The latest on Thomas Vanek, Dion Phaneuf,Brian Elliott, Dan Boyle, Ryan Miller, Paul Stastny and more.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch claims St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott’s name has popped up on the rumor wire, citing his $1.8 million salary. He suggests he could be a fit with the Oilers…Garrioch speculates Henrik Lundqvist’s contract status might be a distraction for the goalie…Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is trying to make a roster move…Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is shopping for a
goalie defenseman, which could mean Douglas Murray’s injury is more serious than originally believed…Garrioch claims he’s been told “the Phoenix Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and Panthers may all make a run at LW Thomas Vanek”…NY Rangers GM Glen Sather is calling around for blueline help, leading Garrioch to speculate Sather might circle back to the Sharks and defenseman Dan Boyle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jaroslav Halak’s been superb so far and they’ve got Jake Allen waiting in the wings. The Blues and Oilers have a recent trade history (David Perron). Blues GM Doug Armstrong could try to squeeze Oilers GM Craig MacTavish if the losses for the latter keep piling up. Still, the Blues currently have no pressing needs to address, and could hang onto Elliott for a while…I doubt we’ll see anyone take a serious run at Vanek until much later in the season…I doubt the Sharks are interested in moving Boyle, as they’ve held preliminary contract talks with his agent.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports sixteen scouts attended the Bruins-Colorado Avalanche game on Thursday. “It’s never too early to file scouting reports on Paul Stastny, who is in the final season of his five-year, $33 million contract.”, he writes. Stastny is currently centering the Avs second line, but Shinzawa suggests the center could fetch the Avs a solid return, noting the Maple Leafs are always looking for a first-line pivot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Vanek, if Stastny is shopped it won’t happen until much later in the season, nearer the March trade deadline. Given the Avs strong start, they have no reason to move him right now
CBC.CA (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Glenn Healy believes contract talks between the Maple Leafs and Dion Phaneuf could start soon, expecting the Leafs could offer him a long-term contract but with a “haircut” in average annual salary. Elliotte Friedman agreed, noting it’s believed Phaneuf wants to stay in Toronto. Friedman also reported the Canadiens, like the Oilers and Ducks, looked into the trade market for a defenseman but have opted to stick with their current blueline corps. Healy observed the high number of teams with limited cap space makes it difficult to make a trade right now. Friedman says the cap issue and a perception Thomas Vanek could sign with the Minnesota Wild next summer could affect his trade market value this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger claimed he’d heard the Phaneuf camp won’t accept a penny less than $6.5 million AAV (average annual salary). Still, if he wants to remain with the Leafs, he might have to accept a slight pay cut to land an eight-year deal with them…Making trades this time of year is always tough, though not impossible. Still, what’s available often isn’t good enough to address a desperate club’s needs…I believe when teams come calling for Vanek, they’ll ask permission to speak with his agent to see if they can re-sign him, rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wonders what has happened to Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk, lamenting the lack of quality goalies in the trade market. He suggests the only one who could be available is Buffalo’s Ryan Miller but wondered if the Oilers would pursue him. Matheson also doesn’t believe UFA Ilya Bryzgalov would be an upgrade over Dubnyk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Oilers could land Miller even if they were interested. He’s got a partial no-trade clause and is slated for UFA status next summer. It’s unlikely the Oilers could re-sign him if they did land him via trade. The Sabres asking price could also be a significant stumbling block.