NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Thursday, March 14, 2013.

The latest on the Sabres, Flames, Red Wings and more.

Could Thomas Vanek be moved by the trade deadline?

Could Thomas Vanek be moved by the trade deadline?

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason believes it may be time for the Sabres to not only part ways with goaltender Ryan Miller, but also forwards Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville. Gleason noted the trio will become unrestricted free agents next year, and their trade value could decline if the Sabres wait until next season to move them.

Mike Harrington reports prevailing wisdom around the league is the Sabres will be sellers by the trade deadline. He noted pending free agents like Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold, and Jochen Hecht could attract some interest, as could struggling winger Drew Stafford. Like Gleason, Harrington believes what will bear watching is what the Sabres do with Miller, Vanek and Pominville. He also reports the Sabres had scouts at recent games in Los Angeles, Colorado and St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no doubt pending UFAs like Regehr and Leopold could attract interest, but I doubt there’ll be much in Stafford, who has two years at $4 million per left on his contract. As for Miller, Vanek and Pominville, it could come down to where they see their futures next summer, and if they still believe they have a place with the Sabres. If not, the Sabres should move them, if not at the trade deadline, then definitely this summer, and try to get solid returns upon which to rebuild.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames are trying to ignore the trade rumors dogging the club. Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester and Miikka Kiprusoff are the most mentioned in the rumor mill, but others (Lee Stempniak, Alex Tanguay, Cory Sarich, Curtis Glencross, Chris Butler) could also start appearing in the mill. Eric Francis reports Iginla maintains his refusal to speak about trade speculation with the press.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla, Bouwmeester and Kiprusoff will obviously be the focus of trade speculation from now until April 3, but it is possible the Flames could try to move out some of their lesser lights.

NHL NETWORK (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Interviewed TSN’s Darren Dreger, who spoke briefly about Ryan Miller’s trade status, suggesting it would take a rival team making a pitch for Sabres management to consider moving him, rather than the Sabres shopping Miller. Given his status as an elite goalie, there would be concerns about the return and who would replace Miller in Buffalo…Dreger also reported St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart could be available. The Blues are seeking in a defenseman, and also had some interest earlier this season in Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin…Dreger also touched on the trade status of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester, noting it would be costly to land Kiprusoff, but he feels moving Bouwmeester is more realistic, suggesting the Red Wings could be a destination…As for Corey Perry, there’s a sense the Anaheim Ducks could make a serious effort to re-sign him at the trade deadline, but if they can’t,  management would face a tough decision about moving him at the trade deadline.

MLIVE.COM:  Ansar Khan reports a source claims the Detroit Red Wings are inching closer to a new contract with pending UFA goalie Jimmy Howard and could have an agreement soon. It’s believed the new deal could be for six-seven years for perhaps as much as $5 million per season. The club is also working on getting Valtteri Filppula and Damien Brunner re-signed before the end of the regular season. Khan reports the Wings feel they can reach common ground with Brunner, but aren’t anywhere close yet to re-signing Filppula.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Wings may be close to re-upping Howard. Sure, Mike Smith might be available this summer via free agency, and Ryan Miller perhaps via trade, but there’s no guarantee they could land either guy, so it’s best to stick with Howard. I also expect they’ll get Brunner re-signed, but Filppula is no sure thing given his rumored demands for $5 million per season. I don’t believe the Wings will trade Filppula at the deadline if they’re unable to reach an agreement.


  1. Wake up Ray Shero and go after Chris Stewart … Pens need some toughness and grit …

    • Agreed. The Pens don’t need a player like Iginla right now. They need to add sandpaper on the bottom six and on defense.

  2. The goalie situation is becoming very interesting as people pointed out yesterday with Kipper, Lu, and Miller leading the charge. I don’t see how the Leafs will have a very hard time landing an elite vetran goaltender at the trade deadline or this summer. As much as I like Reimer everytime he gets hurt he never comes back as sharp and Scrivens can’t control his rebounds as of yet. Leafs need a vet to help one of thee two guys and it looks like if they want to pay the price then all three could be available. My guess is Kipper would be the guy since he plays in the west (good trading partner), he’s 36 (allows Reimer to be number 1 in two years), and he’s having an off year (lower trade value then in the past).

    Either way the goalie situation will be very interesting this summer for the teams that need help.

  3. What would it take to pry Vanek out of Buffalo? Huge $7.14M cap hit but only for one more year then he’s a UFA

    • If you can get him that’s great, but he will want huge money as an UFA.

      • i will be very interested what the new CBA does to huge contracts. I guess Ryan Getzlaf doesn’t mind it.

      • You think he is gonna ask for a raise?

  4. If and thats if Buffalo goes into selling mode, and I mean selling off their elite talents, its going to cost a pretty penny. wish the leafs could land miller but that will never happen with us being a division rival. I think reimers and scrivens are doing okay, but c’mon its ryan miller. I am guessing it would cost, reimer, gardnier a prsopect and and 1st or second. conditional if he signs extension. as for Vanek I am assuming they would want something similar but with his high salary they would half to take something back. not much but something. using the leafs as an example again ( I Know) it would be something like gardnier, grabo/lupul and 1st or second depending on extension.

  5. I don’t think the Sabres will blow up the team. They have a good core of players and i think they should try to fix their problems before selling the key players.

    • They don’t need to. They just need to get rid of their liabilities and go back to “trusting their development system”. Their best players are home grown.

  6. I have no problem with the Sabres trading away Leopold, Regehr, Hecht, Pominville or Stafford. even getting rid of Miller might be a good idea. I think part of the problem with the Sabres is that they have gotten to comfortable and there is no “hunger” or “energy” there. Meyers watches as Leopold allow Stephan to skate by, Stafford is a day late to the party on every shift and the list goes on and on. To me, each line has a weak link and it seems most of the time we are playing with two forwards. Penalties also kill us. Pommer is a weak captain and maybe they need to bring in someone like Clowe although I would rather see Pavelski – do a deal of Stafford and Pomminville for Pavelski. Bring up some of the kids and get ready for next year.

    • Bringing up kids seemed to work for the Canadians, Sen’s and Leafs so why not try it if they are ready. The kids are definitely more hungry and keep the vets on their toes.

      • You need good kids in the AHL to fill the spots…

        As for Buffalo getting rid of Vanek and Pominville would surprise me. They are both the best of their forwards.. and something they should build around.

        • Pommer is weak – get rid of him and Stafford and get someone like Lupel, Burrows, Ryan, Perry or Cammarelli – someone that plays with an edge. I would keep Vannek, but I would try to unload Meyers, Regehr and Leopold – we have some youngsters ready to make the jump. And I would probably get rid of Miller – I never thought of him as an “elite” goaltender – stealing you games. I would maybe trade him to SJ along with Luke Adam for Niemi and Clowe.

          • steve are you on crack??? miller and adam for clowe and niemi??? your an idiot.

          • Hey Jes, I’m sure the Sharks would go for it – have you seen Clowe’s stats this year? And while Niemi has keep the Sharks in some games, he’s never been a fan favorite. Anyway, I don’t see you making any suggestions?

  7. Anyone else think Chris Stewart would be a good fit in the big apple?!

    • I think Chris Stewart would be a good fit anywhere.

  8. Three team deal:

    Vanek and Miller to Calgary
    Kipper and one of Calgary’s multiple picks from the first two rounds to Buffalo
    Bishop to Buffalo
    Greening to Buffalo
    Ottowa’s 2nd round pick to Buffalo
    Pominville to Ottowa
    Bouwmeester to Ottowa

    • Great trade proposal…not sure if it would fly but at least made me draw up a chart so I could see it…Ottawa seems to make out like a bandit here, but the others are probably about right. Nicely done. But no chance I’m afraid.

      • I’m not sure where this rumour of Bouwmeester coming to Ottawa started but I can’t see him as a fit in Ottawa. They’ve repeatably stated that they’re going to continue to build and develop their own players through the draft. If they trade it will likely be for young prospects. On defence they will have both Cowen and Karlsson back next season and even with the subtraction of Gonchar there’s number of young players that have played very well this season and have earned spots. What they need is a scoring winger that can play with Jason Spezza. If Cory Perry becomes a free agent this summer I could see them making a serious offer as they have the cap room and he would fill a big missing piece on the team (as he would on some others I’m sure!)

    • So Ottawa gives up Greening, Bishop, and a 2nd for Bouwmeester and Pomminville. Buffalo trades Miller, Vanek, and Pominville for Kipper, Bishop, Greening, 1st/2nd and a 1st and Calgary gets Miller and Vanek for Kipper, Bouwmeester, and a 1st/2nd.

      Seems like Buffalo is getting screwed and would also be left with 3 goalies on one way contracts. This trade heavily favours Ottawa. I can’t see swapping out Miller and picking up Kipper. If you take those two out of the trade you’re essentially left with buffalo giving up Vanek and Pominville for Bishop, Greening and a 1st/2nd and 2nd. That really decimates Buffalos offense without giving them anything back besides the gamble that draft picks are.

      Side note: Calgary also doesn’t have a 2nd round pick in this years draft, They traded it to Montreal for Cammy. The multiple first two rounds of picks you speak of doesn’t exist in Calgary. If they moved their 1st they’d have 4 picks left in the 2013 draft, three of which would be in rounds 6 and 7.

  9. Paul Martin is a Red Wing in the next two weeks. Pittsburgh gets 2nd pick in 2014

    • Why would Detroit want Paul Martin first off he’s Injury prone and he’s not what we need I would rather get Brian Campbell from the Panthers then Paul Martin from the Pens

  10. Bruins should go after Vanek.He kills us everytime we play them.Not sure if we can fit the cap hit but I know we have the option of putting Savard on LTIR.Dont know what it would cost but dont see B’s moving Hamilton or Seguin.Maybe something like Caron,Spooner,Horton and pick.

  11. Miller only makes $750,000 more then Marc-Andre Fleury, can you imagine a world with miller backing the pens? Unbelievable. The pens have tons of depth in the farm system, make it happen!!!!!

    • dumbest thing ive heard in awhile buffalo is going to want an arm and a leg for miller why would we give that up for him when went need a goalie no use of wasting prosects and pics on something we dont need

      • Not if they trade straight up for a goalie like Niemi – you see Miller also wants to be on the West Coast with his wifey.

  12. If the Sabres find themselves out of postseason contention at the trade deadline, the focus will be selling off players who will not be coming back for long-term solutions in return.

    I would not expect Darcy Regier to make any big moves if the Sabres are eliminated. Regier would have early knowledge that he will not return as general manager for the 2013-2014 season. Regier’s replacement would be responsible for acquiring far better players and determining a permanent head coach.

    If Ryan Miller parts, the Sabres should go after Roberto Luongo or have a gaping hole in front of the net. The Sabres have a permenant hole in center failing to acquire the playmaking, point producing first line center lacked since Daniel Briere and Chris Drury.

  13. Stewart available??? bwaaaaaahahahahahahahha… highly doubtful


  14. Here is the best trade scenario for Buffalo
    Bernier is UFA next year so the kings don’t have alot of trading chips and most likely will take a draft pick for Bernier. Buffalo’s 2nd is going to be a high second and for a back up goalie (only becuase of Quick) that you will lose in FA…it is good trade for all teams.

    Then you ship Miller. Stewart? Perry? Iginlia? I don’t know for who but going with what Darcy always does, they will be younger and be an up and comer. Miller would prefer the West Coast (hello Mr Sheen) but with good goalies already in place, San jose would be the best fit for him and I don’t see them as good tradin’ partner. But he is done here…and should be. Really, silver is exceptable? Ryan is good on the Sabres but would be great on a solid team.

    That leaves you with Pommers and Vanek. You keep Vanek as he is the youngest and can still score with teh best of them. Pommers on the other hand is not going to get any better, any younger and maybe even more important, the captain to lead Buffalo out of the basement. It is pretty obvious here in WNY the “C” should be on Ott (the most obvious choice since Drury) with at least one letter going to a Dman, preferably Erhoff. And with another letter available that only means that “Kung Fu” Drew Stafford, who listens to death metal and plays like girl scout, is gone…maybe for only a bucket of pucks but that would be addition be subtraction.

    Buffalo is not ready for a superstar yet…they need stronger role players with higher hockey IQ’s that can win enough to get to the playoffs (eight seed is still in and they aren’t doing that now). Once that foundation is set, with “Fracking King” Terry Pegula’s $$$, they can go buy the player that best fits them in a year or two. Till then…Buffalonians will all be going golfing earlier then other NHL cities.

    Last but not least – Billy Beane said, to paraphrase, “You trade your best players for new best players, cause if you are not winning with them, then you need new best players.

    • Shinebox, I can agree with what you say – see my trade scenario prior to yours. I think you still could get something for Stafford – maybe trade Drew for Setoguchi – both have underachieved for their teams and maybe a change of scenary might work for both or see if they can trade Stafford for Chris Stewart. If I were the Sabres, I would also look at seeing if we could get someone like Sam Gagner, Hemsky or Eberle for Tyler Myers. With Pommer, I would try to either swing a deal for Purcell or Brandon Sutter – might toss in one of our d-men like Pardy. And I would trade Miller straight up for Neimi. In addition, we do have Luke Adam, Alex Biega, Marcari and Gerbe if need be to sweeten the pie along with draft picks. I would like to see us be for physical and the only way to do it is by getting rid of some of our “finesse” guys who don’t like to be in the thick of things. Vanek, I would keep as he is willing to go to those dirty places. Aside from that, I would bring in someone who can coach and get the most from his players. I understand Rolston is more of a teacher of the game, but we need someone who can motivate our players because money sure as hell isn’t doing it and it seems that when the season starts all the fans are behind the team and their lack of effort just burns our support out.

    • blues dont need a goalie… in fact we have one to get rid of in Brian Elliott. Halak and Jake Allen will be our duo moving forward. Jake Allen has been incredible so far. looks like he has been in the league 10 years now.

      but like i said, Stewart isnt going anywhere.