The latest on Ryan Miller and Brad Richards, plus updates on the Islanders, Oilers and Panthers.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports goaltender Ryan Miller has become a huge asset for the Sabres, both with his play and as a trade candidate. Harrington is open to the Sabres re-signing Miller but advocates only a three-year deal worth $7 million per season. He doubts Miller would re-sign.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe Miller has any interest in re-signing. He’ll move on, either via free agency in July or by the March 5 trade deadline.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough wonders if the New York Rangers use their remaining compliance buyout in June for Brad Richards to free up cap space to re-sign Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Brough noted, the issue isn’t Richards performance (20 points in 28 games) but his front-loaded contract. While a buyout of Richards is no certainty, it can’t be ruled out.
SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon reports the New York Islanders are in need of goaltending help. There’s speculation GM Garth Snow could pursue Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, but doubts even he could save the Isles season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE:Sticking with an ageing Evgeni Nabokov as the Islanders starter was not a wise move by Snow, and his team is paying the price for that mistake.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wonders if Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is trying to land a defenseman. Options could include “ the Detroit Red Wings’ Kyle Quincey, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Tim Gleason, the Florida Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov and the Phoenix Coyotes’ David Rundblad.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of these, the best option talent-wise could be Kulikov, who’s only 23 and still has time to develop into a reliable top-four blueliners. Only concern, however, is his RFA status with arbitration rights, plus the possibility he could use the threat of going to the KHL as leverage in contract talks.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon isn’t in “tank mode” but said any trades to improve his club won’t include his young core.