Latest on the Sabres, Oilers and Jets – January 19, 2012.

Does Ryan Miller want out of Buffalo? Could Drew Stafford be a good fit with the Oilers? Could the Oilers shop Ryan Smyth? Will the Winnipeg Jets be buyers or sellers by the trade deadline? Read on for the latest!

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports a coaching change isn’t on the horizon for the struggling Sabres, while GM Darcy Regier said last week a shakeup via a big trade isn’t coming either. Harrington also reported “an internet rumor site” caused a buzz (SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can you guess from the clue the name of that site, dear reader?) late Tuesday with an unsubstantiated report Sabres goalie Ryan Miller requested a trade. Miller put that to rest with a text to TSN last night: “”I have not and will not ask for a trade. I will fall on the ‘Sabre’ before that. Please no one ask me again.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the Sabres will be slowly shifting from “buyers” to “sellers”, but Miller won’t be among those “sold”.

Could the Oilers shop Smyth at the deadline?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples offers up reasons why Sabres winger Drew Stafford might be a good fit on the Oilers.

630 CHED’s Dan Tencer reported via Twitter Pierre McGuire informed him “one Eastern Conference playoff team with “significant” interest in Ryan Smyth”. Tencer added “If there are teams willing to make a good deal for Smyth, the Oilers could easily move him at the deadline and then re-sign him on July 1.”, and believes such a move would be up to Smyth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers are seriously interested in Stafford, the Sabres will likely listen, though they’ll probably want a decent return. As for Smyth, he’ll definitely want assurances he’ll be re-signed by the Oilers this summer, as I daresay he wants to finish his career as an Oiler.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/WINNIPEG SUN: believe the Jets, 2-6 over their last eight games, will likely become sellers at the trade deadline. Team co-owner Mark Chipman dismissed speculation of bringing back Teemu Selanne, saying management isn’t going to mortgage their future for a quick fix. The roster has too many holes offensively (24th in goals-scored) and defense (20th in goals-against), and if they do become sellers, it’ll be veteran players, especially their pending UFAs, who could be shopped, like Johnny Oduya, Kyle Wellwood, and Randy Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should also slam the door on those stupid “Shane Doan for Evander Kane” rumors. The Jets are a better team than they were a year ago, but it remains to be seen if they can overcome their current mid-season slump and avoid the same decline that cost them a playoff berth last season. If the Jets do make moves, it’ll be close to the trade deadline, as management obviously wants more time to evaluate the roster’s performance. 


  1. I wonder what eastern team that might be?

  2. PIttsburg? Shouldn’t be a huge investment, and he would be a solid addition for the playoffs whether they can get some of their players back from injury or not. *shrug*

  3. I am a huge Sabres fan but I was glad to see Enroth let in those 6 goals last night to prove to everyone that the Sabres problems are not related to Miller but to the play of the Sabres in their defensive zone. The Sabres should try to move Roy, Stafford and Regehr asap. See if anyone is willing to take Leino. Boyes and Hecht will be UFAs. They need to get some cap room so they do it right this time in the offseason by trying to sign Parise, Doan, Wideman, even Semin is better then Leino

  4. Maybe the Oilers could shop Smyth to the Kings and we could have a sequel to that drama in the same year. That would have to be some kind of record.

    Regardless of the drama created for the Kings, I’ll always like Smyth. That interview at the airport after he was traded to the Islanders tells you everything you need to know. As for being traded, I believe Smyth has a no movement clause (or did).

  5. @dom

    By doing that, the Sabres would be in the same predicament they are in now.

  6. Wordplay: just because Ryan Miller won’t ask for a trade doesn’t mean he won’t be traded. He’s likely not going to be.

    Buffalo itself is going to be sellers come the deadline unless their team stops losing 5-0 and 6-2. Regehr made his team worse by signing big contracts. Too bad. This HAS to be a locker room issue.

  7. Ducksfan93 – They wouldn’t be in the same predicament because I’d rather have Parise signed long term then Leino. If Hudler hits the Free Agent market he will be another Leino. Doan would be great in the playoffs and would add some size to a rather small Sabres lineup. Regardless this season for the Sabres has been a complete disaster

  8. Ryan Smyth would be a gret addition for the Leafs as well… a bit of a veterain voice for a group of kids.

  9. Sabers should free up all that cash they wasted and invest wisely this time. over paying guys is the same as not spending to the cap. you’re getting the same caliber of players, just upping expectations.

    Also good to see them lose big without miller, hard to blame a guy if he’s on the bench.
    jsut got rid of him in my pool, not because he’s a bad goalie, he’s still nhl elite, just the sabers dont have many wins comming their way in the near future

  10. Survey Champion – I agree 100%. When you lost 5-0 and 6-2 back to back with two different goalies in net; you know its not the goaltending. It would be much better for the Sabres to try to get rid of Roy, Stafford and Regehr. I am sure there’s a few teams interested. Take anything at all you can get for Leino. Boyes and Hecht are unrestricted free agents so they won’t be Sabres beyond April regardless and then spend wisely this summer. Parise would be a good signing

  11. Leino and Reghr are going nowhere. We will be selling off our UFAs and probably change the core at the draft. This sell everything is simply frustration and panic. Everyone talk a breathe and relax. It may seem like the end of the world but it is simply an end of the season that went badly. Our defense when healthy has been good. Our goaltending has struggled and the forwards lack chemistry so changes in the forward makeup will be made gone will be Goose, Hecht, Boyes, Roy and maybe Stafford but only of the deal is right. Timetorootfpr a top 5 pick in the draft

  12. Robin Regehr has a no trade clause, and Pegula flew to the family home with Ruff to beg him and his family to come to Buffalo. I can’t see him leaving Buffalo until his contract expires. Either Leino had a good blip year last year, or is just having a really bad year this year. If the issue is chemistry they better fix it fast because without any noticable improvement they will never unload that contract.

  13. Spector/Kyle: “… Smyth want assurances he’ll be re-signed by the Oilers this summer, as I daresay he wants to finish his career as an Oiler…”

    I am going to suggest that if the Coyotes don’t build on that 2i win total pretty quick as the deadline approaches, that Shane Doan may be willing to bring the Phoenix franchise some futures, IF he also gets assurances he’ll be re-signed by theCoyotess this summer, as he also wants to finish his career as part of the franchise.

    I an certain there is a major suitor in the Central Division who would love to add his game as additional to their Cup challenge.

  14. I don’t think Leino was ever anything more than a 3rd or 4th line player. He really cashed in on a good run in the playoffs but the guy just isn’t that skilled to be getting top 6 minutes IMO, unless it’s to complement 2 non-physical skilled guys.

  15. It’s funny people say get rid of leino for “anything”. In order for us to get rid of leino and that contract we would have to give up a McNabb type prospect in order “just” to sell him off. we would’nt receive anything but a mid draft pick in return. nobody will take leino unless they get something else worth while in return, and not give up anything. I think the leino contract is the sole reason regehr should be fired, i’ve always stood by him, but when you break the bank when you didn’t need to just to show the league that “We’re Here” is unacceptable. He wen’t against his own rules as a GM.

    Now back to leino, I’m willing to give up something else in the trade to get his behind out of here. He is lazy, and weak on his skates. funny how we add a guy who is a clone of all the other weak players we already have to a six year deal. The only move we may have is to send him to rochester for the remaining 5 years and let Pegula eat that money, Which means Regehr’s job.

  16. I love that Miller text tsn with that line about falling on the sabre!!! That’s awesome.

  17. Last night’s performance by Enroth showed it not about the Goalie, but about the Sabres lack of D and the fact that the forwards are not coming back to help. There seems to be a lack of effort and maybe even a declining of skills by some of the players. I agree that the Sabres should set some achievable goals and look towards next season. In the meantime, we know that Hecht, Boyes and Gaustad become UFAs after this season and Kaleta, Ennis and Gragnani become RFAs. Darcy should be burning up the wires and seeing what he can get for some of them as I’m sure a team on the cusp or a playoff contender could use some of them – clear off some salary and let us bring up some boys from Rochester. I also think Darcy needs to change the atmosphere in the dressing room and maybe doing a trade of Stafford or Roy for someone like O’Reilly, Brassard, Bolland or a Clowe would free up some cash. At this point, you might want to throw in a D-man and someone like Weber, Findley and/or Sekera might be a good addition. I still believe that Kevyn Adams should be moved to focus on Player Development and Lindy should bring in someone like Drury or Arneil to instill a “will to win” or “play from the heart” philosophy. Also I am somewhat confused as to what is up with the D since we have Teppo and James Patrick coaching them – somethings up with that and I think the Sabres need to sort that out. Maybe one is coaching a “stay at home” style while the other is coaching more of a “offensive/defensive” style.

  18. Buffalo’s stuck with those bad contracts.

    What they’re not stuck with is those guys that were part of the team before the contracts were signed. I’m afraid that they’ll have to give people good players to get rid of their bad ones like someone previously said. Jersey had spent over the cap and had to give away their 1st round pick to San Jose in order to get rid of Malakov.

  19. Yes, it appears that the Sabres are in cap prison. There is obviously a rift between Leino and Ruff. According to reports Ruff thought Leino was ready to play a week before he decided he was ready to play coming off his last injury. Plus Roy isn’t the most popular player in the locker room and neither is Miller.

    Although the goalies aren’t the source of the problem, I still feel the Sabres will be better off without Miller. He lost his edge after the Lucic hit and since he got married and has to live 2000 miles away from his wife.

    Regarding the rest of the team, I knew the Stafford signing was a big mistake when it was made. This guy doesn’t have the heart to be in the NHL. Roy is more interested in living large than in being an effective player. Leino has been awful. He needs to go down to the AHL like Kotalik and see if he can get himself straightened out down there.

    The future (once cap space is gained) looks much better. McNabb is another Pronger in the making. Kassian should be the power forward they need. Time and a 1st line center will produce a powerful team going forward.

  20. Ryan Smyth in Ottawa would be great.. playing either with Turris or Spezza. He plays hard and not afraid to go to the net… something that McLean preaches.

    Big question for any team getting him… what will it cost? Knowing you would have him for only this season as he would re-sign in Edmonton…what would Edmonton be asking for?

    I have always liked the heart and soul that Ryan Smyth plays with.

    As for Buffalo — I think a lot of their problems are due to the injuries they have/had throughout the lineup. But that contract given to Leino is almost untradeable. I understand that the owner wanted to flex his deep pockets.. but the big question is… did they spend that money wisely? Would it have been more prudent to save some of that for this off-season with better UFA’s and the new CBA?

  21. I don’t see parise going to Buffalo.
    He wants big money and to be on a contender.
    I see him going to Boston,Phily,Detroit or hometown Minn.
    Boston and Phily should have room if Savard and Pronger stay on LTIR.
    NJ should move him asap to the highest bidder.

  22. Parise to the sharks for 2 1st rounders and havlat then they trade a 2nd to buffalo for drew stafford

  23. Welcome to Panicville home of the self annointed HockeyHeaven.While there is panic all around the Sabres,the moves have yet to come.The past few games show the problem isn’t on the goaltending end of things.I have listened for years that your team when newcomers arrive need 20 games together to gel.The Sabres denfesively have had to call up Mcnabb ,Findley,Brennan due to injuries along with trying to get Rehger and Erhoff acclimated to the system here.I can even give Lieno a partial pass for it being the first year of a new long term deal here.The problems seem to come in the forward ranks Roy in a word soft.Last year Stafford break out year well as like most professionals contract year so time to perform year after time to go.Boyes deadline deal last year and tied to his contract this year end of season gone.Hecht good defensively but hasnt been same like Miller since his concussion.The one that will be tough to move from their core is Gaustad Top 10 in faceoffs and decent defensively if only the offensive side would come.Right now its a mess being so close to the cap but with some salaries coming off at end of this year.There is some young defense that can be moved along with some of the deadwood forwards and that will have to happen before it starts becoming Hockey Heaven.

  24. Selanne needs to come back home to where it all started: Winnipeg (no i don’t mean Finland). Give up Cormier and this is a done deal.

  25. Parise would look good in Ottawa. Not for Zibby though. Puempel and Noesen and Condra (who fits in their “d-first” philosophy and a conditional 1st if he signs. if not a 3rd….Get er done Murray

  26. Think Jersey’s keeping Parise the rest of the season, even if they lose him for free. They’re going to be gunning for playoff revenue unless they totally suck in the next 5 weeks.

  27. It would not surprise me if the devils don’t trade Parise! They have a history of keeping their soon to be UFA’s! But I think if they don’t trade him, they will lose him for nothing as MJR wrote!
    Smyth would look good in a Pens jersey! What trades the Pens will make depends on if Crosby and Letang return before the play-offs! I don’t think they have a shot a the cup without both!
    The Sabres should trade their soon to be UFA’s. Leino is untradeable, they can only hope it was just a bad year for him. Ehrhoff will regain his offensive touch when he is healthy again!

  28. NikK I have been thinking the same thing for a while. Smitty is a top six forward and is still the best in front of the net outside detroit. Leaf haven’t seen that skill set since Dave Andrechuk