The NHL Olympic break has begun but the trade rumors persist. Read on for the latest on Ryan Miller, Martin Brodeur and more.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington believes if Ryan Miller really wants to remain with the Buffalo Sabres the club will get it done and if he doesn’t they’ll trade him. If Miller wants to go to a Cup contender there aren’t many options. Two of the clubs he’s linked to (Minnesota, Washington) aren’t Cup contender while the St. Louis Blues could maintain their status quo in goal. Miller has said re-signing would take a deal similar to that signed earlier this season by Henrik Lundqvist (seven years, $59.5 million) with the NY Rangers. Harrington suggests the Sabres make the offer and if Miller rejects it then trade him. John Vogl, on the other hand, believes Miller is ready to move on and the Sabres should let him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There really isn’t much of a market for Miller. The Wild have indicated they don’t want to part with young players for a rental player while the Capitals lack the assets and cap space to take on the remainder of Miller’s salary. The Blues have the assets the Sabres would want but they don’t want to overpay plus they lack the cap space to absorb Miller’s salary. It’s possible the Sabres won’t be able to move Miller at the trade deadline unless they lower their asking price and perhaps agree to pick up half of his remaining salary.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Devils goalie Martin Brodeur could become a playoff rental player by the March 5 trade deadline if he requests a trade…It’s rumored the Canadiens will try to acquire defenseman Dmitry Kulikov from the Panthers as they need a replacement for the recently-trade Raphael Diaz on their blueline…A first round pick is believe part of the asking price for Islanders’ winger Thomas Vanek. The Penguins and Kings could make a pitch…Garrioch doubts Mike Cammalleri re-signs with the Flames. He’s already given the Flames a list of four or five preferred trade destination and the Kings could be on that list…”The talk” is the Sabres want Charlie Coyle from the Wild for Ryan Miller. The Coyotes have interest in Matt Moulson. Ott could head to San Jose or St. Louis after the Olympic break…If the Panthers decide to move some of their UFAs Tom Gilbert and Brad Boyes could be among them. It’s believed the Maple Leafs have “mild interest” in defenseman Mike Weaver…The Rangers must decide by the trade deadline if they’ll retain or trade Ryan Callahan…Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has served notice he’s willing to trade winger Jaromir Jagr. Garrioch also reports sources claiming the Senators could have interest in St. Louis Blues winger Chris Stewart.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks also reports Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has options to ponder during the Olympic break. He must decide if he’s comfortable seeking a trade before the deadline and if there’s a team with a need for a goalie like him to start half their remaining games. Brooks wonders if the Wild or Predators might have interest…Brooks also noted the Blue Jackets had scouts following the Rangers over their past two games, leading him to speculate they’re interested in Ryan Callahan…
NJ.COM: Randy Miller reports Devils forward Patrik Elias said it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand his club needs a scorer. GM Lou Lamoriello declined to comment on if he’s actively shopping for help.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regarding Garrioch’s latest, I doubt the Panthers are shopping Kulikov now, as their assistant GM Mike Santos recently said their intent is to re-sign the RFA blueliner…Not sure if the Penguins or Kings would be willing to part with a first round pick as part of a return for Vanek…I expect Cammalleri will be dealt by the trade deadline…Wild GM Chuck Fletcher recently said he’s not parting with any of his young players if he feels the need to make a move before the deadline, which would rule out acquiring a rental player like Miller…I also expect Gilbert and Boyes could be moved by deadline day…Given the Devils obvious need for scoring depth they won’t trade Jagr, their leading scorer…The Devils won’t move Brodeur unless he requests a trade. Even then, it’s not a certainty as they’ll want a decent return, like a scoring winger…Given the Blue Jackets recent performance I doubt they’ll overpay for a rental player like Callahan. Latest word is the Rangers hadn’t received a decent offer yet for him… Stewart is a physical scoring winger but he’s also streaky. Buyer beware.
BOSTON HERALD/CSNNE.COM/BOSTON GLOBE: Stephen Harris reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is seeking defensive depth but added he’s comfortable with his current group if unable to make a move by the trade deadline. Joe Haggerty lists the Rangers’ Dan Girardi, the Islanders’ Andrew MacDonald and Ottawa’s Chris Phillips as possible trade targets, suggesting MacDonald might be the best bet. Girardi’s asking price could be expensive while Ottawa could be unwilling to part with Phillips. Fluto Shinzawa cites Phillips’ recent injury could hurt his trade value plus the Senators have yet to decide if they’re buyers or sellers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli’s shopping but given his club’s strong performance he’s under no serious pressure to make a deal. That being said, if the opportunity arises for an affordable acquisition (think parting with a third round pick) then he could make a move on deadline day. MacDonald is going to cost more than that. As for the Senators, they’ve been buyers for several weeks, seeking a top-six scorer, which suggests they aren’t selling off player like Phillips.
LA PRESSE: Richard Labbe reports Andrei Markov’s agent (former NHLer Sergei Berezin) says his client wants to re-sign with the Canadiens. Berezin said he’s been in contract talks with the Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rumor popped up recently claiming the Habs were shopping Markov. Considering they’re in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race I don’t believe they’ll move him at the trade deadline. They will try to re-sign him but it remains to be seen how much he wants for term and dollars.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher will remain patient with his goaltending before deciding if he needs to add another. Josh Harding is still battling MS symptoms while the fading Niklas Backstrom has been hampered by soreness attributed to off-season abdominal surgery. Rookie Darcy Kuemper has played well, going 8-2-2 in his 13 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher won’t overpay for a rental goalie like Ryan Miller or possibly Martin Brodeur. If Harding is able to return soon and if Kuemper keeps playing well Fletcher could decide to stand pat.