Latest on Ryan Miller, Jaromir Jagr and Mikhail Grabovski – July 20, 2013.

A list of three potential destination for Ryan Miller, Jaromir Jagr now linked to the New Jersey Devils, and suggesting Mikhail Grabovski as a possible fit with the Oilers.

Are there any trade destinations for Miller this summer?

Are there any trade destinations for Miller this summer?

SPORTSNET.CA: Patrick Hoffman lists the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers as three potential destination for Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can argue over whether Miller’s a good fit with any of those clubs for weeks, but what’s holding up any trade of the Sabres goalie is his contract, which has one year worth $6.25 million, plus a no-trade clause in which he lists six eight clubs he won’t accept being dealt to. Sabres GM Darcy Regier earlier this week noted the difficulty of moving players like Miller and Thomas Vanek this summer who are a year away from unrestricted free agency.

It’s also believed Miller would prefer moving closer to California to be near his actress-wife during the season. He might also prefer being dealt to a Cup contender. Lots of factors at play here. It wouldn’t surprise me if Miller and Vanek are on the Sabres roster next season, with Regier shopping one or both as the trade deadline approaches, when most of their remaining salaries have been paid by the Sabres, and where there could be more demand for their services.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a Czech report claiming Jaromir Jagr was in New Jersey recently to personally inspect the Devils home arena. Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda wouldn’t confirm or deny his client was in New Jersey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Svoboda was quick to deny a recent rumor linking his client to the Sabres, so make what you will of his latest comment.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis wonders if it would make more sense for the Oilers to pay more to re-sign Sam Gagner, or save money by signing Mikhail Grabovski and using Gagner as a trade chip.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would certainly make for interesting debate among Oilers fans. I think signing Grabovski and using Gagner as trade bait to address other roster needs would certainly be a bold move, of the kind GM Craig MacTavish promised when he was hired this spring. Ultimately, I think they’ll re-sign Gagner.


  1. I’d love to see the Oil get Miller and Vanek and use Gagner as a trade chip among some draft picks. Signing Grabo on the cheap to replace Gagner would also make sense.

    How about this article in the Toronto Star today. I almost puked when reading that this writer thinks Kessel will get $8.1M for 8 years and Phaneuf will get $7M as a UFA. As far as I’m concerned Phaneuf can be used for the year then he walks for nothing as a UFA which is fine in my book but if Kessel walks as a UFA for nothing or gets over paid giving him $64M to stay a Leaf then Nonis will be the dumbest GM in the NHL for not taking care of this pending problem last year or this summer.

    • This view is shared amoungst people that fail to recognize to comprehend what constitutes very good players.

    • Anything more than $5 Million a year for Phaneuf is severe overpayment. And honestly if Kessel can be a regular 90+ guy I’d have no problem giving him that much money. If he is a steady 80 point guy I’d give him maybe $6.5-$7.5. But seriously I have a feeling he’s going to get 100+ points this upcoming season so he’ll get his enormous paycheque.

      • 100+ points. Good humour!!! Hahaha….

  2. I’ve allowed this post with the link to the Star article regading Kessel and Phaneuf, but I’ve also noted it and commented at length in my Canadian Corner. I would therefore ask that any discussion/debate about that be on that thread, and not this one. Thank you.

    • Thank you!!!!!!

  3. Cant see how signing Grabo and trading Gagner really helps anything in Edmonton might save a a couple mill (if that… Grabo will get 3-3.5) in cap room but at least Edmonton knows what they have in Gagner, and at his age he still has way more upside then Grabo, plus you are trading Gagner with out a contract so I believe you wouldnt get as much for him compared to if he had a couple years on a contract at a reasonable rate. Just seems like a lateral move at best.

    • I don’t know. The former 6th overall pick has taken five seasons to finally have one decent performance, albeit in a shortened season. Not certain how this guy can command $5M per – it’s possible but still far from likely that he’ll repeat his performance, I’d go with Grabo, and find something in return for Gagner.

    • I would love the Oilers signing Grabo and moving Gagner out to get either a defenseman or a bigger forward. Honestly, I think the Oilers have a huge opportunity here.

      #1 – Sign Grabovski for $3.5 million/season for 2-3 years. (Yes I think even with the buy-out he is worth that).
      #2 – Retain half of Hemsky’s salary and move him to a team for a big, physical right wing
      #3 – Either sign & trade or move the rights to Gagner and try and land a defenseman

  4. Don’t get the Miller to Vancouver rumor ? Vancouver just went thru the one goalie too many drama and ended up trading the goalie they wanted to keep. Doesn’t getting Miller just put them back in the same spot ?
    If they swap Luongo then doesn’t both Buff and Van end up switching problems and still end up with expensive problem ? What am I missing ?

    • nothing… it’s stupidity.

    • Miller to Vancity is just foolish. I struggle to see the Pathers having any interest either.
      All the reports we have seen here involve St Louis. It appears that may be the true destination.
      Vanek on the other hand won’t finish the year in Buffalo, He is a known goal scorer who will get great trade value at the deadline.

      Miller I can see walking this time next year.

      • I kind of agree, Miller is a good goalie but being UFA next year and that 6.25 mill hit with the cap decreasing his limited ntc etc, it will be tough to move him this year, the Luongo thing dragged on for a year before Van realized its tough to move a goalie even a decent one that eats up a tonne of cap room, yes I know Luongos contract was longer and everything but with the drop in the cap and the way somethings changed in the new cba there are almost as many obstacles in the way of moving Miller as there was for moving Luongo. Unless they can maybe find a team at the trade deadline that has an injury issue in net or are on the bubble of making it to the playoffs with soft goaltending, Miller may end up walking for nothing.

    • Could be a 3 way deal in which Miller goes to Vancouver, Luondgo ends up in FL and Buffalo gets Markstrom. Miller has handcuffed Buffalo and deflated his value with his ability to void 8 teams, but moreso by saying he wants to go West. I would say if we can’t find a suitable trade for Miller, let him have shared duty. His value might go up if some goalie bombs the first half of the season and Miller has good number.

      I think our real value will come from Vanek – he has no restrictions and he is a goal scorer. So he could really help out any team in getting some offense if needed. I would like to see Vanek step up and become a leader/mentor to our youth, so we’ll see.

      • Sabres don’t need anymore goalies. They already have 6 goalies with pro contracts. And just to further extend that log jam is dumb. Whatever may be coming our way is top flight prospects or younger defensemen or forwards or most preferably draft picks. Miller will not walk come this time next year. It’d be an epic failure by Regier if he is not traded a failure that will most certainly cost him his job. And honestly Miller would be foolish not to accept a trade to a cup contender like Vancouver and future cup contenders in Edmonton. He’s up there in age so he would try his hardest to get that ring before his time is up. I’d obviously waive the teams like Florida, Calgary but not Edmonton, Vancity or St. Louis. As those teams are or will be serious contenders soon IMO.

        • Van is not going to trade for Miller when they have Luongo St.Louis needs another goalie as bad as th Sabers do, Edmonton is better but Id say are still aways away from being considered contenders plus Im not so sure they would give up any of the assets your talking about for a 1 year rental of Miller and Im not so sure that they wouldnt be just as comfortable with Dubnyk who has very similar numbers on a team with just as many questions on D as Buffalo had…so who does that leave out west…lol

  5. Why don’t the Sabres pick up $5 Million of Miller’s salary? They have plenty of cap room this year. He will be miserable and a distraction to a young team.

    • A team can’t retain more than 1/2 a players salary when they trade said player, that’s why.

  6. I was already thinking grabo. Would be a great replacement. Cause gags is not. Worth 5.5 million not even close and would be a great trading piece instead of any of the kids with a ton of talent so how about this sign grabo to a deal trade dubynk gags and a 2nd (2014) and a conditional pick 2015 for Miller and vanek

    • Thing is tho if you are trading Gagner as an rfa and signing Grabo you are essentially saying his (Gagners) value isnt great, so if Im a GM seeing this, or seeing you just signed Grabo to take his spot, do you think Im going to give up a valuable asset for a guy who you yourself are essentially giving up on? This whole idea is diminishing Gagners trade value and not going to make him great trade bait but will have the opposite effect I think.

      • Not really. You can say it as a sensible signing for the future and to address other spots. We know we have to continue to retain Nuge, Hall, Yaks, Eberle, Schultz and we are lacking on defense. So we can bring in a more affordable option, that brings salary relief and allows us to address another need on the ice.

        It is more about is Ganger more valuable as a 2nd line center or a chip to get a defenseman? Personally I’d be talking to the Predators and say which of your top 4 d are available? Ellis, Klein, Josi?

        • Josi? They just signed him to a great looking contract extension he will be of value for years. You think they would give that up for an rfa that you are not willing to sign yourself? There would have to be more to the deal there thats for sure, and thats what Im getting at I understand the other assets that you will be looking at down the road angle and yes I do think Gagner could be traded Im just saying its not going to be an asset on the same level as Gagner coming back because you are essentially trading me the rights to a player you have no interest of signing Im not going to give up a young d that I have locked up in a good contract to negotiate with Gagner on another RFA deal. I may be willing to give up a 3 or a 4 or some middle of the road type d thats been in the league for a while but not much more the that.

    • No body is getting both Miller and Vanek. Teams just can’t afford the salary and the players coming back would destroy teams for the future.
      Splitting them up will bring the best return….if any.

  7. This article on Ryan Miller provided ZERO useful information. It was basically a re-tread of every rumor posting over the past 6 months.

  8. Nobody wants miller or Vanek with those huge one year contracts. Buffalo would be smart to dump them both now for as much as they can get but it won’t be much.

  9. I believe Miller will end up in San Jose the question being what is the package and return?

    • If Miller is traded to San José or any other team, the Sabres are going to need a very good return after inactivity in the free agent market. If Enroth and Matt Hackett cannot outplay Miller in training camp, Miller will be staying and the Sabres need to look for a long term upgrade for a possible future beyond Miller.

      As for Buffalo dealing with San José, the logical answer is to move Martin Havlat and forward prospect. Havlat find time a a top right wing for the Sabres. Buffalo can take on salary, but San José does not have many players to the Sabres’ liking.

  10. Ryan Miller said he wants to what is best for the Sabres (if they want to trade him) and he also said he wants to do whats the best thing for his career.

    Miller never said he wanted to move closer to his Wife….. He said She has her acting and he has his Hockey and their relationship is fine where ever Miller plays…. Miller has said if the sabres ask him to be traded that he will do it if they ask him too….. He has also said he will do what is best for his career and where he would fit in with a team.

    He said he would like to stay with the Sabres for the rest of his career but if that’s not what Darcy and the Sabres want then he just has to deal with it and move on ‘That’s sports’ he has said.

    • Miller has said he’d like to be closer to his wife…has mentioned the difficulty in seeing her during the season. If he is with a western club it will be easier to travel on off days to see each other.

    • When did he say all this??