NHL Morning Rumor Mill – January 27, 2014

Latest on the Senators, Flames, Blues and Bruins.

Matt Moulson could be the Senators' top trade target.

Matt Moulson could be the Senators’ top trade target.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren and Bruce Garrioch report Senators management recently met with their scouts to determine where the club stands and how it can improve. The Senators are in the market for a scoring winger.  Warren reports the Sabres’ Matt Moulson and the Oilers’ Ales Hemsky are believed on their list of options, while Garrioch believes Moulson is their top choice, though if the asking price is too high they could look elsewhere. Assistant GM Pierre Doiron told Warren it’s possible the Senators could make a move before the trad deadline but Garrioch believes it’s doubtful they’ll do anything before the Olympic break.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While much depends on where the Senators are in the standings before the deadline I believe they will indeed acquire a scoring winger in the coming weeks. They can draw upon their depth in young players and prospects as trade bait. Moulson and Hemsky could be attractive targets but there could be a bidding war for their services.

CALGARY SUN/CALGARY HERALD: reports the Flames will try to trade defenseman Shane O’Brien after recently demoting him to the minors. The Sun’s Randy Sportak meanwhile wonders what the future holds for Flames pending UFA winger Mike Cammalleri (Do they re-sign him? Do they trade him?).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could try to package O’Brien with Cammalleri or another player to move him before the deadline. Otherwise they could be forced to wait until this summer to trade him or buy out the final year of his contract. I believe Cammalleri’s a goner by the trade deadline. I don’t see him staying with a rebuilding team.

STLTODAY.COM: Dan O’Neill points out the reasons why it would be difficult for the St. Louis Blues to acquire Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s well worth the read. Short version: lack of cap space and the Sabres’ high asking price for Miller works against making a deal. Sure, it’s possible if Blues GM Doug Armstrong can get creative, but that limited cap space means shedding salary to take on Miller’s cap hit, which could adversely affect team chemistry.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty cites a Bruins source claiming the pickings for defensemen are slim in this year’s trade market. Defensemen like “Chris Phillips of the Senators, Dan Girardi of the Rangers and Andrew MacDonald of the Islanders simply aren’t being made available this point.” Haggerty also noted a potential trade target could be the Oilers’ Nick Schultz, who’s a UFA this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins stand a better chance getting Schultz than Phillips and Girardi, while the Isles won’t part with MacDonald if they’re still in the playoff chase by the trade deadline.


  1. I’m sure the Sabres will pick up the salary they need to make a deal work. Probably take back a lot of Miller’s contract back.

    • I still don’t know why St. Louis isn’t satisified with Halak and Elliot, (and Allen for that matter). They boast one of the best, if not “the best” goalie tandems in the NHL. Miller is a good goalie but his value isn’t as high as the rumurs imply. He better fits with the Islanders or Panthers, although niether of those teams will be in Stanley Cup contention any time soon, I guess the Blues would be his best chance at a Cup, but can they afford him? IMO the Sabers asking price is to high and who are Blues going to give up to get him? Shticky? Backchecking?

      • Thunder, there is a perception out there that Miller is an “elite” goalie – he has done pretty well in the playoffs, he does have a silver medal, he’s durable and right now he’s playing great on a crappy team. IMO I think Hitchcock is not comfortable with his goalie tandem and he wants Miller. The numbers can work – St. Lou trade Halak , Rattie and Stewart (who is not one of Hitchcock’s favorites) and in return they get Miller, Grigorenko and McNabb or a draft pick.

        • If I were sabres I’d try to trade miller before Olympics .. If there is any chance of miller being hurt in Olympics you’d think you want to move him before

        • @Steve, he has faced alot of shots and does have an impressive save percentage, and his defensive core is pretty bad, but I’m not sure I agree with the term “elite”, anyway, I heard a silly rumor that the Wild may have interest in him and would offer up Heatley, Brodziak and Zucker. Good luck with that Mr. Fletcher.

        • Finally….a fair deal

      • Simply put the blues interest comes down to one name. Jonathan quick. St. Louis has watched as the kings advanced past them two years in a row almost entirely on the back of quick and I’m sure they don’t want to see it happen a third time. The two teams are so very similar and equal everywhere but in net. Halak and Elliott are competent but that’s not enough to advance in the playoffs.

        I don’t see how miller is overrated. His been one of the best goaltenders in the league while playing on one of the worst teams in the league. He’s a clutch performer and on an otherwise great team like STL he’d be lights out. And if anyone is going to take quick’s job in Sochi it’s miller.

        All that being said I really don’t see them getting miller before this summer the way everything currently sits for all the reasons Spector and o’neill have stated.
        And this is nothing against Chicago or Anaheim, who the blues will need a little something special to get past.

        • That would make for one of the best 7 game series. Miller vs Quick. Two of the best american goalies. Especially if it comes off a Team USA goalie controversy.

        • The Blues issue wasn’t keeping the puck out of their net it was putting them past Quick. They lost a lot of low scoring 1 goal games. They gave up more than 2 goals in regulation only once in last years playoffs. Miller won’t help them score goals when they lose 1-0 or 2-1.

          • Exactly, if you are going to make a deal maybe use some futures on some scoring.

      • @Thunder I just cant see St.Louis being that desperate for Miller to give up the assets, if you look at playoff numbers both Hallak and Miller have just above a .500. Winning percentage and Hallak has a better sv% and gaa. People will say Miller puts up great numbers on a weak team which is true but his playoff numbers are on a much better team and they are not all that great and no better than Hallaks I would think it would be a team that would be more desperate to make the playoffs or make some noise in the playoffs, Minnesota makes alot of sense. More than St.louis that could roll the dice with a great team good depth in net, if they come up short try and sign Miller in the off season and not give up players picks or as the article stated mess with chemistry in the last 2 months of the season.

        • @shticky, right, and maybe Minni gets him via some of the young talent in the system without giving up too much. I think with the Sabers having some higher draft picks this summer, they might accept a reasonable offer without it including a 1st round pick, we’ll find out soon, maybe he resigns, but I doubt it.

        • I am shocked at how many people fail to see Miller’s value. He was lights out against the world at the last Olympics. He carried USA to the gold medal round. Even though they lost, he was the reason they were there. (not predicted to be there)

          While the request for Miller is high, as expected, there is no reason to think he couldn’t carry a team to a cup and rather quickly. Every team asks for a ton and settles for less, it’s how the trade market works.

          People need to look past their dislike for the Sabres and look at how well he actually plays.

          • I do see value in Miller, just not from some teams perspective (Ducks, Blues) who have deep goaltending, I think Miller would be a great pick up for Washington Minnesota the Islanders (to have first crack at resigning him) or as somebody else mentioned Detroit if they could figure out how to work the cap, Miller is a huge improvement in some situations and could be the difference in making it more than a round or 2, just not with teams that have 2 or 3 goalies capable of being starters, and in these 2 cases have goalies with similar or better playoff numbers than Miller.

          • I actually haven’t sensed any Buffalo bashing in peoples responses. Instead they have looked at the fact that Miller is a pending UFA, getting older, was great but may not be elite enough to dramatically upgrade existing options for a lot of teams and has a high dollar value attached to him in a setting where most teams don’t have a lot of cap space.

            Combine the above with what other good or very good goalies have gone for and it’s hard to imagine a team ponying up a huge return for Miller. I actually thought Cory Schnieder had more value givne his age, contract status, and demonstrated ability but he went for a first round pick. Now Bo Horvat looks like he’ll be a good player but he’s projected as a solid 2nd line centre if he pans out.

      • If the Islanders pick up an all star quality goalie like Miller, it’s hard to say they won’t be contenders. Especially true if they keep (brain fart. The return for Moulson) with anew contract.

  2. Any chance the Bruins are looking at Ehrhoff? He’s got a big contract but only has a $4 mill or so cap hit.

    • I think it would need to be a rental type D man in Boston just for the playoffs, with Krug Bartowski and Hamilton being line up guys in the next year or so and Chara Seidenberg Boychuck and McQuaid not a whole lot of room on that blueline in the future for Erhoff.

    • @Jes I am not 100% positive but I think most of Ehrhoff’s contract was upfront money.

      • Does it make sense for the Red Wings to consider Erhoff?

        • Yes, but: 1) it needs to be dollar-for-dollar; 2) the Wings have a greater need for a right-shooting dman; and 3) it will take a lot for Buffalo to trade him. Still, I’d love to see him in a Wings jersey.

  3. What would it take to grab Shultz from the Oilers as a depth addition to the Bruins, and the only reason I say depth is because besides some experience, his play isn’t head and shoulders above any of the other defensemen in-house that we’ve plugged into the lineup.

    • I dunno it’s a weak draft so I wouldn’t mind giving up a 2nd rounder or 3rd round +

      • Do you really think the Oil want to give up any decent Defencemen?

        That is one of the key pieces they need. Moving Shultz doesn’t make sense to me.

        • True its what the Oil need but that doesn’t change the fact Mac-T traded their best d-man in Smid and made several other swaps without taking back a goalie. I have this feeling he thinks he can get all of the UFA d-men in July. I heard that Toshiba is willing to trade them 7 more fax machines for a game worn Omark Jersey! win-win!

        • Nick Schultz, not to be confused with Justin Schultz, is a UFA at the end of the season. He is one that is not expected to be back with the Oilers next year.

          Zamboni Tony – Smid was far from the Oilers best d man. Smid was a constant on what is and was the leagues worst defence. He was a good shot blocker and fought hard, but on a good team he is a number 5-6 defencman tops. Also MacT did bring in a goalie prospect in the Smid deal.

  4. I disagree, its a sellers market, with that said, whomever wants Miller will pay the price, the Sabers will be as rich in prospects as the Panthers. Jes, I don’t see Chiarelli wanting to be saddled with Erhoffs contract due to the Length, not cap hit. Goalies being the exception rather than the rule.

    • The market for a goalie is small, very small. I don’t think Miller / Sabres have or will have more than 2-3 teams that are seriously interested. Unlike a Forward or D-man that gets 10-12-20 teams interested..

      • Exactly, weak market to amove a goalie and his cap hit narrows down the suitors a fair amount. Everyone but the Isles and Oilers already have an NHL goalie (some even have two) and those teams aren’t going to be all that interested in a rental. Some will see Miller as an upgrade but I would be surprised if they get much more than a prospect and a pick for him.

        • Agreed Styx. I don’t see the Islanders or Oilers going crazy for a guy they know will be available for nothing in a few months …. Why give up the future on a UFA when you aren’t going to the playoffs? Outside NY, I can’t even think of another eastern team with the need for Miller.

  5. Over on sabrenoise they are saying the sabres are supposedly scheduling a news conference either later today or tomorrow on Miller situation, trade?

    • Sabers get: Nic Backstrom and Mikko Koivu
      Wild get, Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford
      I get bashed by my fellow posters, LOL.

    • Resign Ott?

      • Srry read it wrong

    • If a trade was going to be announced I would think Miller would be riding the bench tonight but from all reports he is starting against Pittsburgh.

  6. I know this is a crazy idea, but I really could see the Red Wings and Sabres swapping out goaltenders. Miller is a hometown boy and would be playing with his brother in Detroit. The Red wings could also grab 1 of the Sabres top 4 D-men and try and make 1 last run at a cup…they have the veteran talent to do it and with Miller and a big D-Man they could. In return the Red Wings would ship over Howard (who just needs a change in scenary and the Sabres get a good young goalie signed to a pretty friendly long term contract for a re-build) Ouellette and a condiional draft pick based on playoff penetration or Miller re-signing.

    • I can’t see it from the Sabres side of the deal. Enroth seems to be the likely replacement for Miller. I don’t think that Buffalo would want a starting goalie coming back in the deal. Maybe a prospect, but not a 29 year old starter.

    • Just as a causal observer of the wings they are desperate for a shut down D-man that they can put out there at key times, they have seemed to have lost a lot of points because they can’t hold leads. They have lost several D-man the past few years and it shows. If I’m the wings I go after Dan Girardi if Sather decides to move him.

  7. The Senators should have no issue in getting Moulson from the Sabres and they should be going hard after him. He is a talented winger on the right side of 30 and is a better resign option than Michalek this off season. However from the prospect pool Puempel, Lazar, Ceci, Borowiecki must remain untouchable. Young talent I’d be willing to see the Senators move in any sort of deal for Moulson: Stone, Da Costa, Pageau, Prince, Blood ect

    I likely see the Senators offering up a deal like Stone, Da Costa, Grant for Moulson. Knowing the Sabres are already deep at defense, the Sens give up one of their more valuable prospects in Stone as well as two decent prospects in Da Costa & Grant.

    • @JJB The thing is Timmy knows the Sens talent better then any other team in the league so you know he is going for top end talent for Moulson…in the end the Kings might be best situation for Moulson and with his brother in law Quick being there might be easy re-sign for LA

    • Zabenejad a pick and Stone?


  9. How about buffalo does this with moulson. Send him to Montreal for fucale and maybe a second. Enroth is not the saviour there, makeover may turn out to be but why not build a stable of goalie prospects. Their defence will be set in a few years, why not add to their goalies. Don’t gms always say they wNt to build from the net out? Focus on getting offence in the later rounds and next year. I’m a leafs fan so it kills me to say it but buffalo will be good in a few years with all the picks/prospects they are stocking

    • Totally agree Matty, Buffalo is remarkably well set up. They have a lot of D prospects coming and some young D already there. They have a ton of picks in the next two drafts and will likely move Miller and Molson for more prospects or picks. Love to be the GM of that team, he can completely build the team any way he sees fit. Stockpile talent then make moves to augment down the road.

  10. Miller was great at the 2010 Olympics. Ancient history. Who were the three best goalies that year up for the Vezina trophy. Miller, Brodeur, and Bryzgalov. See a trend here.

  11. Parenteau to Habs for Rene Bourque rumour out there , Parenteau not dressed for AVs . Colorado may be looking to beef up, some big teams on the left coast. Bourque has not lived up to his potential in Mtl, Parenteau Cowan bring some needed offence to Mtl

    • I don’t see how this potential trade makes sense, Parenteau is the better player.

  12. I really don’t see boston trading for anyone,they are still in first in there division,second in conference.and I think boston is built for another strong playoff push.i think they will be fine without adding anyone.if they do go for broke on a trade for a defenseman and a big trade go for weber.

    • Even if the Bruins stay in first throughout the remainder of the season it can almost be assumed P.C. will make some type of move to acquire a player that will either help the team immediately, or will add to the depth. They’re built for the playoffs, yes, but I doubt the coaches and g.m. are confident in heading deep into the playoffs having 3 young rookies on the defensive side. Hamilton has been there a couple of times, but the other 2 rookies are still relatively inexperienced. I feel the Bruins will make a move to acquire some veteran defenseman probably in the 30-35 yr old range, and most likely will toss some form of draft pick the other way, possibly a prospect. I don’t think P.C. will be trading any 1st or 2nd round picks and/or any elite level prospects unless it’s for a substantial impact player… but it’s been reported the Bruins are looking for a defenseman with an expiring contract.

  13. Bickleton wigglesworth III – very well put, St Louis may run into the same roadblock come playoffs should they not upgrade their goalie. Miller is an upgrade even though they do have a solid tandem already. Miller put them over the top so is that worth it? Yes.