Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2013.

Latest on Ryan Miller, Dmitry Kulikov, Michael Del Zotto, Paul Stastny, T.J. Oshie, Craig Anderson and more.

Could the Blues offer up T.J. Oshie for Ryan Miller?

Could the Blues offer up T.J. Oshie for Ryan Miller?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Maple Leafs are believed shopping around for help at center with Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland sidelined. They were thought to have interest in Stars center Vernon Fiddler earlier this year but couldn’t get a deal worked out. Garrioch claims Fiddler may have asked for a trade more than once but the Stars can’t find the right fit…The Panthers are trying to move Dmitry Kulikov but there’s concerns he might “head back to the KHL” as a RFA…The Rangers seek a top-four defenseman in return for Michael Del Zotto. Garrioch speculates the Rangers could use their remaining compliance buyout in June on a “struggling” Brad Richards to free up cap space to re-sign other key players…The Canadiens are seeking size down the middle…If the Predators can’t stay in the playoff race, management could start dumping salary following the Olympic break…The Islanders are shopping for a goalie and the Sabres’ Ryan Miller could be a target. Miller has submitted a list of ten clubs he won’t accept a trade to but it’s unknown if the Isles are on it.  Garrioch claims word around the league is the Blues could make a push for Miller and could offer up T.J. Oshie…The Blackhawks are seeking a depth center and blueliner…The Hurricanes have interest in Toronto’s Jake Gardiner and the Rangers Michael Del Zotto…The Blue Jackets are trying to change their forward mix.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Latest I’d heard Fiddler was off the trade market, but of course things can change…Kulikov only played a half -season in the KHL during the lockout. He played his junior hockey in the QMJHL before joining the Panthers. He could use the KHL as leverage in contract negotiations next summer, but I believe his preference is to remain in the NHL…Richards is hardly “struggling”, as his 23 points in 30 games are well ahead of last season’s pace. Still, one shouldn’t dismiss the possibility Richards gets a compliance buyout if the cost of re-signing key players puts a squeeze on the Rangers cap space…It was rumored Habs GM Marc Bergevin wanted to make a major move, but with his club playing so well of late (9-0-1 in their last ten) there’s no need to shake things up…One player the Predators could move is David Legwand if it appears he could test the UFA market in July…Again, I’ll be shocked if Miller would accept a trade to the Islanders.  The Blues won’t make a pitch for Miller as long as Jaroslav Halak (15-5-2, 2.24 GAA, .910SP) is playing well.  And they won’t part with T.J. Oshie, who has 25 points in 28 games and is third in scoring. Even if they did move Oshie ($4.175 million cap hit), the Blue still won’t have the cap space for Miller’s $6.25 million cap hit. If the Blues really want Miller, why not wait until next summer when he’s a UFA? Granted, he’d be expensive, but they’d have the cap space (their only significant re-signing next summer is Alexander Steen) to sign him without giving up a couple of key players…I don’t think the ‘Canes can pry Gardiner out of Toronto, and they lack an affordable top-four blueliner (Tim Gleason makes $4 million per) to offer up for Del Zotto.

CBC.CA (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports the Canadiens are working with P.K. Subban’s agents in hopes of getting a new deal done. He noted one GM joked Subban’s price won’t get cheaper given his play.  No comments from the Leafs and Dion Phaneuf’s agents regarding his contract talks. Glenn Healy reports he’s heard Subban is seeking an eight-year, $8.7 million per season deal. Friedman believes the reason the Panthers scratched Dmitry Kulikov last week because they had a deal in place (possibly with the Colorado Avalanche) but the deal fell apart. He also reported Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford may be reluctant to shake up his roster as they’re playing well of late. He could keep Justin Peters in the lineup and carry three goalies as he doesn’t want to lose one via waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban is now an established superstar with a Norris Trophy on his resume. Considering what Kris Letang got from the Penguins last summer as a runner-up for the Norris, it’s no surprise the Subban camp is seeking over $8 million per.  I believe the Habs just want to try to get the dollars closer to $8 million per rather than over $8.5 million per. I also found it suspicious Kulikov was a healthy scratch last week, as teams usually don’t do that to a player they’re trying to showcase.  Kulikov could be moved before the December 19 trade freeze.  The Hurricanes have won three in a row and climbed to four points of a playoff berth, which would explain Rutherford’s reluctance to shake things up right now.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater acknowledged the Colorado Avalanche need to bolster their defense, especially with Jan Hejda now sidelined with a leg injury, but doesn’t believe they should mortgage their future to do so. He pointed out the Avs were linked to the Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov in the rumor mill, and the availability of the Rangers’ Michael Del Zotto. Dater also noted the Avs still face a decision on the future of pending UFA center Paul Stastny.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The obvious suggestion would be Statsny as trade bait for a quality blueliner, but he’s been playing well this season and they could be reluctant to move him.  The Rangers’ asking price for Del Zotto is a top-four defenseman so that rules out the Avs.  Kulikov is an attractive option but the Panthers could want a good young player in return.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple has suggestions for the NY Islanders if they decide to rebuild again, calling upon management to move Thomas Vanek for a big return as soon as possible. He also believes they should plug in prospects like Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome, as well as making a move to improve their goaltending. He suggests trading oft-injured defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and struggling winger Michael Grabner, but believes the Isles should retain and re-sign blueliner Andrew MacDonald.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After such a promising performance last season the Islanders have fallen apart, largely due to their injury-decimated blueliner and management’s puzzling re-signing of an ageing Evgeni Nabokov, who is also now sidelined. It remains to be seen if GM Garth Snow will take Staple’s advice.

BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa claims the Ottawa Senators had hoped to trade goalie Craig Anderson, who has one season left on his contract and doesn’t fit into their long-term plans. His struggles this season, however, has hurt his trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can think of one time who might still have interest in Anderson. Rhymes with “Highlanders”.


  1. STL would make a push for Miller this year to get the cup! I hate to see miller leave us but where do I sign for TJ?

    • No way the Blues are dumb enough to move Oshie for Miller.

      • @ Canadian King

        Yes they are. According to numerous reports in the offseason they had a deal worked out with Buffalo that’d send Oshie and a 1st rounder for Miller but Darcy also wanted Ty Rattie. That was the only reason it never went through in the offseason.

  2. 2 things about Miller. It’s only a list of 8 teams, not 10. And the Sabres have already said that keeping some of the contract isa possibility for teams up against the cap

    • Technically it’s a list of 1 team right since all Canadian teams are off limits? Like I’m pretty sure the guy can’t go back and forth to whom he’d be willing to accept a trade to. It’s basically these are the 8 teams so go to work. A week later h can’t come in and say oh I wants the islanders on my list instead of Columbis.

  3. so if I understand this correctly, every team in the league is happy with their wingers.

  4. When will the Islanders correct the terrible mistake of promoting Garth Snow from backup goalie to GM?! When?!!!

    • When Charles Wang puts done the XBOX 360 controller and lets management do its job.

  5. HABS:
    Size down the middle? Makes sense, but which centre would they get rid of? Eller? No chance. Plekanec, their best penalty-killer & faceoff man, and an offensive threat, as well? I would hope not. Fourth line centre? Fine, but I doubt that’s what they’re talking about.

    That leaves Desharnais as the only choice. But that would mean A) they trade Desharnais to get the larger centre, as they don’t need 5 centres. I doubt that anyone takes Desharnais at his salary. And B) they risk ruining the chemistry he and Pacioretty, their best sniper, have.

    I don’t see this trade happening, at least not at the moment.

    • Are you people lost in life I keep reading desharnais contract if bad like are you kidding it’s only 3.5 million. The guy had a 60 point season under his belt to me he is a steal at that price …

  6. CANES:
    Why not trade Ward? Many of these stories are of these teams willing to give Khudobin a chance as a starter. The Canes are nowhere near contending, so why don’t they be the team to give him a chance while trading Ward for a bunch of good assets?

    Also, Ward’s career numbers are pretty average. 2.75GAA, .910%. Even his playoff numbers – 2.38, .917% – are slightly better (but not amazing)… and that neglects to mention that he has only helped to get his team into the playoffs ONCE in the last seven years.

    He’s still considered a very good goalie by many; if I’m the Canes, I sell high on him right now and get some nice working parts for my team.

  7. I have said the Isles and Anderson are a match. However I need to see the dust settle around the ‘Canes 1st as they do not want to lose a goalie by waivers. I predict movement just before the holidays.

  8. The Leafs looking for help at center? Nah could be true could it?

  9. Avs are short on Dmen, and they are not in our conference and it is nice that we have a trade history with them. Maybe give them back Liles and good assets for Stastny.

    To Toronto: Stastny
    To Colorado: Liles + Gardiner + Kadri

    • I think Holland and Smith can man the boats until Bozak and Bolland return. That’s a way overpayment for Stastny. What we need is that big defenseman. An Orpik/Carlson type. I’m looking at the struggling Jets who have a lot of players locked down long term *cough Buff

      • Agreed right now I’d say scoring or offense isn’t a position of need, it’s defense. I’m not sure if likes was brought up for show casing or actually a fit. By the sounds of it if macdonald in NYI is available id do a quantity of d for him. Gunnerson, Fraser ??

        • *Liles

    • I think you ate over valuing stasny here. No way a ufa is worth that much.

    • Wow, you sure must like Stastny. He is definitely playing better this year but still isn’t living up to his 6.6 million dollar contract and is a UFA. Liles could be attractive to the avalanche even with his big contract but I’m sure they would prefer Gardiner who is starting to come around although still pretty shaky in his own end. Kadri is a good player but could be moved but why move a centre when you are short at that position. Personally I would prefer Kadri over Stastny anyways.
      Once the league announces next years salary cap you may see some of the mentioned players moved.

    • You must be joking.

    • That’s way too much for Statsny. Nonis wouldn’t do that on a bad day.

  10. Help at center? How abt Clarkson for Grabovski?

    • LOL

  11. I must be confused – the Rangers are asking for a top four defenseman foe DelZotto, who they feel isn’t a top four defenseman….

  12. That Bruce Garrioch is one of the worst guys to listen to when it comes to rumors as he seems to make up some pretty dumb stuff but I understand why his stuff still get posted here. Its good for a laugh. Richards struggling lately? I’m sure plenty of teams would love to have him on their team just not at that price. Kind of like Grabbo with the Leafs.

    If I was Toronto and Montreal I would try to get my best defenceman signed before the league announces the cap going way up as this is only going to increase Subban and Phaneuf’s demands. If I’m Montreal I offering Subban 8.5 for 8 years fast. That deal will be a steal in a couple of years when the cap goes way up and players not as good as Subban are getting 8+ million.

    If the Rangers are making Del Zotto a healthy scratch so much how do they plan on getting a top 4 dman? To me that doesn’t make sense unless they are including something else.

    Anderson is a good goalie but is having a bad year so I’m not sure what they would get for him but now is the best time to trade him before his value goes down.

    I have a feeling Miller will get traded at the 11th hour right at the deadline and Buffalo won’t get as much as they are thinking. Most playoff bound teams have good goaltending already and those that don’t aren’t expecting to really contend. How often does a goalie get traded at trade deadline win a cup for that team? Except Roy of course.

  13. The Blue Jacket forward mix is due for a significant change in the next few weeks when Horton and Gaborik take the ice and I doubt much movement will take place until their impact is evaluated.

  14. what about a phi – col trade? mezaros for ???? any suggestions

  15. Colorado needs a D-man and Buffalo needs a center:

    Stasny for Ehrhoff

    Neither team is in cap hell and Ehrhoff’s 4 mil is a reasonable number and he is signed through 2020. Buffalo needs a number one center and has the money to sign Stasny long term.

  16. That would be a pretty solid trade, Len. Sabres can deal out a huge long term salary, and decide what to do with Stasny in the summer. And Colorado get’s a cannon on the back end. As for trades though, you’ll probably see more at the draft than anywhere, once teams know for sure how much they can spend next year ( $70 million?). Right now they’re just too hemmed in by the cap dropping this year.