The latest on Ryan O’Reilly, plus updates on the Oilers and Roberto Luongo, and the trade status of Senators backup Ben Bishop.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater yesterday wondered if forward Steve Downie’s season-ending knee injury might put pressure upon the Colorado Avalanche management to re-sign holdout RFA center Ryan O’Reilly, who’s been playing in the KHL while his agent negotiates with the Avs. Dater subsequently reported O’Reilly and Metallurg Magnitogorsk ( his KHL team) had mutually agreed to terminate his contract, though the reason behind it is a little foggy, as the team claimed he aggravated a foot injury in his recent game. It’s possible KHL transfer deadline protocols might be playing a role in this. Dater hopes to have more info later today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news has fueled speculation O’Reilly and the Avs might be close to a deal. Hopefully we’ll have more details later today. The fact O’Reilly has ended his contract with the KHL robs him of leverage in his negotiations with the Avalanche.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk isn’t concerned about the recent trade rumors linking the Oilers to Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. Dubnyk said management hasn’t told him the rumors aren’t true, but said that’s not up to him to deal with them. Speculation has the Canucks interested in Oilers center Sam Gagner. Matheson believes it would make little sense for the Oilers to acquire the 33-year-old Luongo and the nine years remaining on his contract, especially when they haven’t given Dubnyk enough time to establish himself as their starter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I don’t rule anything out, I don’t believe the Oilers have serious interest in Luongo. Yes, Dubnyk had a lousy game against the San Jose Sharks, but in the Oilers season-opener he played very well in a 3-2 shootout win over the Canucks. Besides, it’s not like he got much help from his defense in that Sharks game. Should Dubnyk bounce back (and I expect he will), it’ll put an end to the “Luongo to Edmonton” rumors.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it could take time for the Senators to find a trade partner for backup Ben Bishop. GM Bryan Murray has explored the trade market for goaltenders and has decide to wait and see how things play out. Sources suggest until the Canucks either trade Roberto Luongo or take him off the market, it could prove difficult for teams with goaltending depth (like the Senators) to move a netminder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams can afford to be patient right now, as it’s only the first week of the new season. Give it a few weeks, and if the Luongo situation still isn’t resolved, clubs in need of goaltending depth could find Bishop a more attractive option. Remember, the Senators demoted Robin Lehner because he didn’t have to clear waivers. Bishop, on a one-way NHL contract, would have to pass through waivers, where a rival club could get him for nothing.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues have placed defenseman Jeff Woywitka on waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are reportedly in the market for an experienced defenseman. Maybe they might have interest in Woywitka? We’ll find out soon enough.