Are the Senators interested in bringing back Martin Havlat? Will the Blues stick with Jaroslav Halak? Will the Ducks move Jonas Hiller? Are the Islanders in the market for a goalie?
OTTAWA SUN (VIA TORONTO SUN): Don Brennan reports the Senators are seeking a top-six forward, citing a source claiming GM Bryan Murray has spoken with the San Jose Sharks about former Senators winger Martin Havlat. Brennan claims the New York Rangers also have interest in Havlat but Sharks GM Doug Wilson doesn’t want to give up on him just yet. Havlat has one more season at a $5 million cap hit remaining on his contract plus a no-movement clause, but Brennan believes he’d waive it to return to Ottawa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brennan cited Havlat’s 77-point season with the Chicago Blackhawks as an example of what the winger can do when healthy. Problem is, that was back in 2008-09. Granted, he had two productive years with the Minnesota Wild (54 and 62 points respectively) after that, but he played only 39 games for the Sharks in 2011-12, and suffered a season-ending pelvis injury last season. It’s rumored the Sharks wanted to use one of their compliance buyouts on Havlat last summer but couldn’t because of his pelvis injury. The Sharks would probably have to eat part of Havlat’s salary to make him palatable to other clubs, especially those under a tight budget (Senators) or with limited cap space (Rangers).
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeremy Rutherford noted the Blues were believed among the teams interest in Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller last summer, but because of the strong play this season of Jaroslav Halak, that ship may have sailed. Rutherford also noted the Blues limited cap space doesn’t leave much room to add Miller’s $6.25 million this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could agree to pick up half of Miller’s remaining salary, but I don’t see him as a fit with the Blues this season. If Halak cannot carry the Blues deep into the 2014 playoffs, however, they could pursue Miller as a free agent next summer.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek noted recent reports of the Nashville Predators contacting the Anaheim Ducks about a goalie. With the Ducks a legitimate Stanley Cup contender this season, he doubts they’ll part with Jonas Hiller, their only goalie with playoff experience.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Duhatschek noted, it would take a significant offer for the Ducks to part with Hiller. Maybe that changes later in the season but for now they have no reason to move Hiller.
TORONTO STAR: Curtis Rush noted a recent Newsday report on the New York Islanders plans to replaced sidelined goalie Evgeni Nabokov, claiming they aren’t planning to look outside the organization.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could change if Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson prove unable to fill Nabokov’s skates.