Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 9, 2014

The NHL Olympic break has begun but the trade rumors persist. Read on for the latest on Ryan Miller, Martin Brodeur and more.

Will the Sabres trade or re-sign Ryan Miller?

Will the Sabres trade or re-sign Ryan Miller?

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.


  1. if sabres cant sign miller to an extension they should allow interested teams to talk to his agent

    a return in a sign and trade scenerio would be much greater than pure rental .

    • If Miller wants “King Henry” money, then you can forget anyone trading for Miller with a long term intent. That being said, pressure will also be on Miller in a few months as he will be without a paycheck. If I’m Buffalo I offer Miller a two year deal of 16 million, with 10 million first year and 6 million second year. The one year big payday just might be enough to get Miller to stay. The 6 million second year is not so steep that a team would not trade for him near the end of the second year. Other than that I don’t see a team out there will to go 8 years @ 60 million which is about what Lundquist got.

  2. garrioch, brooks & Harrington are 3 useless reporters. all of them are opinion makers, constantly play “gm for a day”

    • Add Bucky Gleason to that sorry lot.

  3. Anyone else getting that lurking feeling that pretty much nobody of consequence is going to be traded at the trade deadline this year?

    • YES!! It’s getting worse and worse every year. Bad teams will now take 7-10 years to turn around as simply trading to improve is non existent anymore. Drafting and juggling 4th liners and minor leaguers is the only way to improve in the new NHL and we know how long that will take. It’s quite sad…The NHL has only 40% of the excitement it used to have.

      • See now if that was true then why are there no current dynasties, you know, think of the teams like the islanders or oilers of the 80s? Because all the good teams can, like the bad teams, “take 7-10 years to turn (it) around”?
        I don’t know about some fans but part of liking a team is the players you have on it; and as a fan, I’m for any system that keeps the team together when/if it’s a perennial contender.

        • Great theory, one that Leaf fans would love to test some day (during our lifetimes).

        • I agree, I grew up cheering for teams that had the same players and changed maybe 2 or 3 a year

        • I’m the same as you, Ron – I’m an old fart, from a time where most players stayed on a team for forever. I like that. But even back in the day, there was some big-name player movement every year.

          I don’t think every team needs to make a big deal, but I wouldn’t complain if a *couple* did this year!

      • And what’s wrong with that? I guess you like seeing the superstars going to big cities? If the NHL had no cap, then all the small market teams are done for. You think Shea Weber could stay in Nashville with no cap?

  4. Based on what is out there this year I would really like the Senators to work the phones and begin to gear up for the playoffs as I think they can make it. I’d love to see them grab Matt Moulson & Andrew MacDonald. They have enough young assets to get a deal done and still keep a good young core. They can also ship Phillips out, I have no issue with that as he is too slow anyway at this stage regardless of his leadership.

    I think the player that will get the biggest overpayment at the deadline will be Steve Ott, just my personal feeling. A lot of teams look for gritty leaders like him and someone will pay far more than his value. Overall, I really expect we will see a boring deadline… might not even take my regular day off for it.

    • Yep, I’m already pre-pitying poor James Duthie, trying to fill four hours of air time when there are around 3 minor deals to talk about! lol

  5. What a difference a few months make. A couple of months ago people were talking how strong the Pacific Division is, but now that LA and Vancouver have faded it’s looks more like Central Division is the strong one.

    In the Western Conference it looks like Anaheim, San Jose, St Louis, Chicago and Colorado will be in.
    Calgary and Edmonton are out. That leaves LA, Phoenix, Vancouver, Minnesota, Dallas, Winnipeg and
    Nashville to fight it out for 3 playoff positions.

    East is even tighter. Boston / Pittsburgh IN.
    NYI / Florida / Buffalo out.
    That leaves 11 teams fighting for 6 spots, it will be a hell of a fight and even a small losing streak could spell doom. East is where is action will be and I think where the trading deadline action will be.

  6. Garrioch. Skip to next article. I could write articles talking about what could but probably won’t happen. Is that journalism? Maybe I need to apply to the Sun.

    Wild locked up their franchise long term. That’s how they need to think on their team’s build. Miller does nothing for this team if it means he faces 40 a night with no scoring. Chuck. Resist temptation.

    Calahan and Dubinski reunited in Columbus? Why not?

    Sergei Berezin as a player agent makes perfect sense to me. He never listened to team management when he played! Not sure how this helps his china doll client.

  7. Newsflash: Cup contenders also get eliminated in the first round by non Cup contenders.

    You never know what the Wild would be like if they get Miller. Whenever their goalies play very well it translates to some very good winning streaks and last-10-game patterns. I think the Wild will get Miller.

    The Blues don’t need Miller. He is too expensive to acquire and it would be a slap in the face to Halak, who’s been extremely important for them this season. If anything, the Blues would probably want an older goalie, experienced, and Cup winner. Hello Thomas and Brodeur if they are made available.

    The Rangers are not trading Callahan. I would be stunned if that happens as it would disrupt the locker room and put risk to the team’s solid run as of late. Rangers are obviously putting pressure on Callahan, but i think they guy’s rights will be traded in June, or he will be simply let go.

    A lot of GMs say their intentions to keep players, but they are just empty words. I think they want to keep Kulikov as trading him to then find a replacement for him could prove to be complicated and expensive. Also, as a RFA, there is a lot of time for the Panthers to decide if they want to trade him or not.

    If the offer is there for Kulikov, though, then i think Tallon wouldn’t mind pulling the trigger and avoid a contract negotiation battle with him.

    Columbus scouting the Rangers? How many more trades can these two teams do? We’d be basically seeing the New York Blue Jackets and the Columbus Rangers, which may even make more sense as far as team names.

    I am surprised there has not been much talk about the Canucks. A seven game winless streak and you know that Torts is not going anywhere any time soon with a 5 year deal. I think Vancouver should, and will, have to go through a stage of retooling the team. Not a fire-sale, not a rebuild, but just change things around.

    And by the way, i have no doubt in my mind that Luongo is still thinking about leaving. The guy never said that he’d accept to play for the rest of the contract. The guy wanted out yesterday for crying out loud.

    So, obviously not now and during the season, but in the off-season, i think the Luongo story will come up again, and the Canucks will already have a goalie to chase after as well. His name is Ryan Miller and he wants to be as close as possible to LA for his actress wife. It’s under 3 hours from Vancouver to LA.

    Trade Luongo to the Panthers and retain some of his salary (just friggin swallow your pride Gillis), and then sign Miller.

    • Miller’s an upgrade over Luongo?

    • I don’t think we’ll see much movement with Vancouver as most of their players have NTC. I don’t see Miller going to Vancouver – he pretty much nixed any deal to a Canadian Team. I still think he’ll go to the Wild just a straight up trade for Granlund or Coyle.

      • The only way Miller will go to Vancouver is if he’s a free agent and has no other possibilities other than the East Coast.

        If I’m Buffalo I’d jump at that Granlund/Coyle deal. But I don’t think Minnesota will give either of them up.

        • I think MN goalie situation is really iffy and right now they are sitting in 6th place with 5 points between them and 11th place – LA, Phoenix, Dallas, Winnipeg and Vancouver nipping at their heels. My thinkihg is that if they stand pat, they either might not make the cutoff or they won’t make it past the first round.

          • @Steve, absolutely our (Wild) goaltending is and issue. I’m not even confident Hards come back , ever. Backstrom appears to be weak and injury prone, he always has some sort of ailment. We went after Ben Bishop last year but obviously didn’t get him, that would have been nice. I think the Wild trade Backstrom if Hards comes back healthy, but how long will he be healthy? Tough situation to be in. Miller would be ok but the asking price is WAY to high and they won’t give up Coyle but maybe Granlund. I still think Miller re-signs a 4 year deal at around 8M per.

    • Halak’s attitude wouldn’t be a problem if he were part of the Miller trade.

    • I can’t see trading Loungo and then turning around and signing Miller. Why not just keep Loungo? Their stats are nearly identical, with a slight edge going to Loungo in both Gaa and save %. Millers will also probably be looking for a deal that is similar or even higher than Loungo’s. And retaining some of Loungo’s salary only pushes that number higher……So why bother doing all this for a slight downgrade? Personally I think Loungo has been mislead / handled for YEARS. But I think they would be better off just mending the bridge and moving on.

      • Slight down grade?? Really?? Miller has been on some crappy team compared to Lou so the difference is far from slight.

        • People lie, numbers don’t! How is Miller an upgrade? Miller NEVER had a team behind him? Never?

  8. miller would be a great fit for the panthers and a win win situation for both parties…florida can start re-building their club with him attracting free agents and miller would be closer to his wife with ownership willing too spend to the cap

  9. i wouldn’t want Miller in Vancouver. for all the talk about him wanting to leave Luongo has had a pretty good year and Lack has been everything that you could hope for from a backup and his recently signed 2 year contract for backup money ensures no drama in the crease for the forseeable future. the biggest problem in Vancouver hasn’t been goaltending it’s goal scoring and Luongo & Lack have stood on their heads to keep the Canucks in games while their forwards aren’t earning their paycheques.

  10. Why would Callahan only be considered a rental to Columbus? 1- The Blue Jackets have the salary cap room to sign Callahan for 7 years at 6.? million per. 2- Callahan is exactly the type of player CBJ would like to Captain their team. 3- CBJ do not currently have a captain. 4- If CBJ do not trade for Callahan, chances are he’ll sign elsewhere. 5- The Rangers are allowing teams to speak to Callahan’s agent, so with a trade CBJ could be assured of locking up Callahan for the next 7 years as their captain.

  11. I still think Luongo ends up in Long Island. The islanders typically do things arse backwards. They need his Lu’s contract to get to the floor. They need a goalie and Luongo is a decent upgrade over what they have currently.

    I don’t know about Lu for Vanek straight up the value is difficult to quantify. However I think Vanek’s best years are behind him and the same could be said for Lu. One is already being over paid the other is GOING to be over paid. The Canuks get the scoring help they need. Heck if you throw Martin into the deal, some draft picks come back to the Isles, maybe some aging crappy defenseman the Nucks wanna get rid of…..could end up being a win win.

  12. This claim that Miller is willing to stay in Buffalo for King Henrik money is news to me. And on the surface, most people say let him go. But if you are Miller it makes some sense. There appears to be no team needing him enough to pay him close to what he wants, and any team that will is a team he does not want to go to. Payroll Pegula has no issues with the Moula. As for him going to another rebuilding team like Florida, the only benefit to Miller is better weather, being in his home country and geographically closer to LA. But Dale Tallon is not going to overpay for that, and Miller is not going to take a big haircut just to play for the Panthers. So if Miller is willing to stay for 7 years, pay him to stay and build a team around him. They have lots of draft picks to utilize, a coach they seem to want to play for and a respected new GM who seems to be able to identify good talent. Besides, if Buffalo wants to attract free agents, or become a place where if a player is traded he is not dying for his contract to expire, they need to have some promise of future success. That means having a player(s) who are legitimate in their position. When building a great team, most agree you need to have good goaltending. So who out in the market is available, affordable, and an upgrade over Miller, if he leaves Buffalo? In 4 or 5 years what will todays dollars be equal to? It might look like a bargain by then. What better way to redefine the team, make Buffalo a destination for good players and speed up a rebuild then by having an Olympic team, recognized top tier goalie wiling to stay and play when he has been through so much %^&*.