NHL Morning Rumor Mill – December 16, 2013.

The latest on Ryan Miller (what, again?), Michael Del Zotto (yes, again!), Jonas Hiller (and again!) and more, plus speculation over possible changes for the Jets.

Could the Habs shop Brian Gionta?

Could the Habs shop Brian Gionta?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Hurricanes are shopping goalie Justin Peters and the Oilers could be interested. Talk around the league is everyone on the Hurricanes except Eric and Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner and Cam Ward could be available…The Blue Jackets could be seeking a forward…Canadiens are rumored shopping for a skilled finisher but don’t have much to offer in return. They have tried in the past to move captain Brian Gionta but he won’t land the return they need…The Blues, Blackhawks and Ducks could have interest in Sabres goalie Ryan Miller…The Blackhawks and Maple Leafs may be shopping for depth at center…The Avalanche are believes shopping for a top-four defenseman and have been linked to the Rangers’ Michael Del Zotto…Garrioch believes the Panthers will eventually move Dmitry Kulikov, Tom Gilbert, Shawn Matthias and Marcel Goc.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes could move a goalie before the Christmas trade freeze. As for the other Hurricanes, the team’s been on a roll of late so I doubt we’ll see a major shake-up…If the Habs want a skilled finisher they’ll have to move one of their promising youngsters to get one, and I don’t believe GM Marc Bergevin wants to do that…Blues are sticking with Halak, the Blackhawks have a promising backup in Antti Raanta and are happy with Corey Crawford so they have no need for Miller, while the Ducks seem content with their current goaltending…The Avs were also thought to have interest in Kulikov, who could be more affordable than Del Zotto.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the play of goalie Martin Jones could make Ben Scrivens trade bait when Jonathan Quick returns from injury. He speculates Scrivens might get moved by the trade deadline. Jones can be sent back to the minors until then…He thinks the Ducks could try to re-sign Jonas Hiller if his salary demands aren’t excessive and instead shop Viktor Fasth…Matheson also speculates the Kings might move often-scratched forward Matt Frattin…He also wonders if the St. Louis Blues would “give up goalie Jake Allen, winger Ty Rattie and two draft picks for (Ryan) Miller?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jones is waiver-exempt so I can see him being demoted upon Quick’s return…Despite Hiller’s UFA status at season’s end, he’s playing well so there’s no need to move him or bring in a replacement…Blues appear willing to stick with Halak for now.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Tim Campbell analyzed some potential moves the Jets could make to shake things up. Among them, of course, is a trade, as “Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien have been heard but nothing’s been verified.” Campbell cautions that trades are never easy to make, especially during a period of weakness is never a good policy. “Rarely does the team giving up the best player in a deal win a transaction.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the best option could be a coaching change. Jets management have been loyal to a fault with Claude Noel, but this club is showing no signs of progress since they became the Jets in 2011. As I’ve frequently said this season, a team with the talent of the Jets shouldn’t be mired in mediocrity. Moving Kane could blow up in their faces, and I doubt they get a quality return for Byfuglien right now.


  1. Re: Hiller
    Been saying all along that Fasth is the easier and cheaper move. Hiller will be resigned
    and stay in Anaheim. Andersen will be backup.

    • Agreed, plus why would they trade the only goalie they have with playoff experience?

  2. I think the Jets are due for a coaching change. Lots of coaches out there with years of NHL experience. Paul Maurice, Peter Laviolette, among many others. The honeymoon is over. As Lyle said, too much talent on that team to be where they are.

    • Agree with the Jets coaching change. Before you move players like Kane or Buff, you might need to see what a new coach can get out of every player. You don’t want to make a haste trade and it comes back to bite you. A new team or new coach and both these trades might make you regret it.

  3. Paul Maurice? Really? Wouldn’t wish that guy on any team.

    • 100% agreed. Maurice is not a good coach.

      • Yessir. I’m in NC so I know YOU know what we’re talkin about haha.

  4. I would take him over Noel any day of the week. Any coach who cannot get more out of a group with that much talent should step down a level. Maurice never had the number of quality players in Toronto or his last run with Carolina that Noel currently has. A star or two here and there (Sundin and Staal) but after that a huge dropoff. But if you do not think Maurice is a candidate, I think you are mistaken. That said, who do you think they should replace Noel with?

    • Ron Wilson’s available.

      • So is Crawford Possibly Carboneau Laviolette Robinson Renny Sutter…there are a few decent coaches around with NHL experiemce.

  5. If I were the Avs I would be calling Clb about Jack Johnson, his stats are way down this year but he and Eric Johnson have great chemestry when paired together for team USA. They might be able to get both of them going and they also can probably get him cheap, McGinn and a 1st sounds good.

  6. I’m sorry but whoever wrote that article wondering if the blues would give up rattie , Allen and two draft picks for miller must be out of his god forsaken mind a UFA plus an ageing miller when they have halak and are one of the best teams in the league for a goalie that will retire or should in 3 to 5 years max I wouldn’t trade rattie alone for miller let alone Allen plus two draft picks .. Is that guy a sabers fan that wrote that lol or does he even watch hockey to know who these players are and their status …. Also I know this isn’t on the post but please people enough with subbans contract he has no leverage he is a rfa if he doesn’t sign what the habs want he sits and sits until he does and the habs will trade him for a handsome return also if another team thinks of going to try and sign him long term Montreal will match and again get him signed long term maybe a little more then what they want to pay but cost of doing business or trade or let go for a bunch of first round picks

    • “Also I know this isn’t on the post but please people enough with subbans contract”?? Seriously, you don’t want people to talk about it so you bring it up?? Wow… By the way, A Norris Trophy + Rabid Montreal Fans + a slow start for the Canadiens next season would give him all the leverage he needs. One thing for certain, even if he sits out a year, Subban will find employment. If Bergevin plays hardball with him and the Canadiens play poorly, he might find himself unemployed…

      • Let’s try to keep this on topic, folks.

        • Those habs fans always trying to talk habs stuff geez I dont know if I can read anymore 😉

  7. What about Del Zotto for Buff? As a Ranger fan I would love this trade.

  8. I think the ‘big’trade Mtl was rumoured to be looking at is actually a trade for Shawn Mathias. Big trade meaning for a big guy…. MB is a bit of a jokester if you did not know. I think this trade will happen only after Jan 9, the third meeting of the two teams and last before the trade deadline. Leblanc and Ngryen should get it done with maybe the Panthers throwing in a late (5,6) pick, IMO.

    • Also, if this site below (and others) is to be believed, Gionta has an NTC. Not sure why his name keeps coming up in rumours,

      Again, I won’t say he’d never be traded, but I’d be pretty shocked if they even ask their captain to waive his NTC if they’re in playoff position (which they should be). They’ll need to wait till the off-season to lose him.