The latest on the Flyers, Ducks, Canucks, Rangers, Oilers and more.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman wondered about Ryan Miller’s future with the Buffalo Sabres. Miller sounds increasingly unhappy over the Sabres play this season. “He’s got a limited no-trade clause and maybe it is time”, write Friedman…Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland intends to await until very close to the trade deadline to make decisions on the club’s direction, which includes pending UFA center Valtteri Filppula….Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher isn’t keen on trading veterans like Matt Cullen too quickly.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Miller demands a trade, I don’t see the Sabres moving him. For them to have any shot at making the playoffs, they need Miller between the pipes…Makes sense for Holland to wait another month to see how things shake out with his club. If they’re out of the playoff race, he could put Filppula on the block if there’s no progress in his contract talks.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Anaheim Ducks could meet with pending UFAs Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry over the next 7-10 days for contract talks. LeBrun’s gut feeling is the Ducks will re-sign Getzlaf, but could trade Perry by the trade deadline if he’s still unsigned by then, regardless of their position in the standings…LeBrun also dismissed the notion of Roberto Luongo changing his mind and wanting to stay in Vancouver, forcing the Canucks to trade Cory Schneider.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I disagree. Yes, they risk losing him for nothing this summer to free agency, but the Ducks attendance has been in decline in recent years (they’re currently 25th overall). If the Ducks continue their strong play, they could be a serious Cup contender this year. Trading Perry won’t help, as they’re unlikely to get a return which would improve those chances. They need the revenue right now. Yes, the fans would be disappointed if Perry departs via free agency, but the sting of that departure could be lessened if he helps them go deep in this year’s playoffs…I agree with LeBrun regarding Luongo and Schneider. I don’t think anything’s changed there, and it’ll still be Luongo who gets dealt, if not this season, then this summer.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports a source claiming the St. Louis Blues are interested in Flyers forward Daniel Briere, but Briere (who has a no-trade clause) isn’t interested in leaving the Flyers, who are rumored to be interested in Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The Boston Bruins are also rumored among several clubs to have interest in Briere, who has two seasons left on his contract at a cap hit of $6.5 million per season.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers were rumored to have interest in Winnipeg Jets forward/defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t see the Blues giving up Shattenkirk for just Briere, even if he were willing to accept a trade. I also doubt the Jets, currently battling for a playoff spot, are willing to move Byfuglien.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis would prefer to re-sign with the club. He’s slated for unrestricted free agency this summer.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere recently speculated the New Jersey Devils could shop a defenseman in order to add a top-six forward. Little-used defenseman Henrik Tallinder could be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Chere noted, Andy Greene is playing perhaps the best hockey of his career right now. It would be shocking if they dealt Bryce Salvador and they aren’t parting with Adam Larsson. Tallinder seems the likely choice, though I doubt at this point in his career he’ll land a top-six forward.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher still believes the Canucks need a third line center.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports Sportsnet’s Doug MacLean is “shocked” other clubs aren’t interested in Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney.
SPECTOR’S NOTE; That’s because of the decline in his play, especially his foot speed. He hasn’t been the same since those ankle surgeries.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are interested in bringing back Mats Zuccarello once his KHL season is over.
BOSTON GLOBE: Tim Thomas’ agent claims there’s no change in his client’s position. Thomas still intends to sit out this season.
DENVER POST: Little used Avalanche defenseman Shane O’Brien could become trade bait in the near future.