More fallout and reaction to the Vanek-for-Moulson deal plus speculation on a possible destination for Ryan Miller.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple considers the acquisition of Thomas Vanek a solid move for the NY Islanders, but wonders if they can re-sign him. Vanek is eligible for UFA status next summer and it is widely assumed he’ll sign with the Minnesota Wild. Staple also doubts if Isles GM Garth Snow has other deals in the pipeline, believing he’s unwilling to part with prospects like Griffin Reinhart or Ryan Pulock. He also doesn’t see Snow parting with assets for a quick fix in goal, like Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough examines the Islanders options regarding Vanek. They can either sell Vanek on staying with the Islanders between now and the trade deadline, or they can shop him if Vanek doesn’t intend to stay.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance reports Vanek won’t help the Islanders with their goaltending and defensive concerns, but “predicting future output of a goalie in the short term on a new team is a risky proposition”, plus a quality defenseman currently isn’t available in the trade market.
WGR 550: Paul Hamilton reports Sabres GM Darcy Regier wouldn’t say if he’s planning to re-sign Matt Moulson. Hamilton guesses Moulson could be moved later in the season for draft picks. As for Ryan Miller’s status, Regier claims he hasn’t had any discussions of late about the netminder (or the Sabres other free agents) with other teams.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports a source claims the Sabres intended to make Vanek the highest paid player in the league if he would re-sign with them. Vanek, however, didn’t want to be part of a rebuild.
SPORTSNET: Doug MacLean suggested the Philadelphia Flyers would be a good fit for Ryan Miller, but Miller would have to agree to sign long-term with the Flyers to make the trade work. Nick Kypreos reports Miller, who has a limited no-trade clause, won’t accept a trade to a Canadian team. “Ray Emery, say, could be sent to Buffalo in a package centred on draft picks and become the backup to Jhonas Enroth.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Vanek meshes well with John Tavares and keeps the Islanders in playoff contention I believe Isles GM Garth Snow will retain him for the rest of the season and try to sell him on re-signing. If not, Vanek could go on the block by the trade deadline. Unless Moulson is willing to be part of the Sabres future, I would expect him to be moved at the deadline. As for Miller, it could take time until a suitable trade partner is found. It won’t be the Flyers, who are getting outstanding goaltending from Steve Mason. The Flyers’ biggest need right now is scoring depth and finding someone to take Andrej Meszaros off their hands.