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.
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.