenseman?

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Leafs were listening to offers for Gardiner but aren’t shopping him, claiming GM Dave Nonis has told interested parties it would take an “elite forward” for him to consider moving the blueliner. Bob McKenzie, meanwhile, believes Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is still waiting for the right opportunity to make a bold move to improve his club’s performance  behind the blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs don’t appear in any rush to move Gardiner, which is understandable as they’re only four games into an 82-game season. That could change if Gardiner fails to impress coach Randy Carlyle later in the season, or if the Leafs need to address a significant roster issue at some point. For now, it appears they’ll remain patient.  

As for the Oilers, they’re apparently not going to judge goalie Devan Dubnyk too harshly because the defense in front of him continues to struggle. Still, if there’s an opportunity to land another quality goalie, I think MacTavish would jump for it. In the meantime, he’s probably keeping his eyes open for blueline depth.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason suggests the Sabres should give Jhonas Enroth the bulk of the starts and aggressively shop veteran Ryan Miller. He believes Sabres GM Darcy Regier should “speed dial” the Philadelphia Flyers, who’ve undergone a coaching change and have questionable goaltending.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Problem with that theory is the Flyers don’t have a lot of cap space to absorb Miller’s $6.25 million salary for this season. Sure, the Sabres could take back some salary but the Flyers would still have to free up significant cap space for him, which means parting with a quality player or two. I don’t see Miller being moved during the first half of the season, simply because of his salary and the fact most teams aren’t wiling to take it on right now. And no, I don’t believe Miller will be dealt to the Oilers.

68 Comments

  1. Well six more games for Clarkson another couple weeks for Kuli and McClaren McClement should be back Thursday….no depth isnt an issue lets keep all these pmd men who suck in their own end, with no shut down guys infact we should call up Brennan too to join all the other AHL forwards that are not NHL quality. The holes are going to be exposed. Its not giving up on Gardiner its addressing a need one way or another deal him for a forward that can play in the NHL (preferable center) or a defensive D man that is physical can block shots and can play in their own end. Its not 4 games its been the same story since Wilson, for all of last season the play offs same thing people were saying needed to be addressed over the summer preseason and now 4 games in to the season. Deal Gardiner before Carlyle throws him in the press box for half the season again wrecking his value. Rant over

    • @ Shticky ….How is Carlyle wrecking Gardiners value …hes playing him all the time giving him every opportunity at the age of 23 to play regular shifts …..

      I don’t know how many times this needs to be said as Ive been saying this for 2 years now …his defensive side of the game is terrible….. ive been posting this is many times once this is out and into the open and exposed his value will drop …….and well ….you know !!!
      Read my posts from last year at trade deadline !!! I am not a bandwagon jumper just call it as I see it and how things really are !!
      Not Carlyles fault …..that aspect of his game was never there to begin with …..its called a flash in the pan !!
      He s a gifted skater and has a very good shot …..BUT HES NOT A DEFENSMEN!!!!
      I will say it again and again …he rushes the puck WAY TO DEP and creates too many odd man rushes and can not get back in time to defend ..hes is not physical at all ….

      On that NOTE : Paul Ranger is also a liability the leafs are in trouble again with defense this season!

      I would make a deal including Gardiner and a VERY SIGNIFICANT secondary piece for Oliver Ekman Larson if the 2 parties were willing to make a deal.

      I would also look at doing a Gardiner….Reimer …and a second rounder type deal for Darnell Nurse and Colton Theburt …..Gardiner did polay with Shultz and had very good success and fits in better with the offensive structure of the Oilers

      I WILL POST EVERY DAY HERE TO MOVE GARDINER TO THE WING.

      MILLER
      If there were to teams that really could benefit from a MIller trade it would be the Oilers and Buffalo …Oilers would have to part with a young REAL GOOD prospect or NHL viable player , which is exactly what Buffalo needs to grow with the players they have right now !
      Oilers are desperate to get a quality back stop to help the forwards play the way they do more aggressive and offensively …..The team that really needs this more is the Oilers ….Dubnyk is a quality tender but not the key ingredient they need …they need a significant upgrade ….once again a team like the Oilers should inquire seriously with Anton Khudobin …hes the perfect age and is a future legit starter and #1 Goalie.

      • If teams cant see him play because he is in the press box, I would say this hurts his value. You dont remember how much time he spent there last year and with he Marlies that dosent help when you are looking for an elite type player in return. Just over 20 mns last night most so far this season not sure if Id call it lots but yes Carlyle is playing him for now if he continues to it may be wise to move him before Randy decides otherwise.
        I agree Ranger hasnt looked great so far but he will be fine on the bottom pair give it some time.
        You dont deal Reimer yet, wait a while its only been a couple games for Bernier. Id like the competition to play out for a while longer nothing wrong with having 2 good goalies playing.

    • I think most Leaf fans can agree that our needs are as follows: 1. Another young center with top line potential still on a ELC. 2. A top 4 (right handed defenseman). Despite what the haters say, if Gardiner is traded he will not be given away for a 3rd rd pick. The Leafs clearly need to get a very good piece back or they will just keep him. Also, this is only game 4, lots of hockey left and by game 30 some team could really be panicked and up the creek to deal. I wouldn’t make any moves yet until I see the entire Leafs lineup for a out 10 games. Some guys are out of position right now but we are still 3-1, and even the mighty Avs roster who pounded the Ducks 6-1 and beat the best defender (Weber) and top goalie (Rinne) only managed 2 goals against us and one goal was a stinker. We played the Avs with 2 NHL lines last night, Kadri and AHL players. At long last we finally have pieces to move to address other areas and we will. But we won’t give them away tomorrow just for the sake of making a deal.

      • Very true, and Id say 100% agreed the only reason I may seem in a bit of a rush is because Randy can be bullheaded and if he throws Gardiner up in the pressbox it could really hurt his value. If there is no worry of that happening (Im not so sure about that) then yes it makes total sense to hold on to see who really blinks first and offers up exactly what Nonis should be looking for.

  2. Anyone know if Scott Hannon is injured?

    • He is not. He drew out of last night’s game so that Stuart could come in. They play the same role, so having both for any given game seems like overkill/suicide by never getting the puck out of the zone

  3. Flyers need a playmaker..
    Rough start for us.. Just like last season but without injuries.

    • Gardiner for Couturier? Screw Nonis and Homer lets get this done Nitro lol

      • @Shticky, you flying high these days you sob :).. Problem was/is coaching.. Problem will continue to be coaching because I do not believe in Berube…

        Counter: Gardiner for Lauhgton? Check his stats before sayinh no. Laughton is NHL ready.

        • Ive seen him play lots with the Generals in the OHL same confrence as my Frontenacs definitely along the lines of what we would be looking at Laughton is very good player but probably at least a year away from the NHL IMO needs to put some meat on. I think the Leafs would be looking for some one who could be a little more ready. Funny tho Im surprised by the counter offer down the road Laughton may be the better center.

          • He is 194lbs per last report this summer. He gained some weight..
            He will be around 210 when he is 25 but he is right now 196lbs which is good.

            @BroadStBull ”C Scott Laughton has gained 14 lbs (up to 194) after getting pushed around at last year’s big camp by Grossmann.”

        • We don’t need a defensive prospect. We have many.

          We need a true #1 dman. Someone proven not another prospect.

      • UMMM..NO!

        Coots is untouchable.

        Leaf fans want to trade Gardiner…because of his flaws..yet they want a premier shutdown center who is only 20 in return.

        Sorry Shticky, but give your head a shake.

        • Again really not trading him for his flaws yes he has some but really as Ive stated a few times now and obvious to almost everybody is he can skate and pass like no ones business on a blue line of no offence but bigger slower guys he could really help get the puck moving up to guys like the flyers have playing forward. I say we move him because we have a bunch of the same type guy, and I doubt any of the others are going anywhere any time soon. I hoping they would move Franson for the same reason during his negotiations. Reilly no chance Id move.

          • I do not think D is a huge problem. I also think Flyers have enouh forwards. Goaltending has been solid.

            Flyers need decent coaching. Read, Hartnell, Giroux, Voracek have zero points in 4 games, PP stinks zero for 20 or something.

            Lavi was supposed to be fired last year. He was unprepared in pre-season. We could of go after Trots summer time and now we have Berube.. OUCH!

  4. If Reimer and Phaenuf were to be moved to say Edmonton, which would certainly help them in two key areas, what’s the most the Leafs could get back? Is it possible we could pry one of their elite young forwards away?

    • I like your thinking !!!

      Id be asking for Darnell Nurse ….and Smid on that deal

      • And the Oilers would be saying no…

        • Really ???
          For a #1 Goalie and a top 2 defender for an unproven player !
          Great shut down pairing for Oilers……. Ferrence and Phanuef

          • Riemer is not an upgrade on Dubnyk, and Riemer and Phanuef would be enough for Nurse alone. There will be no trade between the Oilers and the Leafs. The Leafs simply do not have what the Oilers are looking for. Riemer not good enough. Phanuef not good enough. Nobody on the Leafs are good enough for what the Oilers are looking for. I would suspected that Eberle or Yakupov would be the ones being shopped for the defensive help. As they are the high end assets that will bring in the high end players that Oilers want on the back end.

      • The crack must be good in Toronto

      • Yes that makes sense, two proven players, one a past all star and your teams captain and workhorse for an unknown quanitity.In the same breath, give up on a 23 yr old because he’s a 23 yr old PMD which there are sooooo many options to pick and choose from.
        The league knows Jake can play and is a player, whether or not he fits in with the team waits to be seen. At 23 and playing his first full year on defense on the Leafs, I’m sure a bunch of GMs would love to have him and anyone thinking that the Leafs should or need to trade or move Dion, Kessel, Kadri and Gardiner thinks they know a lot about hockey but sadly they don’t.

        • And neither do you !!
          Gardiner is not a defenseman!
          Dion is in a UFA year where the Leafs need his Cap space to move forward and Kadri will always be a 50/50 in trade talks for a major deal breaker…l

          Learn the business side of the game instead of what you wish for and what you value …because no one is untouchable and each player is only as good as there last game …get that right first and the rest should follow ….

  5. If Mason keeps on playing the way he has since his arrival to Philly, there will be no goalie trade for the Flyers.

    • Goalteding is solid.. Both Mason and Emery play well..

  6. Stop this Gardiner trade rumors. He is 23 and still developing. Unless we can get a young centerman we #1 potential. I can not believe everyone wants to trade riemer 4 games into the season. Be patient lol

    • LOL
      I posted a few days ago that Reimer would have a great season …however I made one mistake ….its impossible for him to do that on the Bench ….I LOVE Reimer hes legit ….but so far its pretty evident that Bernier clearly gives the team the best chance to win and makes the HUGE key save to keep the team in it instead of going down by 2 goals !

    • Im not saying or is anybody really for that matter that Gardiner isnt good enough so trade him. Get the “be patient and let Gardiner develop” brainwashing out of your head and look at the strengths and weakness of the team. 1 He has been Pro for 4 years, 2 if we could deal any of the half dozen or so PMD type d guys we have besides Reilly Id be ok with it to get a top 2 type center but it aint happening they are not a good enough asset yet, Gardiner is good that is why he maybe enough to get a younger type prospect who is close. If you packaged him right with someone else we could afford to move say A Kuli or Ashton type player or Devaine or Mclaren when he is healthy to a team looking for a deffensive forward or size and toughness possibly a later round pick deffinately not a first but you maybe able to pry a center that is needed here but not nessicarily on a team with depth at the position we dont have. Its just not Leaf fans who think Reilly is the real deal and within a year or 2 will be hands down a better player than Gardiner Franson is probably not going anywhere neither is Phaneuf in all likelyhood, and there is still Brennan and Percy to play Gunnarson is locked up for another couple years Blacker McWilliam etc. Someone has to go there is only so much playing time to go around.

      • The problem with your thinking and so frustrating to read by people who overvalue prospects is that all those defensemen you mention are for the most part inferior to Jake in every way otherwise why are they not on the team?

        They are just not ready to make the jump. Can you really say you can see anyone of those players you mentioned defend against the likes of Ovie, Malkin and Crosby on any given night? If you answer no then they aren’t ready, it’s that simple and no they won’t be an improvement just because fans that overvalue prospects THINK they will.

        • To further that point along, how does a 19-24 yr old prospect who doesn’t play in the NHL out preform the 23yr old already in the NHL?

        • The thing is Jake is yes a very gifted skater and yes he is NHL ready has proved in the past he is great at what he does, but honestly who is on the ice when the likes of Ovie Sid or Malkin are? Its Gunnarson and Phaneuf not Gardiner lets not get too carried away with this. Inferior in every way you say? Including physical and blocking shots? Speak of over valuing people and you make statements like that? Ron come on man I was just beginning to like you lol

          Im not saying give Gardiner away or that 100 % he should be traded but if you can address some of the things your team needs by moving something of value and you have other options to provide the same type of production that Gardiner provides aswell as a couple others that are here then you need to improve your team.
          Im not sure if you have been watching but so far imo Reilly is the better of the 2 and he is 19 years old with icetime and by the time he is in his early 20s he will be better by far. The difference in production between Franson Gardiner as a second pairing and Franson Reilly or Franson Fraser for that matter if Reilly were to go back to junior with another combination of our d as a bottom pairing would be negligible compared to the consequences of what happens if we run into injuries at center. How much time did Trevor Smith play last night? Imagine if Kadri and/or Bolland go down and your centers are Bozak McClement Smith and McKegg its laughable. Playing with 2 lines 4 games into an 84 game season because you have no depth is no the way to breed success.

  7. Gardiner has abilities that only Rielly has, a solid puck moving Dman, Stop this nonsense. He can take the puck and break out of his own zone alot like Kaberle use to. Franson and Phaneuf are gd offensively but Reilly and Gardiner bring in another element. Give Gardiner more time. He is a slow starter. Unless it is a top center prospect he should not be going anywhere. Wow shticky why should i get the brainwashing out of my head. He is 23 years old and only played in 91 games. Plus he had a strong playoffs. Give your head a shake.

  8. What’d ya now , another thread hijacked with Leaf talk !!!!!!
    Were tired of hearing wining leaf fans spout the stupidest trade ideas
    stick with the topic

    • Arent you clever?

      Heres an idea smart guy if you dont want to read about Leafs rumors try a different “topic” besides “Latest Maple Leafs, Oilers and Sabers Rumors” no one has kidnapped the Oilers and Sabers fans they are free to speak.

      • You would have more credibility if you could at least spell “Sabres” correctly. That’s not too much to ask?

        • Lol sorry it is not

          • Ill start proof reading more Ive made a couple doozies today

        • I think the only rumor that is true is Bucky Gleason is an idiot.

  9. Wow..Finally it is spoken…TRADE PHANEUF…….Ive been saying that for quite some time…the most overated D man in the league barr none…..please hockey gods please!

    • Backchecking with a new Name… G-Bones.

  10. I’d consider a Vanek/Miller deal to Minnesota. They can have Heatley and Backstrom.

    • Why should the Sabres do that when they can trade Miller & Vanek for Maltkin and Crosby?

      • Speaking of credibility…lol

  11. I don’t think the Leafs are trying to trade Gardiner or anybody at this point. They are listening to calls – big difference. Gardiner’s playing major minutes, Ranger will adjust to the quicker pace, the big question is: what to do with #44? He needs to play a lot. Will he get that chance with the Leafs? The brass have five more games to decide.

    • Well put!
      Personally I think Reilly will head back to the Marlies (not a bad thing in my opinion).
      Next year he’ll most likely make the team easily.

      • Unfortunately the Marlies are not an option. Reilly sticks with the big club or goes back to junio for another season – tough call.

  12. Does anyone know what would happen if the Leafs placed john-michael liles on re-entry waivers? Would anyone pick him up? I believe the team picking him up only pays 1/3 of his salary.

    • Thats the old cba now they are on the hook for the whole thing.

  13. The problem the Leafs have is defensive balance. How many PMD does a team need versus Defensive Shut Down Defensemen. How many PMD do the Blackhawks, Bruins, Kings, Sharks etc have? Gardiner , Reilly and Liles are PMD’s. Phaneuf, Franson and Ranger are a mixture. Only Gunnarrson and Fraser are Defensive Defensmen, and neither are number one pair quality. They need at least one if not two more defensive D. The only Marlie that fits that profile right now is McWilliams, and he is going to be a # 6 at best right now. So a trade is inevitable if the Leafs want to balance things out. Liles is immovable at this point, so take your pick. It likely won’t be Reilly. Moving Franson would be a mistake IMO, so that leaves Phaneuf or Gardiner. Maybe Dion goes home to Calgary at the trade deadline. Burkie will pay his Freight! Not sure what we would get / want / take other than draft picks.

  14. Wow, why is this kid getting crucified?
    I’ve seen defensive mistakes on the Leafs by Phaneuf, Ranger and Franson as well, yet Gardiner is the one who could get traded.
    The only reason I would ever get rid of Gardiner as others have mentioned is for a good young stud prospect forward, OR a stay-at-home bulldog D-man.
    Since there is such a need for both of those categories in every single NHL team, I honestly don’t think Gardiner is going anywhere any time soon. Now, if somehow Tor could fool Pitt into trading Orpik, then that would complete the puzzle in my opinion.
    Nonis is a calculating and calm GM, he will wait until at least Dec before tweaking the team (barring any injuries) as needed.
    This is just rabid reporting IMHO.
    As for the Oilers, Dubnyk has got off to a slow start, but let’s be honest.
    The defense in Edm is not the greatest so I don’t really blame him.

  15. Konstantine,

    I like Gardiner, but I am trying to figure out who Leafs would or would not part with. If they are going to trade for a number one shut down defenseman, they will have to give something up in return. Ranger will play for the Marlies and he is only on a one year deal anyway, so he does not help get them what is needed. I like the idea of getting Orpik in a trade and he would fit in well, but what do you give up for him? Remember Leafs are up against the cap too!And they have to resign a ton of big ticket or potential big ticket players next year.

    • This is exactly what I am trying to say no matter what hole you try to fill, be it center or a D that is a shut down type you need to give something of value up so is it Franson the only righty we got who hasnt looked bad so far Gardiner or Reilly? No way Reilly is not going anywhere. Franson, Randy seems to like and has made some strides defensively, or Gardiner outside of that there are no assets available that would interest many GMs with out packaging a high round pick and/or other valuable prospects to giving up an NHL level center prospect or shut down type d man. Personally I think we are in more need of a center but no matter the choice of hole there really is only 1 guy I could see moving atm to fill it.

    • Hey Murph,

      I might send my friend Shticky here into a frenzy, but I would trade Phaneuf for Orpik straight up.
      Both are on contract years, but I don’t think Orpik would make more than $4.5 Mill on his next contract, whereas Phaneuf will probably be asking for $5-6 Mill again.
      The defensive corps would then look like this (for this season):
      Orpik, Franson
      Gardiner, Gunnarson
      Ranger, Fraser
      If Orpik can’t be had I would see if LA would be willing to give up Regehr as well (doubtful, but it’s a possibility)

      • Lol tell ya the truth I dont really hate the idea of a guy like Orpick with Franson as a 1-2 my issue would be the Gunnarson Gardiner thing. I hate to sound like a fan boy but sending Reilly back to jr. Is not doing anything for his development. If it was the AHL maybe but he is ready to play with men. Id try to keep him insulated in the 3rd pairing with a guy who is a bit more of a vet like Gunnarson, I think that would work to help a guy like thats development more than playing with 17 and 18 year olds.Problem being we are left with the same problem no shut down type player to play with Gardiner. Fraser couldnt take up those minutes imo and I wouldnt want Fraser necessarily playing with Reilly. So its basically the same situation not enough shutdown types to play top lines.

        • You guys seriously overvalue Brooks Orpik.

          • I dont think so, if we had 2 guys like Orpik Id be quite willing to give up Phaneuf is what I am saying. Orpik as 1-2 with Franson and another to play with the second pairing and Gardiner I think we would be set up better than what we are now. Minutes would be way more balanced. Instead of having Phaneuf and Gunnarson eating 30 mins a game.

          • I wouldnt trade Phaneuf for Orpik straight up or anything like that.

          • I may be over-valuing Orpik a bit, but not by much.
            He hits like a freight-train, and his defensive game is pretty responsible which is what Toronto needs.
            What I might be doing, is under-valuing Phaneuf, but to be honest I was never really fan. In fact I was very disappointed when he was named team captain.
            Honestly, if Pitt were to trade Orpik and either a draft pick or a prospect for Phaneuf that would make it more the better in my eyes.

  16. So about 90 NHL games into his career, the Leafs could give up on Gardiner? Young defensemen take time to develop in the NHL. It doesn’t happen overnight.. and it takes a lot longer than 90 games for him to learn.

    Offensively he is fine… and his defense needs work.. but you need time to do that. Time and patience with the coaching staff.. They should be there to teach as well as coach… especially if you have a young team.. which the Leaf fans keep saying they do…

    • Gahhh its not “giving up”. No one is saying he cant play trade him for whatever we can get. There is a difference. We are giving up on Liles pay attention ;-)

      • Bottom line:
        If another team wants Gardiner overpay or go away.

        The Internet GMs can debate that and the haters can trash his value. Doesn’t matter that’s where the Leafs stand.

  17. I think Colorado will acquire Miller near the deadline.

    They appear to have an embarrassment of riches up front right now. They could offer up a number of packaged deals that would make a ton of sense for both teams.

    • Varlamov has looked very good so far. Im not so sure, have to see down the road later in the year if he stumbles a bit, but right now the only thing I see the Avs needing is defense.

      • Agreed, Varlamov is actually better than he gets credit for, and Giguere is a pretty good back up.
        Colorado is in need of d-men, but will only deal for one if the team goes into an out of control tail-spin.
        They would be the perfect trading partner for Toronto, as both teams have what the other needs.

        • After watching that game the other night and seeing the Avs game during Roys melt down. Stasny is definitely someone I think we should have some interest in and OReilly looked pretty decent aswell. Their contracts could provide a bit of an issue and Im not sure what it would take to pry one of them away if they are even really available, but again the way Randy mixes things around either one could be very useful to the Leafs.

          • Both strong on the puck, good down low, cycle well and both have showed they can finnish around the net in the past. OReilly could play some wing or center if someone went down with injury, and I think Stasny can could still play as a number 1. Just the minor details of contracts and what it would take to get one of them lol.

          • Send them Dion (I know, I’m starting to sound like a broken record LOL)