Latest on the Oilers, Sabres and Canucks – October 31, 2013.

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?

Oilers Craig MacTavish says he won't be pressured into making a trade.

Oilers Craig MacTavish says he won’t be pressured into making a hasty trade.

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.


  1. Flyers trade Braydon Schenn, Nick Cousins, Andrej Meszaros and a 2014 2nd rounder to Buffalo for Moulson and Ehrhoff!

    • Darcy Regier says “No thanks”.

      • I think Moulson could be the type of guy the Sabres might have some interest in resigning. Hardworking good role model type for the younger guys can score some goals. Depends on what he wants for a contract but he could be a good guy to keep around.

    • Miller you must be high or something. If Holmgren was the Sabres GM I think he’d be dumb enough to do it but Regier? Hell no!! Keep trying though. So cute when people who don’t know hockey start proposing these ridiculous trades. Next we will here Meszaros and a 1st rounder for Crosby!! Getter done Holmgren lol.

    • hmmm

      Moulson=1st+ something else
      Ehrhoff=1st+ 2nd + something else

      Mesz is a cap dump
      2014 2nd
      Schenn +Cousins

      Moulson +Ehrhoff= 2 1sts + 2nd + a very good young player >> 2nd + Schenn + Cousins

  2. Re: My 2 cents on the oilers.
    1) The assets they have are young players on the team, prospects in the system and draft picks.
    2) Of these future draft picks is easier for oilers to let go of. Future Draft picks do not have names and
    faces, no history with the organization. It’s just a pecking order in the future. It’s not like trading RNH or
    Hall they turn into 50 goal scorers next year and oilers never hear the end of it.
    3) They still have time to turn the season around but they don’t have long and they need to stop making
    the hole deeper. If they wait any longer than they will once again almost have to play the high draft
    pick game again, gee do we draft a D-man and wait three years or add a forward who can play now
    but wait, we already have a bunch of these we won’t trade for D-men.
    4) If they end up waiting and continue to draft high then McTavish is no improvement over the last GM,
    he is doing just about the same thing.

    It’s getting near roll the dice time or wait another year.

  3. Reimer and Liles and a 2nd for the 1st round pick and one of their goalies?

  4. I don’t care if it is the same thing, the Oilers need to just use patience. They have three solid defenseman in the system who will join Schultz, Smid, and Ferance in the future for a very solid blueline. If the Oilers are going to make a move they need to move for a physical forward with leadership and some years left to play (Steve Ott) and perhaps a younger goalie to mid aged goalie (Ward, Reimer, Hiller).

    • JJB
      This works and is ok but I assumed that the reason MacT was brought in was because the Oilers were impatient with the progress the team was making ?

    • Not that I think it will happen but a big deal like Kulimen (big very good defensively) Reimer, Liles as a bit of veteran leadership, would help the Oil. Throw something in perhaps Ashton again more size good in all zones and some grit for Gagner and a pick The Leafs get another top 6 type younger center for only 2 guys off the current roster, drop a bit of salary The Oilers get exactly what they need 2. Bigger wingers who are hard to play against some goaltending and a bit more of a veteran presence. Again just spitballing but a deal like that is the kind of big move MacT has failed to deliver so far.

      • Tough to assess what pick, or if the Oil would need to throw in another part, but I like the thinking here a lot: addresses a bunch of needs for both teams, no huge over-valuing of any player. Nice one!

      • Won’t happen. Gagner and MacT have a “gentlemans” agreement that Gagner won’t get traded. Besides that, why in the world would Edmonton want Liles? Another soft, small defenseman – a la Schultz the younger.

    • I agree with Steve Ott (leadership and grit and Buffalo rebuilding) and Reimer (I hate Reimer but some how he wins with all those rebounds lol), only because you don’t need to break the bank and mature the team through their influence

  5. From what I understand Miller has modified his NTC by half although I hear he doesn’t want to go to a Canadian team which there are 7 – so I guess he has modified his NTC by 1. Anyway, I think there might be some goalie interest – Varlamov now has legal problems and one has to wonder how that will effect his status and his play. Renne has a severe bacterial infection in his hip – what does that do to Nashville goaltending? Carolina – both goalies are on IR. Islanders need an upgrade, so does Philly and it makes me wonder about how long MN, Dallas and St. Lou’s goalie will last before they get injured. One thing for sure – Miller is pretty durable, unless he’s getting run over by Lucic, and he is a real good goaltender.

    Its time for him to go and I don’t have a problem with the Sabres retaining some salary for him. We got rid of one attitude and I believe what Moulson brings to the Sabres is more than just his “scoring” ability – he brings character, skill, a great work ethic and he is someone you want our youngsters to emulate. He has been in the shadows and often is overlooked, but Buffalo will give him the opportunity to shine. Whether he stays or goes – our youth will gain something from him.

    • We think alike…especially regarding Vanek’s attitude. I think the whole team is better off internally without him.

    • The pundits keep saying there is no market for Miller, but I think you’ve nailed it pretty well. In particular, your assessment of Carolina and Nashville make sense. They need someone to get them through the injuries, but not burden them long term, and Miller fits that. Dallas has shown they can’t win without their #1 tender, and he is out a lot. Similar situation in MN, although Harding has played pretty well. Doubt if Varlamov is out long from the legal issue, but who knows?

      • Oh, and Carolina is trying DiPietro in the AHL, but he got shelled in his first game.

  6. First, the leafs are not going to trade Reimer, at least not this year. Second, if they traded him to the oil why would they want one of their goaltenders who couldn’t get the job done in the first place. Third, Reimer is a starting goalie and would be worth at least a first+ on his own. Fourth, if and when they do trade him it will be for a sturdy stay at home d-man or part of a trade for a number 1 centre. Providing Kadri can’t handle the position.
    If MacTavish wants to improve his club he will have to move some young prospects and picks. He has absolutely no choice other than one of his first round picks in recent years. Although they may be loathe to move a guy like Yakupov they may have to bite the bullet. The problem right now though is Yakupov is not giving Mac T the fuel to convince any GM he is worth it. The young man may be an exellent player some day but won’t until he remembers hockey is a team game. Right now the oil need to give Bachman a few more games just to see if he can stop the bleeding. So far he is 0-1-1 but has stood on his head and hasn’t allowed any cheesey goals.

    • Not sure Reimer is worth a first by him self with the current goalie market.

      • But I do agree I doubt the leafs would deal him unless it was for a very good piece coming back.

        • I’m not disagreeing, but noting that an Oilers’ draft pick will likely be quite high in the round next year and including Liles would be a favour to the Leafs not the Oil. I don’t think the Leafs are so far past rebuilding mode that a high first round wouldn’t be of interest.

          • The goalie coming back would have to be good enough to be an NHL backup, not a starter.

    • Reimer is not worth a 1st like Schticky said with the current market of goalies.

  7. What? No long drawn out analysis from Sticky about this topic? I am soooo disappointed! Oilers need to give up RNH or NY now for a vetern D-man or goalie or it’s season over, or game over.

    • There ya go iceman just for you

      • I don’t think the Leafs can afford to give up either goalie this year. If the Leafs continue to give up 30+ shots a game the goalies are going to fatigue before the playoffs, so they really do need to share the workload.

        Also looking at the rest of the league only the province of Alberta needs goalies lol. Miller I hope your actress/model girlfriend looks good in a fur bikini :p

        • Based on Google results it turns out the answer is yes :p

      • Thanks! It’s always a pleasure to get a professional opinion on all the latest drama in the NHL. GO WILD!

    • RNH is not going to be traded by the Oilers, if anything Yak is the one on the outs. He’s terrible defensively, doesn’t know what the hell to do with the puck when he has it anywhere (offensively, in the neutral zone or defensively).

      I’d be inclined to trade him before any one of Gagner, Nuge, Hall, Eberle.

  8. Edmonton management and players said this year will are not using the young team excuse and will make the playoffs. GM says I’m going to be bold this summer? Now from management through owner they are saying we will be cheap and keep this mix of players who give up 4+ goals a game and can’t win? We should have heard fire Lowe and Craig Mac cheers a couple of nights ago instead of Go Leafs Go in Rexall Place. Fans need to keep chanting new management until the owner is forced to do it. Or stop showing up to games but Edmonton is a Canada city so that won’t work. I hate the Oilers and knew there recent draft plans ducked but I feel sorry for the fans and don’t wish any Canadian teams to be bottom feeders for this long. Edmonton is as bad and Atlanta was.

  9. Well Downie to Philly for Talbot.

    As a Flyers fan, I’m happy to see him back.

  10. Crazy Downie is back in Philly..
    I do not mind the trade.. I llike both players to some degree.. Flyers will play a lot on PK.

    • Great trade for Philly, assuming they can get Downie to dial it back a bit. He can muck it up pretty good and still score a bit, that’s always a valuable combo. UFA at end of year though…

    • Head scratcher for me is why add salary without upgrading or adding someone who could possibly get the offense going? I can see the move from the Avs point of view and its not a bad trade really for Philly its just knd of…ehh.

      • Ooo it’s not bad for Philly at all.. Value wise.. Downie has skill no question about it..

        It is a little funny for me to see Carle back with Tampa and Downie is back with Philly.. Find it ironic..

        Of course Downie is top 10 player in minor penalties with 2 majors. I hope he is what we need. Berube and Lappy as coaches, coaching Hartnell, Simmonds, Rinaldo, Downie…. Watch your knees..

        Question for Bolts fans out there.. or fans that watch Tampa.. Did Downie play with LeCavalier during his time in Tampa?

        • Oh I agree like I said I dont think its a bad deal or anything like that just seems a little odd when you got guys like Rialdo Simmonds and Hartnell like you mentioned. Maybe something else is in store.

          • There’s nothing “hard” about Hartnell’s game at all. He’s a joke who should be traded for whatever they can get. The bonus is he’ll be gone, and so will his ridiculous contract.

      • I don’t understand this trade either. Philly took on $900K extra cap hit this year for a UFA who is going to make a decent PK worst because they are killing off too many penalties. I just don’t see how much better this makes them for the extra million cap hit. I guess they didn’t give up much but didn’t gain too much either. Not going to make them start winning games.

    • Kind of a weird trade. Downie’s line was pretty effective. I dare say that downie and Roy could have been locking horns. Maybe Downie was not good for the dressing room, but how bad could he have been if the Avs are 10-1. Talbot brings experience to the Avs for the playoffs but just because they are starting off well doesn’t mean they will make the playoffs. On the surface I’d say the Flyers won this trade but that can change.

      • Agreed, Drew. Knowing Downie, my hunch is there was some internal conflict that made the Avs want to get rid of him. Mind you, like you say, at 10-1, he couldn’t have been *too* poisonous, but that was my instant hunch, too.

        • Anyone else find it odd that Varlamov gets arrested and Downie gets traded the next morning after having a good start to the season and being on the #1 line?

          Maybe its not Downie with Roy that was the internal “conflict”…

          Just thinking out loud mind you.

          • Are you saying that Downie had an affair with Varlamov’s girlfriend? :)

  11. Nikitin was the player sent to Columbus when Hitchcock surfaced in St. Louis and decided he needed Kris Russell (who was with the Blues for all of 76 games where he contributed 5 goals and 16 points and is now with Calgary), given that Nikitin is on the top pairing with Fedor Tyutin and Russell is no longer with St Louis i’d say Columbus won that trade. Nikitin is a very good defenseman (27 6’3 217 lbs) with a very affordable contract and i’m sure Columbus would rather re-sign him than trade him particularly since they traded Methot last year and are bringing along a couple of rookies. i’m sure Edmonton would love to have him but the cost would be steep if he was available.

  12. the Sedins want to stay in Vancouver and if they end up leaving Gillis won’t be far behind them, likely they’ll retire as Canucks after rewriting all the Vancouver scoring records. there’s been a lot of talk of them being “soft players” who only excell in the regular season but during the 10/11 playoffs where the Canucks made it to the finals they led the team in goals, assists and finished 1 and 2 in points and might have won it all had the team not been so beaten up by the time they got to the finals. during the regular season they pile up the points in the west where defense is at a premium (unlike the east where offenses freewheel and defense is an afterthought). their status as elite players was cemented with back to back Art Ross wins (i can’t remember a brother act ever doing that, before or since), it should be noted that they’ve done all of this while facing top checking as Vancouver hasn’t had a really strong 2nd line since Kesler was between Raymond and Grabner. anyone who doesn’t think they’re still elite players didn’t see the show they put on against Washington or the goal they got against Detroit last night.

  13. whats funny is with burke at the helm of calgary soon we all kno it will happen the flames will be better than the oilers soon mact reminds me of a kid who wants ur best card for his garbage its time for the oilers to realize that u have to givesomething to get something

  14. Boston should start sniffing around Moulson. Boston giving up a package with Marchand as the centerpiece could work.

    Columbus could also do well to add him. They have plenty of picks and young players to dangle. Maybe Boone Jenner, another prospect and picks?

    • EH. I like the way you think. CBJ are not the doormats they used to be now that they have very good front office personnel. They aren’t afraid to make moves to their roster.

  15. The Sabres are doing it right. Stockpile the draft picks and then systematically assemble a bunch of young players on all levels of the organization.
    Some picks are made, some are traded for young NHL ready players.
    But first get rid of the GM for Rick Dudley and get rid of the coach.
    I don’t think this team will be down for long.