Are the Oilers any closer to making a trade? What’s next for the Sabres? What’s the latest on the Canucks contract talks with the Sedins?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish won’t be pressured by howling fans and his club’s poor record into making a hasty trade. He won’t trade all of his draft picks for next June but Matheson speculates the Oilers first round pick could be in play. MacTavish also speculates Corey Potter, whom he placed on waivers yesterday, could be claimed by another club. David Staples noted the recent assessment of the club by Oilers radio analyst Bob Stauffer, who suggested the Oilers might try to trade for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin.
NHL LIVE (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): TSN analyst Darren Dreger reports he knows MacTavish is working the phones seeking upgrades (particularly defensemen and in goal) but he’s unwilling to give up any of his young core or his top prospects like Oscar Klefbom. There’s a willingness from ownership through management to remain patient.
Dreger also touched on the Sabres, wondering what they would seek for recently-acquired Matt Moulson if they decide to move him later in the season, plus there’s not much of a market right now for Ryan Miller. He suggests the St. Louis Blues as a possibility if their season goes sour but so far they don’t need him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem for MacTavish is there’s currently very little available via the trade market to help his team. If the market was better for goalies and/or defensemen, I believe he would’ve made a move by now.
The other problem is he has little that he can afford to part with. I believe his only real trade chips are Nail Yakupov (because of his entry-level contract) and prospects like Klefbom. If he’s unwilling to part with any of them, he could be waiting a long time for the market to improve, and by then it could be too late to save his season.
As for the Sabres, I don’t expect any further moves from them until later in the season. There’s no real market for Ryan Miller’s services right now. As long as Jaroslav Halak keeps playing well, the Blues won’t have any need to bring in Miller or anyone else.
VANCOUVER SUN: Elliott Pap reports the strong October performance of the Sedin twins could affect their contract negotiations with Canucks management. The apparent stumbling block isn’t money but term, as management might be leery of investing long-term in the 33-year-old twins.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough reports Canucks GM Mike Gillis denied contract term was the sticking point in his talks with the Sedins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Brough suggests, if term isn’t an issue, Gillis could try to get the Sedins to agree to a lower cap hit but on a longer term.