NHL Morning Rumor Mill – January 7, 2014

Updates on Sam Gagner, Ryan Miller, Dan Girardi, Daniel Briere, Dustin Byfuglien and more, plus the latest on the Capitals and Oilers.

Ducks interested in Dan Girardi?

Ducks interested in Dan Girardi?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports Sam Gagner’s no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until next season. Though GM Craig MacTavish promised Gagner not to trade him this season, Friedman believes it sounds like both sides want a change. “Should a deal happen, no doubt MacTavish will try to make it a soft landing”…No contract talks yet between the Canucks and Mike Santorelli…Friedman wonders if the Sharks have interest in Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto…He also cites multiple sources claiming the Ducks have interest in Rangers’ blueliner Dan Girardi. The Bruins could also come calling…The toughest thing about moving Canadiens forward Daniel Briere is the second year of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve previously noted, Gagner could fetch a good return if packaged with the Oilers first round pick in 2014…I expect the Canucks wait until season’s end to talk contract with Santorelli…If the Rangers hope to trade Del Zotto, they have to move off their rumored asking price of a top-four defenseman…I’m sure Girardi will attract considerable if he’s put on the trade block, but I still doubt that happens as long as the Rangers remain in playoff contention…If the Canadiens decide to shop Briere they’ll probably have to pick up part of his contract.

STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon punches holes in the theory of the Blues acquiring Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller before the trade deadline. Among the points: The Blues do not have a goaltending emergency thanks to Brian Elliott’s strong play filling in for Jaroslav Halak, the Sabres high asking price (three top prospects and a first round pick) and Miller’s UFA status this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe if the Blues decide to pursue Miller it could be this summer if he becomes a UFA, rather than via trade.

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen believes it’s time for the Jets to trade defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who continues to make costly defensive errors. “If GM Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t trying to trade No. 33, he’s not trying to make the Jets better”, writes Friesen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Jets miss the playoffs this season changes could/should take place. Byfuglien could be among them. Moving a player of his caliber and usually takes place in the off-season when teams have the cap space to take on expensive contracts.

CSNWASHINGTON: Chuck Gormley reports Capitals coach Adam Oates is hopeful his club’s goaltending situation is rectified soon. They’re carrying three healthy goalies in Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer and Michal Neuvirth, with the latter’s agent recently requesting a trade.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: In a response to one of his readers, Jim Matheson lists Ales Hemsky, Nick Schultz, Ryan Jones and Ryan Smyth as possible candidates to be moved by the trade deadline. He also believes they could listen to offers for goalies Ilya Bryzgalov and Devan Dubnyk.


  1. Offers for Dubnyk from where? The Northern Saskatchewan Beer League?

    • Hey– don’t knock that league. It’s a five drink minimum and no player is allowed to have more than 10 of his own teeth (although he can have as many of his opponent’s that he wants).

      • LOL, Not sure Dubie would know what to do in that league, guys on his team would probably actually go in the corners.

        • Seeing his own teams wingers skating back towards him when the other team has the puck might be confusing as well.

  2. Is it possible Big Buff could revert back to his power forward position and go to a team looking for a bit of size and strength? Not sure of Byfuglien’s contract but perhaps the Rangers could look to get bigger up front and make someone like Callahan more expendable to get some good prospects and picks in at the deadline.

    • Agree didn’t Chicago use buff as a forward in there 09 cup.

      • Buff just might look good on the Oilers defence or offence.

    • Here’s the skinny on Buff up front:
      He was asked to play that role, and had to be daily pushed to play it with aggression. He is basically a comical care-free guy, and the coaching staff had to drum it in his head, that he helped more there than to get the occassional shift on dee, where he clearly has weaknesses. (That is without mentioning staying a bit leaner…theyw ere on him daily to keep it in a bit of a check.)
      Definitely always wanted to be a difference maker, loved being the guy…but really wanted to get a shot as an attacking defenseman.
      He gets the big $ deal and still hasn’t progressed to the level of play commensurate of theat contract—takes too long to wind up, and although moves with authority down low, is real prone to stick check losses of possession. That is not even touching on the raw plays AS a dee-man in his own zone.
      So a team faces a challenge even if they make the trade and view him as the guy in front & corners on the PP…does he embrace the move back forward line with vigor or has the new team just added more work in terms of building a better commitment on his part.

      I think having Big Buff on your team only becomes a problem after he signs that outrageous deal…because you not only are paying for excellence but all players soon to looking for new deals will look at the team pecking order and say, “Well if HE gets that, I should be thought of a ________ dollars….”

      • ( I was talking about the Chicago coaching staff prior to his trae to Atlanta….)

      • Skinny and Buff used in the same sentence….first time for everything I guess lol

  3. Anyone on the Oilers should be available for the right deal…. lets be honest.

    Cheveldayoff, has done nothing to improve the team other than giving money to players via contracts this team is pretty much post Thrashers not Jets moving forward …the team is very similiar to the leafs in how it plays, its built and its quality of play and personal.

    Gagner will be a Canuck …IMO …by trade deadline

    • Really don’t see the Canucks picking up Gagner this season. They have H. Sedin, Kesler and Santorelli down the middle. Why would they need Gagner?

      I think the Canucks are looking for a fast, physical scoring winger with some versatility. Basically the winger they thought they were getting in David Booth.

      • And the kind of winger that Zack Kassian could become down the road.

    • don’t believe hall, rnh, or j. schultz are available.

      • Agreed on Hall RNH probably Eberly but could see Schultz go for the right offer I think.

        • I think BC is still thinking Dave Gagner is on the Canucks’ staff, which he hasn’t been for over a year.

          Also, the Canucks don’t need another small, skilled forward like Gagner, particularly at centre. They need a sniper for their top 6 and possibly a defensively responsible big-bodied banger for the bottom 6.

  4. According to capgeek, Danny B has NMC and a NTC. Has he agreed to be moved? If not, the Habs are stuck.

    • I can see the Sabres doing something to get Danny Briere. While he’s not the player he used to be, he could be a good pickup to help mentor our youth – if Ted Nolan ever decides to play them. I think it just depends on what Montreal is asking for him – but one thing for sure – he’d get plenty of playing time in Bflo. If the cost isn’t too high – why not? The pickup would also allow the Sabres to trade some of their other assets – Moulson, Ott, Ehroff, Meyers and Ennis. – Not saying they would trade all, but IMO I think the Sabres should listen to all offers. I guess my feeling is that if Patty is having this much difficulty finding a GM, it seems that receiving any offers for players might just overwhelm him. It seems picking players up from waivers is easier for him to handle than making a trade. I’m just totally baffled by this.

      • I want Regier back!

      • You want Briere back in a Sabres jersey? Are you out of your mind Steve? The guys not even close to half the player he once was. Might as well bring back Lydman and Drury while your at it hey? lol.

        • we picked up Briere because he is a big playoff performer and now they want to trade him before we can even give him a chance . Lets wait until after the playoffs before we judge him.

  5. Good morning Lyle,

    What type of player, or who might do you believe EDM might be looking for, that they’d need to include a 1st rounder alongside Gagner? To give up a high draft pick can we assume its a bonefide star?

    • I believe it was Shticky who mentioned Gagner and the 1st for Keith Yandle. Sounds good to me.

      • Why would Phoenix trade Keith Yandle?

        • 5.25 cap hit and to get another scoring forward and a high first round pick?

          • Oliver Ekman Larsson makes him a little more expendable…for the right price of course maybe as some one else mentioned throw in Vermette for Petry (Yotes need a stay at home type) deal would look like, Yandle and Vermette for Gagner Petry and a pick (not sure it would need to be a first) but the Oilers get a veteran type presence and center to replace Ganger (team could use a vet or 2) a top 2 type Dman. Yotes get a more stay at home D. Man and a more offensive 2nd line center along with a top 35 pick.

            Baring that Yandle for Gagner and the first seems pretty reasonable.

          • I also think the Oilers rather have Ekblad rather then Yandle. I would too.

        • I believe Phoenix has wanted to rid themselves of Yandle for quite awhile now. His cap doesn’t really matter seeing how the cap will rise to new highs in the coming years.

          • Im not so sure “rid” themselbes is the correct term…5 mill per year (well worth it if you look at his numbers and compare them around the league) on a team that dosent make money is steep, and hes a player that could bring back some very good young and affordable assets but if tbey wanted to “rid” themselves of Yandle Im sure there are quite a few GMs around the league that would pick him up. More about the cost and how the team had to operate more than the player I believe.

  6. Been a while since i posted, nice to be back.

    Question: Why trade Buff? If he is making poor defensive decisions, them move him back to the wing.

    • That’s what I was thinking. That’s where he excelled.

  7. The Oilers are in need of defense, plain and simple. I know that Nurse, Klefbom, Musil give them some good future but how close are they to ready? The issues I see are as follows:

    1. Who is really out there to pick up on defense? The best top d that is rumoured to be available for an unbelievable amount is Weber but you are kissing goodbye to atleast Eberle, Klefbom, 1st at that point. So your next best option is Big Buff … but is he worth Ganger + high 1st?

    2. If they move Sam Ganger who centres the 2nd line? Hopkins, Gagner, Gordan provide some center depth. So if there is a trade of Ganger are they following that my depleting more assets to trade for a 2nd line center or is it a bigger trade with one team? Are you at this point offering Ganger, N. Schultz, 1st for Byfuglien & Jokinen?

    3. If they spend assets to address their defense issue, then replace their 2nd line center, what are their options for addressing goaltending? Are they able to save assets to trade for a goaltender by not getting a #2 center and hoping they can lure one via free agency? Or do they hope to pick up a goalie via free agency?

    The overall answer is that the Oilers are just in a poor state right now. They need a Top 2 defenseman, a young starting goaltender, a 2nd line winger with size, and more depth in their forward core. N. Schultz should be flipped for a depth forward prospect/player, Smyth should be flipped for a pick, Yakupov + 2nd into a decent two way forward, their 1st rounder plus Klefbom/Musil for a defenseman. Hope to grab a goalie via UFA.

    • true jjb; oilers in horrible shape. gagner aint a great centre either. if eakins had a brain he’d move him to wing.

  8. Actually the Oilers would be really smart to take a flyer out on Neuvrith. He had starter potential and he should go cheap and can’t be worse than Dubyy. Grab Neuv’s and see if he plays better then waive Dubs or bury part of him in the minors and let him walk at year end.

    • Neuvrith is just another Dubnyk or bryzgalov. It’ll solve absolutely nothing. Khudobin is a guy they should go after.

  9. The Ducks interest in Girardi makes sense as he would be more responsible in their own end. What do you think the Ducks would have to give up to get him? I can’t see them moving their youth. They have 5 draft picks in the first 3 rounds (if I remember correctly) but do you think he’d go for picks?

    • I don’t think he is going anywhere for picks alone. If the Rangers move him they will be doing so for immediate scoring help, a prospect and a pick. If they can’t get that, I think they just retain him.

  10. I’m not sure why everyone is shocked the Jets aren’t performing well? It’s not like they’re underachieving, they just aren’t that good. They shouldn’t be in a playoff spot with the roster they have, including probably the worst starting goalie in the league with Pavelec.

    • I disagree Jets should be better than this. Ladd, Wheeler, Kane, Little, and Scheifle (spelling?) up front is a good forward foundation. The defense has a good mix of offense and defense. I agree goaltending is an issue but not worst in the league. Head coach is where this team needs a change. That might be where the Jets are worst in the league.

      • I agree with JR! The Jets aren’t that good! They didn’t make the playoffs in the East and in a tougher Western Conference it’s harder to sneak in the playoffs! Pavelec is one of the worst starting goalies in the league. And Montoya is a career back-up!
        And their defense includes an underperforming Tobias Enstrom, a defensive liability in Byfuglien (same story every season!) as their cornerstones!
        Bogosian looks ok and the only bright spot is Trouba!
        And the forwards? Scheifele is a promising player and Kane maybe a future star. But if your top 6 includes Oli Jokinen, you’re in trouble (even if he’s having an ok season! His best years are way behind him!). Little, Wheeler, Frolik and Ladd are no first line players! Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have Ladd on my team but not on my first line!

        • Oli Jokinen’s best years waaaaay behind him? That’s the understatement of the year. The guys been sucking it up ever since he left the sunshine state.

  11. I haven’t heard this anywhere, but why isn’t Washington a target for Miller? I’m sure the Sabres would take back salary if that were a problem. Meanwhile it would solve Washington’s mess in goal and definitely improve their team.

    Too bad they no longer have Forsberg. The Sabres would have jumped on that trade in a second.

    • Maybe because they have 3 decent goalies at a far better cap hit?

    • Washington currently has too many goalies, not sure Miller helps them anough to be worth what they’d have to pay. The Forsburg deal looks epicly bad now doesn’t it?

      • Washington’s GM is the worst in the business.
        Is going to waste both OV and Backstroms carriers?
        Or will he ever figure out how to build a S.C. Caliber team?
        Maybe a goalie like miller would be a start?
        Or will another coach be his fall guy again?

  12. If the Rangers move Girardi instead of resigning him, I’m going to find the nearest wall and punch it until I break my hand on a stud. So many teams are interested in him why oh why would you ever trade him if you don’t have another six players just like him?

    • If I were you, I would make sure to find the stud first and make sure you break your hand on the first try but that’s just me.

    • I think they will end up keeping him if they can’t get some serious scoring help coming back their way and resign him over the summer. Sadly, this trade would have looked better a few years back when they were loaded with young talented d-men.

    • If they think they are out of the playoffs and could move him for some help in other places why wouldn’t they? They can always attempt to lure him back in the summer if he doesn’t sign with whoever they trade him to doesn’t resign him. Why not trade him to a team chasing the cup that is close to the cap? The Ducks might be a perfect fit given the huge deals they signed with Perry and Getzlaf. They may not feel like they can afford another big contract. Who’s seriously going to outspend the Rangers if they want the guy back?

      • I think they will remain in the hunt long enough to not trade him at all. But I also think should they fall out of the hunt they are not going to want the risk of losing him for nothing or next to nothing. Yes, they have out spent teams on Fa’s in the past, but that hasn’t exactly paid off for them either.

  13. Gagner, Dubnyk, 2015 1st Rnd, for Kadri + Reimer

    • The Oil are not giving up a first for that…and a 2 for 2 trade the Leafs would be even bigger idiots to make a move like that. Ganger is a second line center just like Kadri and Kadri has tones more upside.

      • I just figured, Kadri is a little better then Gagner, and they are the same position, and Oilers need an upgrade in Goal, otherwise they are toast. Dubnyk is an ok backup for Bernier. The 2015 Pick instead of 2014 I figured that with these moves and a couple more, the Oilers will be way better next year then this year so the pick would be less a lot lower then this years?

        The pick would help the leafs with there own 1st next year trade up possibly.

        If the Oilers don’t pick up Reimer, then you know Burke will for sure 100% come off season!, and I don’t see a lot on the Flames that I would trade for.

        Love Reimer, but is apparent Nonis is going with Bernier in the future.

        • 2015 is McDavid. Not happening for any team to give up a first that year.

      • Are you serious? Kadri. Little Kadri has more upside than Gagner? I typically agree with you Shticky but this one I cant. I haven’t seen anything but “Spoiled Brat” from Kadri when Sam has done things to grab the bull by the horns. Not to mention Kadri couldn’t get 8 points in a game if he was playing NHL12 with the opposition controller on the couch.

        • Come on… how often has 8 point game happened? Dont make it sound like. Gagner is a threat to get 5-6 point a night. Im not saying Gagner isnt good but I think what you see is what you get, I dont think Kadri has played his best hockey yet and could be better is all, maybe he dosent turn out to be as good but, I think if he ever gets it all together Kadri is a 20-30 goal guy who puts up around 60 pts consistently he was on pace for over 80 last year and people bitching about him this year and he is stll on pace for over 20 goals and 50 points…with limited ice time, whats Ganger done for the past 2-3 years? He has never had a 50 point season never played a full season or anywhere near it. Has 16 points do far this year on pace for a whopping 35 points, Kadri has more upside than Ganger who despite being in the league 7 years has played 446 games with 274 points or Kadri in just over 2 years 138 games 86 points.

        • When has Gagner “done things to grab the bull by the horns”?
          And one 8 point game? That’s great and his stats last season look better with that game, but besides that he’s about 0.5 ppg player and a career minus player!
          I wouldn’t trade for Oiler players, because the real talent is not available! Obviously MacT is not trading Hall, Eberle, RNH!
          And I would take a lot more than Kadri to get one of those players!

    • Riemer would improve the Oils netminding somewhat but I’m not sure they need another enigmatic forward to add to the ones they already have. They would be better suited looking for a bigger body, either on forward or defence.

      • Ya know it will never happen and yes the contract is bad but I wonder if Nonis was really desperate to get out of the deal if…

        Oilers 1st rd pick for Reimer and Clarkson.

        They were the only team willing to pay more for Clarkson than the Leafs, so maybe MacT thinks Clarksons contract isnt all that horrible, and gets a no. 1 goalie. Without trading away any of his pretties.

    • Maybe instead of Kadri maybe do Franson or Gardner. I agree with all the above comments, Kadri & Gagner are both 2nd line centers. Kadri may have more offensive upside but Gagner is better defensively & faceoffs.

      • Kadri at faceoffs makes me cringe…. i know he is going to go 1 for 10, so why even put him out for a face off.

        Ya maybe Gardiner could be a good piece to trade. Reilly is going to be great, and I like Franson a lot too, so we will see how Gleason turns out. Maybe the Leafs only need 1 more decent Defencemen.

        Phan – Gleason
        Gunner – Franson
        Reilly – Gardiner (Trade for another)

        I’d give Clarkson a year, takes a year to get used to playing in TO, but Kadri, nope not waiting any longer for this kid to get it together.

        • With the Oilers sitting so low it give them a shot at Ekblad or DalColle in the draft (as Reinhart is going #1). So they have their choice at a big young defenseman or a big young center. The Oilers should not consider moving their 1st until the entry draft.

          • What your saying is understandable, but when they got Bernier they didn’t need him so they weren’t willing to give a 1st rounder.

            Your telling me if I was Nonis and called Burle right now, I couldn’t get a 1st rounder for Reimer??

            Bet you could.

          • Im almost willing to bet if they get the no1 pick they take Reinhart over Ekblad and if its a top 2 pick Im not sure they dont take Bennet, I understand they need D but could just kind of envision them taking a center for some reason. Bennet is a kid I see quite a bit and would look very good lining up with Hall.

        • If Glrason was a bottom pair on a bad team d with the Canes Im going to go out on a limb here and say playing him with Dion is going to be a car wreck. Gleason is probably not going to be a steal of a deal.

      • Better defensively doesn’t mean defensively he is good (and really Im not sure he is better defensively, hes around a minus -65 over his career so….) granted its not the greatest goalies or D behind him to say Gagner is good defensively may be a bit of a stretch.

    • Unless MacTavish suffers some sort of stroke he’s not going to give up his first round pick, especially not for what’s been mentioned. Also, Toronto doesn’t need another smallish center, like Gagner, fuggetaboutit. As for Kadri, we need to show some patience for once.

      The trade I would like to see is Yakupov for Reimer+. As a Leaf fan I would do that in a heartbeat. It’s doesn’t necessarily improve the team today but I would be willing to gamble that in 2-3 years time we would look at it as a steal.

      We could then trade a pick for Neuvirth or another young goalie as a back-up. Then unload Raymond at the deadline for a pick or two (provided Bolland is healthy). It’s about building assets long term.

      • If I were the leafs I would not do this. I would not want Gagner nor would I want anything to do with dubnyk. the only thing good about this trade is a lottery pick because you have good chance with any oilers pick. Now if I as the oilers I would also not want anything to do with this trade. Kadri is not an upgrade over anything they currently have and at this point in time Edmonton is in need of proven and Reimer is not yet proven enough.

  14. My thoughts are the coaching, injuries & goal-tending have been the issues facing the jets. Maybe Reimer & a prospect for the jets first round pick would be a start. A second would be replacing Claude Noel with maybe Dale Hunter or Dale Hawerchuck. With injuries you can’t really do much about.

    • Before you think that the Leafs are going to get a 1st round pick for Reimer, look at what the Leafs gave up for Bernier. Considering Bernier is better then Reimer do not expect to get more the a prospect and a second round pick for him.

  15. 3 Reasons that the Edmonton Oilers should not trade their 1st round pick

    #1 – Aaron Ekblad or Michael DalColle
    #2 – They are not in a buyers position, not close to playoffs at all
    #3 – They have too many needs to address

    The Oilers, barring a miraculous second half are going to be picking in the Top 3 come the entry draft. At this point they can draft either Eklad or DalColle checking off a need for either a big defenseman or a big top 6 forward (even if it takes an extra year to get them there). This allows them to try and address some issues via UFA, focus on grabbing a goalie, it gives them options. Don’t sell the farm until you have to. A trade now won’t bring the Oilers to the playoffs so what is the point?

    If you want, make a blockbuster deal at the draft when you know exactly what you are giving up and see if a team is willing to pay for the player they want.