NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Saturday, May 18, 2013.

Suggested trade destinations for Ryan Miller, plus more speculation on the Leafs and Capitals.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington lists several clubs as potential trade destinations for Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. Harrington believes Anaheim would be Miller’s first choice, noting Jonas Hiller was beaten by the Red Wings three times in overtime while Viktor Fasth never got off the bench. St. Louis might be another, given the friction between Jaroslav Halak and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. He doubts Sabres GM Darcy Regier moves Miller to an Eastern Conference team. He suggests the Colorado Avalanche as a destination, noting the Avs have a center in Paul Statsny the Sabres could use.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks lack the cap space to take on Miller, even if, say, they were to swap Hiller for him, or even if they parted with Bobby Ryan. Remember, Miller is also due to become a UFA next summer, so unless they could re-sign him, he’s a risky acquisition for the Ducks. The Blues and Avalanche appear more intriguing destinations, but that would depend upon their respective ownership’s willingness to spend to re-sign him. I’m not suggesting there’s no destinations out West for Miller, but that his free agent status next summer is a potential stumbling block.

Could the Leafs shop Phaneuf this summer?

Could the Leafs shop Phaneuf this summer?

SPORTSNET: Michael Grange believes Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis will trade defenseman Dion Phaneuf this summer, but could consider it, refusing to use the word “untouchable” for any of his players.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance looked at possible comparables for the Maple Leafs in their eventual contract negotiations with Phil Kessel, noting the recent new contracts inked by Ryan Getzlaf (eight years, $66 million) and Corey Perry (eight years, $69 million) of the Ducks, and by Alexander Semin (five years, $35 million) of the Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Nonis were to consider moving Phaneuf, perhaps the Philadelphia Flyers might be interested? They’re in the market for a puck-moving defenseman, and the two clubs do have a trade history. Of course, part of the asking price would be Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, whom the Flyers are reportedly reluctant to part with. As for Kessel, Nonis would be wise to start contract talks this summer, as Kessel’s value is bound to increase next season. Better to get him under a contract closer to what you’re willing to pay now, than what he could be seeking in a year’s time.

WASHINGTON TIMES: Stephen Whyno recently noted Mike Ribeiro and Matt Hendricks are the Capitals most notable UFAs this year.  With the salary cap declining to $64.3 million for next season, it could prove difficult re-signing them.

CSNWASHINGTON: Chuck Gormley reported Ribeiro has suggested he’s willing to accept a lower cap hit for a longer term (four or five years) contract. To afford him could force the Capitals to move some salary, perhaps by trading either defenseman Jeff Schultz ($2.75 million) or Michal Neuvirth ($2.5 million). Gormley also reported Matt Hendricks’ teammates are hoping he’ll be re-signed. He’s coming off a two-year, $1.85 million contract.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Tom Poti won’t be returning with the Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Caps will almost certainly move salary if they re-sign Ribeiro. Hendricks, on the other hand, should be an affordable re-signing.


  1. Please no one be so assinine as to suggest Miller is going to the Kings cause his wife is an actress. As for Anaheim they would be smarter to use that money elsewhere, like replacing Selanne, etc.

  2. Goalie market is going to be tough this year, as in there are going to be so many options available. Halak, Miller, Luongo, Bernier via trade … Smith, Emery, Backstrom, & Nabakov via free agency. That is 8 potential starting goaltenders that are available this summer. That is a deep goalie market and who will need a goalie really?

    New York Islanders (if they don’t resign Nabby or if Thomas doesn’t play)
    New Jersey (they could use the depth this year to find Broduer replacement)
    Buffalo Sabres (IF they move Miller)
    Minnesota Wild (IF they don’t resign Backstrom)
    Phoenix Coyotes (IF they don’t resign Smith)
    Edmonton Oilers
    Calgary Flames
    Philly Flyers (IF they buy out Bryz)

    • Oh, I forgot Florida as well who I believe is in the BEST position. Luongo seems keen on going to Florida and with such a deep market and the Nucks being strapped they can probably steal Luongo out of Vancouver right now, while getting the Nucks to pick up part of the cap hit. The Luongo trade will end up being a 2nd and mid level prospect with the Canucks picking up a portion of his contract if the Panthers play their cards right.

      • while i agree about bobby lou, i think it’ll be tampa who comes out of it with him. i think it’ll cost them either connelly or aulie (maybe plus if van takes a bit of salary back). i think florida is content with markstrom or at least they are not willing to move him and he do well). i think they will focus on him

        • What about Miller to the Lightning for their 1st rd pick this year and Buffalo takes a player TB needs to buy out. Buffalo has the cash to do the buy out for them?
          You pick who they buy out.

          • Tampa is picking 3rd overall. They will get Drouin, MacKinnon or Jones. No way they trade that pick for one year of Miller.

          • i can see a player and next year’s first fr miller. but i think they will run at lou

          • If Tampa Bay wants Ryan Miller, Steve Stamkos will be heading back to Buffalo in return. Lightning fans would be calling for Steve Yzerman’s firing if that deal goes through.

    • sabres don’t need another goalie. they have Enroth primed to takeover as a starter. have you seen what he’s done at the worlds? and he thoroughly outplayed Miller during the season.

      backstrom is no longer starter material. maybe for a shitty team just looking to fill in the role but other than that he is a backup or khl bound imo. ray emery is just on a pretty stacked team no way he’s a real deal starter. smith isn’t as good as everyone thinks. he’s on a very defensive team just like halak and elliot.

      on your list you forgot to mention a few teams that will need a goalie….


      toronto – yes reimer played great but as nonis and carlyle said if it’s an upgrade we’ll do it. miller is a huge upgrade over reimer.

      • recently he isnt an upgrade on reimer… and do you honestly think miller could handle toronto media when he couldnt even handle it in buffalo… no thanks

  3. I can tell you that there are sides within the Panthers brass regarding Luongo. Some want him, some don’t. It’ll be anyone’s guess if he comes back here or not.

  4. For some reason I picture Miller going to the Sharks… Not sure why, just a gut feeling.

    • The Sharks need consistency in goal. Antti Niemi is good, but Ryan Miller is better.

  5. My thought on Miller has been that he will go west to a California team whichever one doesn’t make it past the first round. There has been talk in the past of Miller for Hiller trade in the past, one that also involved Ryan – also, when Miller’s contract is up, I’m sure he’ll give the new “Hometown” discount to stay in Anaheim. Thing is, Anaheim can trade Ryan along with Hiller and get someone like Luke Adam, Gerbe, Flynn or one of our youngsters or draft picks. My thinking is that the Sabres need a veteran player that has some grit, leadership and skill who can help transform the attitude on the team. We saw some transformation after the trade deadline, we need to see it continue.

    • I also forgot to mention that most likely Bryan Allen will be an amnesy buyout and that will free up a little more cash for Anaheim.

  6. Spector, why would the Blues want Miller? They already have three goalies. And i don’t think the Avs are going to throw in the towel on Varlamov already

    • i think both teams might want him. st. louis is a good team but i doubt they would miss the pportunity to get miller in the net. elliot is not a starter. he is like huet or one of those guys. has a good year with good D and he becomes great somehow. jake allen is the wild card. that kid could turn out great. if stl is willing to get rid of him in a deal for miller, buffalo would jump with excitment

  7. No way Miller goes to the Sharks, especially after the way Niemi has played this year…plus Niemo has two more years on his contract, if I remember right…

    • Just seems like the type of thing Wilson would do. I’m not the biggest Niemi fan, but as a Sharks fan, prefer him to Miller.

  8. Dion Phaneuf and Matt Finn & 2nd rd pick to the Flyers for Couturier and a salary.
    Finn is a solid pick. Phaneuf addresses their immediate need. 2nd rd pick in a solid draft. Leafs get centerman for years to come.
    Perhaps I am understating Couturier’s value and the Leafs must offer more but he is the player they should target.