NHL Morning Rumor Mill – November 14, 2013.

Updates on Ryan Miller, Ales Hemsky, Brian Gionta and Vernon Fiddler, plus the Red Wings need to make room for Gustav Nyquist.

SPORTSNET.CA:  Luke Fox recently reported Hockey Central’s insiders claimed the Buffalo Sabres asking price for goaltender Ryan Miller is two first round picks and a second round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That report came prior to the Sabres firing GM Darcy Regier. His replacement could attach a different asking price upon Miller.

Oilers reportedly shopping Ales Hemsky.

Oilers reportedly shopping Ales Hemsky.

TSN RADIO: Darren Dreger recently reported Oilers GM Craig MacTavish isn’t trying to move Nail Yakupov, but is trying to move Ales Hemsky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With only nine points in nineteen games (and only three in the last ten), good luck moving Hemsky and his $5 million salary at this point in the season. Unless they bundle him with their 2014 first round pick and agree to pick up part of his salary, the earliest they could move Hemsky is in the second half of the season, probably close to the March trade deadline.

RDS.CA: Bertrand Raymond reports the Montreal Canadiens haven’t contacted captain (and pending UFA) Brian Gionta about a new contract. Raymond doesn’t expect the Canadiens to re-sign Gionta, expressing doubt he fits into their future plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canadiens fall out of the playoff race by the March trade deadline, Gionta could be among several veterans they try to move. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS:  Mike Heika reports Stars coach Lindy Ruff wouldn’t address recent rumors claiming center Vernon Fiddler had recently requested a trade, but admitted he’s had “real good conversations” with Fiddler about his role with the team and praised the center’s professionalism.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Stars 6-2-2 in their last ten, they’re in no hurry to move Fiddler, who apparently made his trade request about two weeks ago.  It’ll be worthwhile keeping an eye on his status in the coming weeks, which could depend upon the Stars performance over that period.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings still need to free up a roster spot if they hope to promote forward Gustav Nyquist.


  1. Is Kulikov available?

    P.S how many games will Kadri get? Both hits were dirty and he previously steamrolled Backstrome so he is repeated offender. 5-6 games? 7 games? 10 games?

    • I would imagine Kadri is looking at 3-5 games max.

      It seems Kulikov is available. I’m sure a handful of teams would be interested, most notably: Flyers, Avalanche, Oilers among others.
      I wonder what the asking price would be? Would Florida be interested in picks or players? Perhaps both.

      • I’d say he gets two games only because he didn’t have very much speed going in to the hit. It was more a short glide then a falling hit to the head that Kadri definitely wasn’t trying to avoid. If they combine it with his later hit on the boards (forget who he hit) then yes, it will be more games but if the sole focus is on the Backstrom hit then I figure 2 max 3

        • 3max…Backstrom was dirty no doubt (better follow thru than my golf swing) but Granlund should know to keep his head up, nothing dirty about that one.

          • Kadri should get five or more just for the hit on Backstrome. With the hit on Granlund, yeah he should have had his head up, but so should have Erikson on the Bruins when Scott hit him. The responsibility is on the hitter now a days, not the person getting hit, plain and simple. The fact is that Kadri contacted the head and left his feet.

          • I’m not a big Leafs fan, but there was nothing wrong with the Granlund hit. Where is he supposed to go when the guy has his head down blocking his chest from a hit? I don’t think anyone wants to see Kadri let his man have a free pass because he can’t keep his head up.

          • Dude… both hits were bad hits in todays by standard. It’s not about keep your head up or do not admire the pass. it’s about safety now days.

          • +1
            The 5 minute major and ejection off the clean hit on Granlund was the referees making up for not calling it when he hit Backstrom

        • He damages one guy for sure and he hit another guy full speed in the head.

          • I have no argument with the Backstrom hit. Definitely dirty. I’d like to see him get a couple for that.

            I just have an issue with players not having any responsibility for their own safety. Do we really want to see a league where the hitter in this case stops dead and doesn’t finish his check in this case? Why have hitting at all in that case? Might as well run around the ice waving sticks from 5ft away if thats how its going to be.

      • I asked similar questions yesterday. Who knows… We’ll see.

        • Nobody is saying you can’t hit anymore, they are saying stay away from the HEAD.

          • If guys put their “HEAD”. In the way what happens then?

    • You guys must not have seen the second hit because when you slow it down you see Kardi hit him in the numbers. The guy was facing Kadri and he hit him in the logo first and the guy had his head down. That should not have been a penalty at all and was a make up call for the hit on the goalie where Kardi deserved five and a match not the 2 minutes. Kardi was looking back at Lupul however once he realized he was going to run in the Backstrom he didn’t slow up and he followed through with the the elbow. If he was a Bruin’s player he would get nothing but he deserves a couple for that hit period. My bigger concern is the Wild will get run over in the playoffs. How many times did they get rocked with no response except the double team on Phaneuf which one of those players clearly hit him in his numbers and from behind. You could take all our cnters away and we would still be better then the Oilers. Kessel was a little confused last night him must have been day dreaming he was traded to Edmonton.

      • I ment Kardi him him in the logo on the second hit.

        • The hit was in the logo, BUT he rose up and contacted the head and left his skates. That there is the problem. Contacting the head and leaving his skates.

          • Skates never left the ice…watch again

          • I watched again, skates left the ice. Now you watch with out your blue and white glasses…again.

          • Ya good one

          • I don’t know what youbate watching kev. Skates never leave the ice. No point arguing.

  2. Regier’s asking price of 2 first rounders and a second for miller……. Must be smoking the same stuff as Ford. No wonder he’s gone.

    • Actually the price likely was not that….

      What Regiers price likely was:

      B prospect/2nd round + conditional 2nd (becomes a 1st if advance to cup semis) + condition 2nd/1st (based on him resigning ..longer contract means a 1st)

    • There is a reason why Regier was the best trader in the business. Now you know why.

      • I hated Regier but he always new how to rip someone off in a trade. He will land somewhere one of these days.

        That asking price is hilarious. I doubt that was the asking price I bet it was just Fox running his mouth. If Darcy can only get 1st, 2nd and Moulson for Vanek he knows he’ll get less than that for Miller.

  3. Dear New Buff GM:
    Please keep asking price of ( 2) First Round and (1) Second Pick for Miller.
    That will insure that teams needing a goalie would look at Hiller as a cheaper
    alternative. By the way I don’t think the asking price for Miller was an accident,
    since the Ducks have (2) #1’s in 2014 draft. That tells me that at least the Ducks
    and Buff were talking. Ducks already have 4 good goalies in system don’t need
    another one and an expensive one at that.

  4. Kadri will get 2 games if that !!

    Ryan Miller asking price is outrageous and unmoveable …that should change with new management if they decide they want to go in a new direction ….prospects back and a top 6 would be the better asking price.

    Gionta will end up back in New Jersey ….Lou always make it happen that way !

    Is a 2nd or 3rd rounder OR depth player enough for Fiddler for any team ….if not go internal …or cheaper ….a ..la… Simthson !!

    Mac T should be saying …HEY if you take Hemsky I will throw in Yakupov …LOL …just joking !!!

    • Only way someone pays 2 first rounders and a second is at the trade deadline and that would have to be a team with every position in place to win a cup except goaltending. It would also have to be a team that figures they have a shot at resigning him so they would have to be in an area of North America Miller wants to move to.

      • Why would anyone pay more for Miller than Bernier or Schneider?

        • A top 6 forward or top 2 D man with prospect should be the asking price as he is a UFA

        • Joe seriously?
          Bernier had 62 total NHL games before being traded, Schneider had 98 and Miller had 514. A team looking to win a cup this year might take this into consideration.

          • Yes seriously, Miller’s best days are behind him. He may show 1 or 2 years in total of good goaltending, but that is it. Bernier and Schneider are only waiting to show the world what they got. Even though Bernier only has 74 games played to date, he is now worth more than Miller. Schneider, I don’t believe he is #1 material, sure he showed flashes of it, but hasn’t proven anything. Even Luongo and Brodeur stole the #1 spot back.

          • The number of games played is only half of the equation. The defense in front of him has been horrible for the past two seasons and this year it has been worse. Anyone who looks beyond the score board will realize that when you face 30 shots in 2 periods and only let in one, on a regular basis, you are one hell of a goalie. 45 shots by LA. Only 2 go in. Yeah seems pretty washed up to me. 2nd highest number of shots faced this year, still a .916 GAA. On pace to face 2292 shots this year based on 60 games played. More shots than ever before and still holding a solid GAA.
            The guy is getting shelled every night.
            Miller might as well change out the Sabres logo for a bulls eye.

        • Because maybe he is a proven starter, has played in the playoffs and Olympics – has more experience and in reality based on being the target in a shooting gallery some nights – he has kept the Sabres in a good portion of the games he has played in.

      • Hummmm I wonder what Nashville is willing to give? I think it’s interesting that one of the first orders of business for Patty is to find out what Miller wants to do. With the management changes and I think the philosophy is to rebuild the club through the draft, but also by attracting and going after workhorse type of veterans a la Moulson. Thing is, I hope Rolston didn’t burn that bridge for us, but it seems the team is excited with the changes. We’ll find out tomorrow night.

    • I would have to think 2 games for the goalie incident and then at least 3 for the board. Regardless, he played the entire game like a child. He deserves a few more games just for being an idiot. Good player, but he is not the brightest bulb.

      • Again. I see nothing wrong with the Granlund hit. We’re just giving another loophole to soft players who don’t want to be hit and divers. We already have the “I know you’re coming to hit me, so I’ll turn my back. HaHa, can’t hit me now”. Now we’re going to add “I see you coming, so I’ll put my head down so it’s the first part of my body you’ll hit”? How about making players also responsible for their own safety so they aren’t doing stupid things just to avoid being hit or to draw a penalty.

        • Agreed, for YEARS players were/are taught to keep their head up at all times. And when you head it not up, properly position yourself to prevent getting hurt. These european players are so used to their ways of not being touched, it becomes a problematic in the NHL. When you see the Kadri hit, you’ll see that his arm/elbow is tucked in and his shoulder brings up on Grandlund’s shoulder/upper chest area, then when the check is fully transpired, it rolls up into Grandlund’s head. If Grandlund had his head up, the check would never saw his head getting the tail end of the hit, and it would of been an awesome check and we wouldn’t be discussing this today. However, the Backstrom interference, that was dirty. Should get 2 games for that.

          • Agreed. The Backstrom hit was pretty obvious.

  5. I can see the Sabres asking alot for Miller…but 2 first rounders at least?? From a short list of teams for a goalie who is UFA at the end of the year? The price is outlandish if it remains anywhere near that Miller will be walking for nothing at the end of the year.

    • Agreeing with you & Leafs24/7 above. WAYYYY too much for Miller. The only teams that would give up anything of major value for him, in my opinion, are a team with Cup asipirations but with an injured goalie.

      I don’t see a team having Cup aspirations but with no goalie, so it would require a team that is desperate due to a major injury. And even then I *still* don’t think they’d give up two 1sts and a 2nd. Ridonkulous.

    • look at last years deadline deal of San Jose- Rangers deal for Clowe. It was a 2nd + 3rd+ conditional 2nd if resigned.

      The trade likely was asking:

      B prospect/2nd + 2014 2nd (that becomes a 1st if they advance to the semis thus picking 27-30) + 2015 2nd/1st )based on him resigning)

      • As a Sabres fan I find it high too, but it may be Darcy was waiting for that desperate teams to emerge and be forced to pay the big ticket.

        I guess we will never know now. (thankfully)

  6. I believe Gionta has a no-trade clause. History shows that hardly means he can’t be moved, but I would doubt it happens.

    Montreal, if they’re in a playoff position, will let him play out his contract, then sign elsewhere.

  7. I hate Miller as a leafs fan but I think they will get a good bit for him. In no way am I suggesting they get two first and a second for him but I bet you’ll see a a good to great prospect and a first or sdcond. Who needs a goalie. More important…what team that he wants to go to needs a goalie.

  8. Not sure why people are questioning Kadri’s hit on Granlund, that play isn’t even under review by Shanahan, the hit hit on the Goalie IS however, and he’ll get 2-5 games for that.

    As for the Miller situation. I don’t think there’s any West Coast team willing to pay the price of two firsts and a second, unless one of their goalies gets injured for the year. I can see a 1st and 2nd/or prospect, and Buffalo eats some salary unless its a deadline move.

    • I’m pretty sure that every game ejection is reviewed by the NHL for supplementary discipline. And I agree, if a suspension comes, it won’t be for the hit on Grandlund, it’ll be for Kadri’s impression of a steamroller on Backstrom.

      • They did review the hit on Granlund as well…didn’t deserve any further discipline. Phone hearing 3 games max.

        • We were discussing the hit on Granlund because he was given 5 and a game for that one, which didn’t appear to be deserved.

      • Good point

  9. the hit on granlund isnt suspendable,imo.he still hit him in the head.no question.i just dont think he tried to avoid it.he got enough from being booted from the game.he should get 6 games for backstrom incident.you see him not doing anything but dive on him,and the elbow has a follow through.

  10. Maybe the Miller deal goes something like:
    A first and second rounder (remember from a cup contender it means a very low pick 20th to 30th) and IF the team trading for him can resign him then the second rounder turns into a first rounder OR
    IF they make it out of the second round of the playoffs the second rounder turns into a first rounder?

  11. Buffalo will not get too much for Miller because what playoffs team needs a #1 gaolie? How many play in the West Coast where Miller has stated he wants to play in the future? Oh and forget Canadian teams because Miller has those 7 teams listed on the 8 teams he doesn’t want to get traded to. Bottom line is not many teams need a #1 goalie and Miller is past his prime and many teams have 2 #1 goalies so I’m sure a better cheaper option is available to any teams that are looking for a goalie upgrade. I have a feeling that Miller might just stay in Buffalo because his options will be limited next season. I have a feeling the only teams that will be looking for a goalie upgrade would be Edmonton and Winnipeg and those would be ranked 29th and 30th on list of team Miller wants to play. Mason is doing pretty good in Philly so I can’t see them interested.

    • Lot of teams may be looking for a goalie. Look at all the teams with iffy goalies right now… He’s not going to any Canadian team as he’s said he doesn’t want to play in Canada.

      Anaheim – Miller is better then Fasth, Hiller and Andersen and they’d easily make that upgrade. And Miller would resign for cheaper with them Probably cost them around $4.5 Million to resign. They are in definite need of an upgrade in goal. Goal scoring alone won’t get it done in the playoffs. Perfect example of a Stanley Cup favorite in need of a goalie upgrade.

      Carolina – Closer to his wife and the Hurricanes seem tired of Cam Ward’s injury issues and lackluster play.

      Dallas – The Lindy Ruff connection is hard to miss.

      Florida – Tim Thomas and Markstrom don’t seem to be living up to any of the expectations.

      Minnesota – Harding’s not a guy who’d deliver playoff success neither is Backstrom step in Mr. Miller.

      Nashville – Rinne is injured for quite some time.

      NY Islanders – Are in desperate need of a starting goalie. Nabokov are you kidding me?

      Philadelphia – Always on the goalie market. Mason has been playing awesome right now though.

      St. Louis – Easily one of the biggest Stanley Cup contenders in need of a goalie upgrade. We all know Halak and Elliot won’t deliver in the playoffs.

      Washington – Holtby isn’t a good goalie. The only way the Caps take the next step to being a difference maker in the league and especially in the playoffs is getting that goalie who can make those big saves on a game to game basis.

      So yes there are many teams that would look to upgrade there goaltending. Plus most teams like the Canes and the Stars have buyouts remaining that they can buyout Ward and Lehtonen.

      • Buy out Ward for Miller? Hallak put Montreal on his back in the playoffs, even if Rinne is injured for some time he is still 1 of the best goalies in the game why pick up Miller? The Ducks have 4 goalies who look like they are all or could be very good NHL goalies and based on what is Miller an upgrade to Hiller or Fasth? Harding is right now top 5 in sv% and gaa looks great why give up the assets when you can potentially sign him in the off season if he stumbles? Not as many teams as you lited there looking for starters

        • Good old Shticky always running his mouth. How I’ve missed your ways. Still haven’t learned to read between the lines I see.

          Why not buyout Ward for Miller? It’s a big upgrade. Ward is basically becoming the next DiPietro.

          Halak put Montreal on his back in the playoffs hey? And how long ago did this happen? How long has it been since Halak has performed at that level in the playoffs?

          The Ducks have 4 goalies who COULD be productive in the NHL. Hiller is gone at season’s end. Ducks would easily make the upgrade despite what you may think. I can guarantee you that the Ducks already made a couple offers.

          As for Harding. Ya he’s doing good right now but do you remember Bobrovsky last season? He may be all the rave in the regular season and could come crashing down. He’s got health problems as well.

          Rinne is out for quite some time that’s why you make the trade. Your star goalie goes down and what would you do? Probably stand around scratching your ass. For a small market team to miss playoffs is huge especially for a team like Nashville who were regulars in the playoffs for quite some time before last years horrible end to there season. Will they make the trade? I don’t know, but I can guarantee you that they are looking for a starting goalie preferably a soon to be UFA to fill the void left by Rinne.

          So yah in conclusion most if not all the teams I’ve listed wouldn’t mind an upgrade in goal and Miller is an upgrade. The only teams on my list that may not make a play for Miller is Minny. And that’s only because of there cap situation.

          • Ward has won a cup and a con smythe ya the next Depietro. Halak put the Canadians on his back yes it was a while ago bit when was the last time Miller had playoff success? Im not saying Miller wont get dealt or that he is not a good goalie I just dont see it being a bidding war between some of “all these teams” that you point out that supposedly need goaltending, some of them have pretty good options and guys that are just as if not more proven than Miller, in the case of Ward. You cant say well Miller has had no defence is the reason for his struggles and dissmiss Ward as the next Depietro. Ward has a cup and was the MVP of the playoffs a few years back and has had a bit of a struggle since with defense almost as bad as Buffalos. Millar is a UFA at the end of the year. Alot of teams are not going to (or atleast shouldnt lmo) be giving up the asking price of Miller , 1 or 2 I could see but with the amount of other goalies that could be available at less cost why would Nashville go out and sell the farm for Miller when Hiller Reimer Elliot etc etc as a far cheaper option to cover until Rinee gets back?

        • I think Jes has some good points and my thinking is along the same lines. Miller is known as an “elite” goalie. This year he is on fire – facing target practice. The last two years – Ward has been injured, but I really don’t know what the connection is with the wife. Minnesota, Backstrom and Harding, while good, have a history of injuries. One thing you have to say about Miller, when he isn’t being run over, he’s very durable. Anaheim, same with Hiller and Fasth – Hiller is a UFA after this season and you know I could see the Sabres doing a trade of Miller for Hiller/Etem. Nashville is also a club that is desperate need of a goalie – yes Renne is one of the best, but Nashville needs a goalie here and now – so who knows.

          • How long ago did Ward have any type of success? Since winning the Cup and Conn Smyth he has been nothing but an afterthought. Last time you Miller had playoff success was when he back stopped us to not one but two eastern conference finals. If Sabres blue line was at all healthy they would’ve beat the Canes and Oilers for there first Stanley Cup. Miller is an upgrade. In past posts it’s clear that you hate Miller so I doubt you’d change your opinion at all so I won’t waste my time with that.

          • Since the year he beat Miller (the last time Miller was in the playoffs) and went on to win a cup and the MVP of the playoffs…lol its not that I hate Miller. Its the fact that their are cheaper options available for guys that are injured and Miller is not necessarily an up grade to some of the others you mentioned.
            Despite what you may think nearly half the NHL is not going to be bidding for a ufa goalie, elite or not. For 1 they may have a decent goalie to get them to the playoffs and 2 if that goalie stumbles in the playoffs they could try and sign Miller then and it doesnt cost them picks and players.

  12. Kadri had nothing to do with this thread and yet as usual it got taken over by the usual suspects. Sorry Lyle, I enjoy your work but these forums have turned into the TML fan club. You’ve lost a loyal reader.

    • I know all this crap about Kadri. and leafs that is why I stopped coming here. The only reason I came back is because of all of the action in Buffalo. Easily best rumor site out there but Spector’s gotta market this to other fans and stuff.

    • Taken over by Leaf fans? Last I looked Nitro who brought up the subject of Kadri is not a Leaf fan nor is Rickler who responded first of course some others (including myself) responded and moved on, the majority of the rest of the posts are about Buffalo. Good luck on your quest to find a site that has to do with the NHL that nevere mentions the Leafs or has any of their fans posting opinions. Issues.

      • Not to mention the Kadri hit was the news of the day on TSN and many other sites. I don’t see what the big deal is? We have talked about a Miller trade over and over for more then a year so it gets a little boring at times. The Kadri hit was new news and is therefore a little more refreshing. I believe most people made one comment and moved on to the Miller subject once again.

    • <<<<<Guilty. I brought it up.

  13. Sounds like their will be a very busy trade deadline this season. Could be a lot of Goalie movement also.