Jets management facing decisions regarding its free agents, Ryan Miller faces an uncertain future, and a call for the Avalanche to re-sign Matt Duchene.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe believes the Jets should re-sign RFA defenseman Zach Bogosian to a maximum-length eight year deal worth between $48-$50 million, citing Bogosian’s skills and love of playing in Winnipeg. He also feels RFA winger Blake Wheeler is deserving of a big raise and a long-term extension. Center Bryan Little played most of the season on the top line and figures to re-sign to a multi-year deal worth more than the $3 million per season. RFA Alex Burmistrov remains a question mark, but he claims he wants to remain with the Jets.
Paul Friesen, meanwhile, reports pending UFA forward Antti Miettinen doubts he’ll be re-signed. Others UFAs who could be on their way out include Nik Antropov and Kyle Wellwood.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though I doubt the oft-injured Bogosian gets an eight-year deal averaging $6.25 million per season at this stage in his career, there’s little doubt he’ll be re-signed to an expensive long-term deal. Ditto Wheeler and Little. Miettinen, Antropov and Wellwood are definitely on their way out. As for Burmistrov, while still promising, he could become a trade chip this summer if Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff feels he needs an established scorer or shut-down defenseman.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Prior to Friday’s Sabres-Islanders game, John Vogl reported long-time Sabres goalie Ryan Miller faces an uncertain future. Though he has one year left on his contract, it’s unclear if he’ll return to play it out with the Sabres. Miller has also put his Buffalo townhouse up for sale.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Miller isn’t dealt this summer. Sabres GM Darcy Regier claimed earlier this month he didn’t trade Miller or Thomas Vanek because “the value wasn’t there”, which tells me he was receiving offers for Miller or was shopping him before the deadline but didn’t like what he was getting offered at that time. Since Miller must list eight teams he won’t accept being dealt to, I believe he already knows which clubs had interest in him near the deadline, and which could revisit their interest this summer. The fact Miller’s also put his Buffalo home up for sale only stokes the speculation.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater recently made the case for the Avalanche to re-sign Matt Duchene this summer. Duchene has one year remaining on his current deal, but under CBA rules the Avs can open contract extension talks this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs management are fools if they don’t, and let’s hope they don’t cock it up like they did with Ryan O’Reilly.