NHL Rumor Roundup – October 30, 2013.

More fallout from the Thomas Vanek trade, plus the latest on Ryan Miller, Dion Phaneuf, the Sedins and more.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough believes if the Buffalo Sabres are to trade Ryan Miller, they should do it quickly, citing Miller’s decent performance, several teams in need of goaltending could face missing the playoffs if their problem goes unaddressed, he’s not the only goalie possibly available (Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller), and the need to sever the relationship sooner rather than later.

CBS SPORTS: cited a radio interview with CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, who not only believed the St. Louis Blues had interest in Thomas Vanek before his trade to the Islanders, but also said he wouldn’t be surprised if they had interest in Miller.

CBC.CA: Friedman noted the Sabre have nine picks in the first two rounds of the 2014 – 2015 drafts. “With Moulson, Ryan Miller and Ott all potentially in play, you expect more to come.”

SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox believes the Minnesota Wild could try to lure Vanek when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Nick Kypreos also reports Miller doesn’t want to accept a trade to a Canadian team.

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Sabres tried to shop Vanek to the Toronto Maple Leafs but the Leafs weren’t interested as Vanek (a winger) wouldn’t have been a good fit. He reports the Sabres retained between $1.3-$1.4 million of Vanek’s salary in the trade to the Islanders, who also received some draft protection. “If it’s a top-10 pick come June, they can defer for the Sabres to draft in 2015 instead, a decision that the Islanders can make at that draft.”.


Could it cost the Leafs $50 million to re-sign Dion Phaneuf?

Could it cost the Leafs $50 million to re-sign Dion Phaneuf?

Pierre LeBrun also believes the St. Louis Blues could be a destination for Miller, depending upon the play and health of Blues starter Jaroslav Halak. He also believes the Montreal Canadiens could soon re-sign defenseman Alexei Emelin. He also claims no numbers have been exchanged between the Maple Leafs and Dion Phaneuf, but doesn’t believe the Leafs are comfortable going north of $7 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Vanek and Matt Moulson to keep surfacing in the rumor mill between now and the March 5 trade deadline. Miller will also remain a fixture but currently there aren’t many destination for Miller.  As long as Halak keeps playing well, the Blues have no reason this season to chase Miller.

SPORTSNET.CA: Nick Kypreos believes a seven-year, $50 million contract is what could keep Dion Phaneuf a Maple Leaf. He also doesn’t believe the Leafs are actively showcasing goalie James Reimer, but feels at some point in the future they’ll have to move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: $50 million divided by 7 is an average annual cap hit of over $7.142 million.  The Phaneuf camp supposedly won’t take less than $6.5 million per season.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they eventually settle on something close to $7 million per without going over that number. Of course, if the Leafs should march to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, they’ll happily open the vault for him.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson, responding to reader e-mail, believes it would take “four pieces,most likely draft picks and two position players” for the Oilers to land Nashville’s Shea Weber, believing Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle would have to be part of the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about landing Weber, Oilers fans. Won’t happen.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher noted contract negotiations between the Canucks and the Sedins agent J.P. Barry are ongoing.


  1. It’s possible to see a significant trade between the Panthers and Sabres regarding Markstrom and Miller.

    • I would think the Sabres would be a little more interested in some of the other pieces Florida has…but ya never know

    • Why would the Panthers give up on their goalie of the future for a 33-yr-old UFA. Tallon should be fired if he makes that deal.

      • Im not so Enroth Markstrom combo is something the Sabres would be contemplating is all I meant.

    • Naw won’t happen. We need more wingers than goalies. Hackett is ready for the NHL and could be starter in a few years and Enroth IMO has outplayed Miller in every aspect of the game. But ya next year it’ll be an Enroth/Hackett combo, no Markstrom. If it’s Florida or any other team it’s gonna be offense and quite possibly defense but goaltending we are covered.

  2. I wonder what the asking price for Vanek was, when Buffalo offered him to Toronto? And for Toronto to quickly turn down the offer.

    • Doesn’t matter. Leafs are deep on the wing as it is.

      • Oh I know that, but the general offer, I would like to know what it was.

  3. Is there any reason to believe that Ryan Miller could be traded to the Wild? The DTD rotation of Backstrom and Harding is hard to swallow.

    • Harding has the best save percentage in the league right now and a pretty good GAA

      • Not saying Miller couldnt just that by the looks of it Harding is playing pretty well.

        • He is playing pretty well, but he always finds a way to get on the DTD list and I don’t know if anybody can trust his MS condition. Miller is only a couple years younger than Backstrom but at least he’s a healthy goalie. Backstrom is always slow to get up off the ice.

          • True

  4. I have no problem with the Sabres retaining some $ on the Vanek trade. Vanek had checked out and was going through the motions. While a lot of people are speculating that Moulson is basically a rental player, he just might be what the doctor ordered for the Sabres. For years he has played under the shadow of others and has been very consistent with his play. He is hard working, has character, and he might just be the leader/mentor that the Sabres need for our youngsters. He knows the area as he is from Mississauga and there are some advantages to living in the Bflo area. Buffalo is the perfect opportunity for Moulson to become “the man” and make it his team.

    Miller – its time for him to move on. I still envision him in St. Louis and while I know Darcy has proven to be a “horse trader”, I have no problem with getting Halak/Stewart for Miller/Adam. Thing is St. Lou has $1M in cap space, so they would need to dump some salary even if we were to take back some from Miller. I would be interested to see what teams comprise Miller’s “No Trade Zone”, but we do know that there are teams that would be interested – perhaps Carolina.

  5. I think the perfect scenario right now would be for the Hurricanes to get in on Ryan Miller. They need the goaltending, if they could pick Miller up they could ship Ward when he comes off of injury, hopefully resign Miller and let Khubodin get mentored to eventually take the net. Ward they could likely ship off to the Oilers or the Islanders to address goaltending issues there.

    I like the Vanek/Moulson deal a bit more now knowing about the draft pick protection.

    I know the Oilers are having defensive and goaltending woes, but a big part of that is their forwards not being responsible with the puck when they don’t have it. I wonder what the asking price in Bflo is for Steve Ott? I know the Oilers have been patient for a long time, but at this point you’ve invested too much time to not maintain patience. Picking up Ott plus either Hiller or Ward via trade would help, plus they still have Nurse, Klefbom, and Musil developing on defense that should start to get serious looks by next year.

  6. Regarding Nick Kypreos’ comment that, at some point, the Leafs may have to trade James Reimer, I sure hope that it’s after this season. Reimer and Bernier are two of the main reasons for Toronto’s good start. If they stay healthy, the Leafs could avoid the dreaded (December, January) slump and be a playoff team again.

    • Shhh….. dont jinx it.

      One of them wont be here next year (moving one at the draft would be my guess) but again I still think its to early to say which one. Bernier could have a higher value with his relatively cheap contract he just signed. Reimer would just be rights (or a rental if moved at the deadline). I could see the pros and cons to either being moved. Right now their both playing great hard to see either moving this season now but its still early.

      • i don’t see a deadline deal for Riemer unless the leafs are desperate, depending where they are in the standings retaining two goalies who are playing great hockey is always beneficial for a deep team. I wouldn’t be against signing a similar contract with Riemer next season as Bernier and run with two goalies at around 7mil cap hit which is much less then what NYR will be paying for Lundqvist alone.

        Two goalies who can compete has worked in the past with STL and now with COL so it’s good for TO.

      • Agreed on a draft day deal, barring a giant injury woe for the Leafs than requires fixing at the trade deadline.

        But better to ride both guys into the playoffs, even if one emerges as the #1 during the season. Then see who looks good in the playoffs; huge value there. After that, you’ll get a much better return at next year’s draft.

        (While I’m in a predicting mood: Reimer in the off-season to his hometown Jets? Pavelec has looked distinctly ordinary for years. Not sure what they’d do with his contract, though…)

        • Why are you or anyone considering trading one of you two good goalies? Isn’t 2 better than one especially one at just over $1m and the other at just over 3? What is it better to have one at around 6?
          I can see the team trade one when both have earned a $6m pay cheque but before that its really dumb and not hockey smart.

          • If a second starting goalie can net you a 1st line centre, or someone to replace Bolland (if he leaves), etc, I think you have to do it. The Leafs look good this year, but their current roster isn’t a Cup-winner (IMO).

            Why have two goalies who can play 65 games? It’s helpful, but not as helpful a piece or two one of those goalies could get you – regardless of their salary cap implications.

          • Agreed. Considering your back-up has to play min 20 games these days it’s a huge advantage to have 2 number 1 quality goalies. And what if one of them gets hurt? We don’t have any up-and-coming tenders in the minors that I am aware of. I’d probably hang on to them for a couple of years and see how things shake out. Could be a cap issue down the road, but Reimer is still RFA this summer so we got time.

          • Not saying I want it to happen just saying thats what I can see happening they are going to need cap space some how, particularly if they extend Franson Phaneuf Bolland Gradiner Kessels new deal….something will have to give. Think about it Franson will get 4-5 at least Dion if done gets 6-7, Bolland will need a pretty hefty raise say closer to 5 Gardiner probably bridge at 3.5. There is another 9 mill on the cap give Reimer 3 there is 12 and they are over the cap even if it does increase significantly not to mention others like McClement etc. Im pretty sure they may consider moving a goalie.

          • Sorry professor puck but you may want to brush up on capspace 101.

  7. My predictions:

    1. Miller ends up in Philly.
    At the moment, Mason is playing very well. But I think he’ll come back down to the numbers he’s had over the past few years. Holmgren is often willing to give up the future for the present, and they have forward depth to spare. It might take a month or two, but Miller will end up with the Flyers.

    2. Phaneuf signs for 8 years, $50M
    Total dollars is the same, annual salary is lower ($6.25M). I know his agents want higher salary, and I think they’ll fight quite a while for it, but I think Dion likes playing in T.O., I think the Leafs have a promising young team that players would want to play on, and I think he’ll take the hometown “discount” provided he gets maximum term.

    (Note: I’m no Phaneuf fan – I think he’s worth $5.5M for the Leafs, who have depth to not need to pay him $7M+ – but that’s my prediction on the deal he signs)

    • Lol I like Phaneuf but I hope its not an 8 year deal… Id rather pay 35 for 5 or around 7 per a year with way less term, thought being in a year or 2 with a shorter contract he would probably be easier to move if other D keep progressing, cap hit difference of 500k doesnt mean a whole lot but term of 8 years would be a killer if they wanted to move him. Realistically I think he is worth around what he makes now, but I would consider giving him a bit more just to possibly keep the term down.

      • I’d be the same! If I’m a GM, I prefer high-money, short-term deals. Easier to move, less risk. Rather have a guy really badly underperforming for the last 2 years than pretty badly underperforming for the last 6, if the deal doesn’t work out.

        I just doubt Phaneuf takes under 6 years from anyone – and maybe not under 7 -and I think the Leafs want to keep him and will go longer-term to do so.

        We’ll see what happens!

    • Mason has been one of the best goalies in the nhl since the flyers traded for him. They were in love with the guy since before he was a rookie in Columbus. They stole him for Leighton and a 3rd. Why would they give up on him knowing goaltending is the least of their problems?

      The team still looks shaky on d after Grossmann and Coburn and cannot score consistently. Miller is the last thing they need.

      • I wouldn’t give up on him yet either, if I was the Flyers. But his sample size with the Flyers is 17 games, after around 170 awful ones with CBJ. I just predict he’ll come back down to earth and not be the goalie the Flyers are looking for. We’ll see!

        (Wouldn’t that be strange if the Flyers’ goalie coaches actually *fixed* a goalie after about 20 years of breaking them… lol)

    • the Flyers don’t need a goalie. Mason is in the top 10. young, a lot of experience, and his bad numbers as a Blue Jacket came with a bad Blue jacket team. plenty of pros have benefitted from a change in scenery and he’s now in a top hockey market

      the Flyers don’t have FW to spare. they’re near the bottom of the league in scoring. The FW are the weak link

      the Flyers problems are that they have over-paid and over-rated players, too old, too slow, too small, and not physical enough

  8. Potter and Grebeshekov on waivers for the Oil I think a deal is coming…

  9. I thought I heard on either TSN or Sportsnets that the asking price Buffalo asked from Toronto for Vanek was Gardiner and a 1st but Nonis said no thanks. Glad he did because Leafs don’t need Vanek. I do think Toronto needs Dion but I would try to get 5 or 6 years at no more then 7 million. Bottom line is if he wants to be the Leafs Captain for years to come with out crippling our ability to continue with depth or is he just wanting to be greedy. Someone will pay him his ransom and he might be worth it but it would hurt the team more then 7 million for 8 years.

  10. Here is a relatively unrelated thought. Edmonton is looking for defensive help. A. Hemsky has been rumored to be available for what seems like nine years now. Philly is having trouble scoring and Holmgren has been looking to dump A. Meszaros for months. Their cap hits are only 1M apart and both contracts end after this season so there is no long term risk involved in taking either one on. While neither would be an instant fix both would be steps toward addressing each teams immediate needs. Why haven’t Mactavish and Holmgren already swapped Hemsky and Meszaros? Futhermore, aside from Meszaros and J-M Liles what defensemen are even being mentioned in the rumor mill?

    • lol are you serious Cliff? Meszaros has zero value. Let me type it again, zero value. At least Hemsky will has value provided he stays healthy.

      • In the interest of full disclosure, I have not seen Meszaros play this year and can’t recall if I saw him play last year either. However, I believe “zero value” X2 is overstating things. Scott Gomez of 2-3 years ago at a 7.8M was “zero value”. Dany Heatley at 7.5M is “zero value”. I’d bet my paycheck that if Philly offered Meszaros for Heatley (NMC aside) straight up, Minnesota would jump at it. I’m not saying Meszaros’s value is anywhere near what it was when he signed his contract or two years ago or even that it is significant at this point in time. But it is not zero. If Edmonton made that trade they would gain just under 1M in cap space. That alone would imply that Meszaros would have some value greater than zero to Edmonton.

  11. There goes Matheson again! the Eklund of the West. It would take two of those forwards listed to even get a sniff at Weber.