NHL Morning Rumor Mill – October 17, 2013.

Are the Sabres and Oilers planning a major trade? Should the Flyers pursue Thomas Vanek? Which clubs could pursue Ryan Miller or Ilya Bryzgalov? Will the Senators make moves later this season?

Sabres & Oilers reportedly talking trade involving Miller or Vanek.

Sabres & Oilers reportedly talking trade involving Miller or Vanek.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason commented on a recent report by Sportnet’s Nick Kypreos suggesting Sabres GM Darcy Regier is feeling the heat for his club’s poor start. Gleason also claimed there was “talk” Wednesday that “the Sabres were working on a deal with Edmonton that would send Ryan Miller or Thomas Vanek and possibly both to the Oilers in a package that would bring Nail Yakupov and more to Buffalo. Whether it actually happens is another story. ” Gleason cited Regier’s affinity for players taken high in the draft and his good relationship with Oilers assistant GM Scott Howson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:   I don’t doubt the Oilers have contacted the Sabres about Miller, but I doubt they have interest in Vanek. Miller to Edmonton doesn’t happen if they’re on his list of eight teams he won’t accept being dealt to. Vanek won’t help the Oilers struggling defense.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi believes the Flyers should pursue Vanek to bolster their struggling offense. Carchidi acknowledged the risk of parting with assets for Vanek, who could test next summer’s UFA market, plus the Flyers would have to free up salary to absorb his $7.1 million contract. He suggests GM Paul Holmgren’s job could depend on making a move to improve his struggling club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres would probably want one of the Flyers young forwards (Couturier, Schenn) as part of the return. I doubt they’d have interest in taking on Andrej Meszaros’ salary for this season. Holmgren would have to get creative to make such a deal work, and it would certainly be a gamble given Vanek’s UFA status next summer. Such a move would smack of desperation.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance lists five clubs (Edmonton, Carolina, Dallas, Minnesota and NY Rangers) which could be in need of goaltending help as possible suitors for either Ryan Miller or Ilya Bryzgalov. The Oilers goaltending woes are well-documented, the Hurricanes recently lost Anton Khudobin to injury, Stars starter Kari Lehtonen is sidelined by a lower-body injury, ageing Wild starter Nicklas Backstrom (knee) is “an injury waiting to happen at this stage of his career”, and the Rangers lack an experienced backup for Henrik Lundqvist. Bryzgalov, meanwhile, has completed his PTO contact with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers, and is now awaiting “the right NHL job”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pursuing Miller would be more costly for any of those clubs than Bryzgalov, plus there’s also the issue of his salary and modified NTC. The Wild will stick with Josh Harding just as they did last season. As long as Khudobin isn’t sidelined for weeks or months, I doubt the Hurricanes go shopping for a backup for Cam Ward. The Stars could be in trouble if the oft-injured Lehtonen is sidelined for a significant period. Rangers GM Glen Sather said he has no interest in signing Bryzgalov as a backup for Lundqvist, and we know he won’t go after Miller with Lundqvist as his starter. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said his club’s $110 million in financial losses over the past decade won’t prevent him from approving a trade at the March trade deadline if it would help his club.


  1. yeah right Mr Melnyk , you are a cheap as they get. You are fighting the city for rights to build a casino to “fund” your struggling team. So you want the citizens of Ottawa to pay your bills with their losses at your casino. Remember, you are a billionaire and your sneaky ways are fully transparent. You will never spend what is needed to ice a stanley cup team. I know, I know…you can’t buy a cup. But you will not win with all 3-4-5 round AHL players either. They had a flukey couple decent years……this year, we will see how your theory will stink it up.

    • Spezza, Ryan, Michalek, Turris, Anderson, Lehner, Karlsson, Phillips, Methot, Greening, Neil, MacArthur, Cowan, Conacher, Wiercoch … not sure what team you are watching there bud but I would hardly call those players AHL players at all and that is 15 of Ottawa’s players off the top of my head.

      • condra, de costa, greening, pageau, smith, dziurzynski…I have not been impressed one game with this group in comparison to the bottom 6 on many many other teams. You are missing my point of a billionaire being a cheapskate….this team has money and cap space to upgrade but they won’t. You think this team can win a cup? Can they by making one move? NO they can’t. Money needs to be spent trying and making an effort to put the best team on the ice. It is NOT fair to the fans who support the team to have a cheap owner. Whats he going to do, gamble that being cheap will maybe fluke a cup one year? How long will he wait? 8-10years……..if theres no cup….then what? Opps die hard fans and supporters, sorry I was so cheap and you have had nothing to get excited for the last decade. But by that time, maybe most fans will have gotten tired of his BS.

        • So you are basing this on 6 games so far this season? Wow.. Do you not think that the tough competition this team has faced compared to the Leafs opponents… like the Oilers, Philly, Preds…. While the Sens have faced LA, Ana & San Jose?

          They have not played well… But I think I would give a little bit longer than 6 games before I start trading off their players.. or complaining about them..

        • DChamp, a couple of points: Dziurzynski is playing in the AHL not the NHL, and both DaCosta and Pageau are currently on the bubble and may be demoted very soon. The season just got underway so I believe its a little premature to dismiss the whole team. Far be it for me to defend Mr Melnyk’s method of running the franchise however you made a good point in your first post when you stated, ‘you can’t buy a cup’. Despite all their injuries last season the Senator’s still were able to claw their way into the 2nd round (which was sadly something no other Canadian team was able to do, big budget or not). Let’s see how this season plays out first before condemning both the owner and the organization.

          • DChamp you don’t sound like much of a fan. I’m not a Sens supporter but even I can see they’re a model of how a small market team should be built.

    • IF the Sens have been doing so badly economically… then the Sens should have been receiving revenue sharing… But have they?

      The last couple of years spending just above the cap floor and making the playoffs.. I find it really hard to believe he is losing money that badly. The Sens have missed the playoffs only twice since he owned them…

      The arena, parking, concesssions, capital tickets, etc are money makers for him. So the Sens as the team.. he says are losing money…

      Melnyk has had bad business decisions in some of his other companies…. an expensive divorce… and is now looking for ways to increase his wealthy.

      As reported by Forbes in Sept 2012 — only the Leafs, Habs & Rangers make money. They probably have the most expensive tickets to generate large revenue as their season seat owners are almost all corporate holders. They will spend whatever the cost is… as it’s their company’s money and they get to write it off as entertainment expenses…

      • I think Ya may have forgotten a team?!The Wings make $$$!!They sellout all the time,have made the playoffs 22yrs in a row now and probably have one of the biggest selling jerseys in the league!?!?!

  2. The Oilers & Sabres need to make a major move ASAP ….If the Oilers sit on this too long and Miller goes elsewhere due to the suden increase of the major need for Goalies they will regret it everyday from there on in ….Yakupov has to be the major ingredient for a trade its SOOOOO obvious ….there are some key players they have that will help in a deal also ….Hartkanienen , Theburt , Lander , Klefbomb , Petry ..they have lots to offer to get what they NEED back !!

    If I was Edmonton Id target Myers ,Luke Adam and Miller …giving up Yakupov, Dubnyk Klefbomb & Hartkinainen …..HOWEVER ….as I posted here the day before this story broke ….I see a more possible trade with the Capitals for ( Nuevirth or Holtby ) Beagle and Carlson …

    Yakupov with Ovi & Grabo

    Just a NOTE to all this Edmonton made a mistake and took the possible best player at the draft BUT should have drafted for positional needs and took Murray

    Edmonton better pull the trigger on this FAST as they will not make the playoffs and will also miss out from another team making a trade for the goalie first !!

    This is not a wait it out scenario ….they need to do this NOW!!!!!….or its good night again !!

    • Edmonton should also bring up Richard Bachman from the minors …he played rather well in relief for Kari Lehtonen when hurt over the past 2 years …..they have nothing to loose art this point …hes actually very good !!

    • I do see a deal happening between the Sabres and Edmonton – I can see something like Miller/Adam/Kaleta/Weber for Hemsky/Yakupov/Labarbara. I added Kaleta for the deal because he has worn out his welcome on the East Coast and offers Edmonton something they don’t have, an enforcer who will stick up for his teammates. Edmonton also needs a physical Dman – Weber is a stay at home type of player who is not afraid to get physical – but you could also interchange him with McNabb or McBain. I don’t see Edmonton taking back Myers in a deal because while he has potential, he still needs to get back on track and I think the $ would be too much for Edmonton. Anyway, I would like to see something happen. Aside from a trade – how about a coaching change – I just don’t see Rolston as the guy.

    • Reports from Kypreos saying that Miller has Edmonton on his list of teams that he DOESN’T want to be traded to. Miller will NOT be going to Edmonton, end of story.

      • Surprise surprise… Eight teams? How much says six of those teams on his list are teams that didnt make the playoffs last year or at least the majority of them? Its not rocket science. Go out on a limb and say a team that has been towards the bottom of the league in the standings and defense for the past few years was rather high on the list of places he dosent want to play. Toronto is probably pretty high up there aswell.
        When it comes down to it its a business to the players as well, not a great career move to play on a team like that when you are a UFA looking for big bucks and hopefully a place to play that is a desired location for your family.

        • Shticky – what Miller needs to be reminded of is that most of the Western teams are set at goalie – and they are top flight goalies. He may be able to hook up with Lindy down in Dallas, but for the most part a SC bound team already has their goalie. Another think Shtick is that Miller really has nothing to lose by going to Edmonton – he would be playing the bulk of his games on the West Coast and that would cut down travel time when playing “road games” to go visit the wife. With the right changes in Edmonton, he could be playing on a team that makes the playoffs. Miller is 33 and while he is a really good goalie…..I have the impression that he just hasn’t been able to “win the big one”. Going west would help him, take him out of Sidney’s crosshairs cause Sid definitely has his number.

          • no one is saying that a team in California is the for sure destination but playing in Dallas perhaps maybe Minnesota for 6-7 mill a year could be pretty sweet….teams that actually might have a shot at some success in the next year or 2. These are just a couple teams that could be options. If he goes to the Oilers and doesn’t turn them around or at least make a huge difference it could effect where he goes from there. Why go from one young team that is rebuilding to another when you’re 33 years old? Stay play where you are comfortable, if they trade you make them trade you where you are more likely to have some success. So when it comes time and you are UFA you have a higher chance of getting… A. more money and B. a desired location with possibly a chance at a cup I am sure more than 1 or 2 teams might be interested in Miller in the western conference and I am sure there maybe a team or 2 that are closer to winning a cup than Edmonton that may have some interest in Miller. If he chokes it up in Edmonton that may limit interest and that could be a train wreck of a situation to put your self in when most the Oilers are carrying around all those minus’ it may be a little more than just goaltending issues. NVM Miller right now Edmonton could be a goalie graveyard until they get some forwards that back check and play as well with out the puck as they do with it and a D or 2 that can play in their own end.
            Finally have you ever been to Edmonton? Planes don’t leave direct to LA every hour or anything its not as quick and easy as you may think to fly in and out to LA when you take in to consideration customs and things just for visits on off days. Probably quicker to fly from Buffalo or New York.

          • are you kidding me? what are you talking about flights to LA for? this is a city of over one million people. 3 hours to LA, I do it often. don’t be a donkey.

          • 3hrs including customs? How many direct trips a day compared to Ny where Its a 5 hr flight from Ny? on and off a plane point being its not like it is oh so much more convenient to be in Edmonton because its in the west. Not meant to be a knock Edmonton. By the guy thinking it would be nice to play closer to his wife Im thinking this probably includes being in the same country and again put it in perspective Im sure there are some other places in the eastern conference that are easier for him to see his wife (say Long Island) Actresses have been known to visit New York. Just because on a map Edmonton is closer to LA it makes it a viable location is ridiculous to borrow your quote dont be a donkey.

  3. Why are the senators struggling financially? They don’t have a high payroll and they’ve made playoffs all years with the exception of two in 09 and 11. Doesn’t make sense.

    • No it doesn’t. But I think it’s creative accounting. The ‘team’ may lose money.. but the arena, concessions, capital tickets, parking.. most likely make money… It’s probably split up like that for tax purposes… so he can claim losses..

      • I doesn’t make any sense to me either … If he is fudging the numbers at all this publicity isn’t good… It really makes you think about the lockout and how much you can trust the owners numbers… On a related note I went to Ottawa this summer and wow is the arena out of town… Who’s idea was that??

    • my understanding is he has one of the lowest season tickets sold and one of the middle to lowest attendance avg over the last few years.

  4. How does Carchidi get any credibility when he suggests that the Rangers go after Miller with Lundqvist in goal? I mean….where’s the logic?

  5. @ Micki, I thought the exact same thing.

    I know logic dictates that Miller would not want to go to Edmonton, but unless Dallas Stars decide they want to deal for him teams in the the “South” west already have their goalies set. He may want to go to Edmonton just to get out of Buffalo…and if he likes it he can resign. If not he is a free agent. How can 6 months or so of Edmonton be any worse than his last couple of years in Buffalo? If that deal happens I would think Yakupov has to be part of that and maybe Labarbara so Buffalo has a backup for Enroth. Then Buffalo goes for first pick overall. I could see Vanek traded for picks at the deadline and start the rebuild.

    • Murph, while Edmonton may not be ideally where Miller wants to go, but it does take him west and closer to his wife. The key is whether Miller has Edmonton on his NT list.

  6. I know that would be a risky move for Edmonton, so maybe they ask for a pick as well as Miller, or a conditional pick if they cannot do a sign and trade.

    • Miller is worth too much for Buffalo to give up a pick. Unless Edmonton offers something like:

      To Edmonton: Miller + Vanek
      To Buffalo: Dubnyk + Yakupov + Hemsky + 2014 1st

      (Dubnyk + Yakupov = Miller, Hemsky + 1st = Vanek)

      • As I stated further up Miller has Edmonton on his list of teams that he doesn’t want to be traded to. So unless Miller says otherwise, there will be no trade to Edmonton involving him. Also there is no way the Oilers trade a 19 year old with tonnes of promise for two ufas that will most likely walk next year.

  7. The only way I see Miller coming to Edmonton and Yakupov being part of the deal, and only IF Miller accepts the trade to Edomton, is if it is a trade and sign. Like I said yesterday, I can not see MacT trading a 20 year old with big potential for a 30+ UFA who can walk at the end of the season. Just does not make sense.

    • There is a such thing as a guarantee that he’ll sign if traded. Buffalo could go to Miller and his agent and say “we have a trade, the team is Edmonton. If you agree to be traded there, they want a guarantee that you’ll sign an extension”.

  8. Leafs Advocate, good points. As far as your proposed trade goes the dollars work but I wonder if Edmonton wants to add another forward to the mix , especially one who is probably salivating for free agency. The difference between Vanek and Miller is there are only 30 teams for a number one goalie to play with. A forward like Vanek fits into 30 teams top 6, so he has more to choose from and may not want to go to Edmonton where they are still a few years away. He may want to hold out for a cup contender at the deadline.

    • If Edmonton wants another player, Stafford is definitely available.

  9. Why the hell would the Hurricanes be suitors for Miller just because their backup has a minor short term injury. Besides the severity of the injury, who’d go after a big salary star goalie just because their backup is injured? This isn’t New Jersey, This makes no sense and is just made up out of thin air.

    • I agree with Whattausay. I can’t see Carolina going for Miller either. I can see them possibly signing Theodore & possibly trading him once Khudobin comes back. But I don’t think goal tending is Carolina’s problem. Defense & scoring is right now. I think given a little more time the scoring will be there (you can’t keep the staal’s off the score sheet for forever). I would be more worried about the d first

  10. Could Carolina possibly be interested in Gardiner from the Leafs? If so what kind of deal would be possible?

    • The Leafs have nothing to do with this thread. Please just stop.

  11. While Carolina could be interested in Gardner, the bigger question is what does Carolina have that the Leafs need or want, and are willing to part with? Unless his last name rhymes with “wall”, I do not see it. Hurricanes are up against the cap and I do not think the Leafs are interested in doing any favours.

    • Enough with the misspelling of “Gardner”, it’s Gardiner

  12. To think Miller and Vanek will be included in the same deal is hilarious and delusional. The Sabres will want to maximize their return on these two and if traded will be 2 separate deals.

  13. Could there be a deal between Toronto & Colorado? Gardner, Kulemin, & Kadri for O’Rielly & Colorado’s first round pick & maybe a prospect? Toronto gets some cap relief & a 1st line center for years to come & a 1st rounder.. I don’t think Bolland is too likely to go anywhere (in fact I can almost see Nonis signing him to an extension by the trade deadline). Raymond’s play & the play of some of the younger Leafs have made Kulemin expendable. It also puts the 2nd & 3rd line centers to something more of what they should be (Bolland & Bozak). Kadri is tough to give up but in order to get something you have to give something & Kadri can play the wing which Colorado could be interested in.

    • Enough. I’m sure there are plenty of Leaf boards where you can spend the day making fantasy deals. I’m really getting tired of going to read these threads and have them hijacked by Leaf fans who post completely unrelated garbage. Lyle, any thoughts on this?

      • Enough with your Anti-Leafs trolling

        • whos trolling ? just sick of threads getting hijacked by ‘fans’ of one team even when the thread has ZERO to do with their team. you may want to learn what trolling is.

    • I am the biggest leaf fan out here, but Kevin, this story has absolutely nothing to do with the leafs. Its guys like you who give the rest of us a bad name. Leaf stories come on here fairly frequently so just wait until one comes up. SSSHHEEESH.

    • The Leafs don’t need anymore picks, sure they’re good to acquire. Plus, O’Rielly isn’t available till March 1st…thanks to Calgary. With the huge improvements of O’Rielly, I see Stastny more as a tradeable asset for the Avs. As Duchene is 1C, O’Rielly 2C and MacKinnon 3C (Whom will likely work his way up to 1C with another 2 more years of experience, maybe 2C at worst). That leaves Stastny expendable. In addition, Stastny isn’t exactly within the Avs youth range. If he somehow is or becomes available…not because I’m a Leafs fan, rather they’ve been in the Stastny trade talks for years…but I would see a trade offer of:

      To Toronto: Stastny
      To Colorado: Kulemin + Bozak + Gardiner

    • And just who do you think the habs would be willing to give up? A first for sure and…?

      • Beauleiu ?

  14. I hope for the sabres sake that they don’t wait for the perfect deal. If they do Regier may find himself without a job when no deal is secured and both guys walk. As usual he is probably asking for the moon so he will have to wait until the trade deadline to make a deal with a desperate team or one that thinks one or both will lead them to the cup. But if nobody bites then goodbye Darcy. He has to realize that very few teams if any are going to send the sabres young prospects, players, or draft picks for guys who want to be free-agents next summer. He will have to settle for maybe one top prospect, another player and perhaps 3rd or 4th round picks. What is it going to take for the sabres to remember the past?

  15. The flyers may be interested in Vanek as other teams most likely do, but who do the flyers give back. They definitely don’t have the d-men to spare and giving up two or three offensive weapons just doesn’t make any sense. The flyers are hooped and Holmgrens hands have probably been tied by Mr. Snider who doesn’t want to see another bungled trade.

    • The flyers need to stop… I think half the flyers problem is there constant musical chairs of players… They just took out and then tried to replace a lot in that dressing room.. Give it time.. They don’t need more offense anyway they need to concentrate on defense.

      • Totally agree with you. Do they not realize that things were going not too badly a few years ago. Then they changed everything around. It went not so good, so they changed more, it went worse. The flyers management seem to think they’re playing a video game.

        • In saying that if I were an opposing gm I’d be in the phone everyday with holmgren seeing what he’s willing to give up…

  16. Uh oh, Ryan Miller wants nothing to do with Edmonton? Plan B for the oilers I guess! lol Man do they need a goalie!!!!! But to be honest, with the youth of their team, I don’t know if a 33 year old goalie is really worth it for them. I’m sure they can get a better goalie than Dubnyk, who isn’t a star but is more solid than Dubnyk, and it wouldn’t cost as much. What about Neuvirth, Reimer or one of the guys in Anaheim?

  17. Kill me now…
    Cancelled center ice for the 1st time in 22 years.

    • Hey but the goalies look better!