Sunday NHL Rumour Roundup – September 1, 2013.

Update on the “Paul Stastny-for-Ryan Miller” rumor, latest on Alex Pietrangelo and Nazem Kadri, and ranking the best remaining NHL unrestricted free agents.

No truth to "Paul Stastny-for-Ryan Miller" rumors.

No truth to “Paul Stastny-for-Ryan Miller” rumors.

DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla noted the recent rumor suggesting the Colorado Avalanche could ship center Paul Stastny to the Buffalo Sabres for goaltender Ryan Miller. He implored Avs management to make the move, believing it’ll make the Avalanche a better team.

Adrian Dater, however, cites “reputable sources” claiming there’s no truth to the rumor, and the deal won’t happen. Dater claims the Avs intend to give current starter Semyon Varlamov his shot again in goal this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Dater points out, Stastny and Miller are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer, which will undoubtedly keep them in the rumor mill this season. Perhaps if Varlamov stumbles, the two will be linked again. 

STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon recently assessed Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s value. He lists the Kings’ Drew Doughty, the Senators’ Erik Karlsson, the Sabres’ Tyler Myers, the Jets Zach Bogosian, the Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the Canadien’s P.K. Subban as comparables, and suggests Pietrangelo falls “right in the Karlsson range” (seven years, $45.5 million).

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wondered “When exactly is the 11th hour in the Nazem Kadri contract negotiations with the Maple Leafs? Start of training camp? Beginning of season? Who blinks first here?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if the Leafs blink first. Kadri has no leverage except to stage a holdout, and if the Leafs play well without him, he’ll have no choice but to accept whatever the Leafs offer him.

SPORTSNET.CA: In the wake of Teemu Selanne’s return to the Anaheim Ducks, Luke Fox updates his list of the top ten available UFAs. He ranks Damien Brunner, Tim Thomas, Brenden Morrow, Ilya Bryzgalov, Brad Boyes, Ryan Whitney, Ron Hainsey, Mason Raymond, Vinny Prospal and Hal Gill. as his top ten.

BOSTON GLOBE: In his final column as a hockey beat writer, Kevin Paul Dupont provides his own top ten UFA list. In addition to Brunner, Morrow, Boyes, Hainsey, Prospal, Whitney, Gill and Bryzgalov, Dupont added Jose Theodore and Milan Hejduk. He speculates Theodore could be an affordable backup, while Hejduk could retire if he’s unsigned when the season opens.


  1. Bolland has played a second line center role before and has done pretty well with it. I really cant see Kadri sitting out at all, or at least any benefit in it for himself. The Leafs are not exactly rich when it comes to centers but with the defensive style Randy will want to play Bozak, Bolland McClement and Colborne (as bad as that sounds) would work to open the season. Im sure they would rather have Kadri but I doubt Nonis would be sweating too much unless they came out really flat and lost a bunch of games right off the bat, but at that point there is more wrong then just missing Kadri.

    • Actually Dave Bolland never excelled as a second line centre, but is a fabulous hockey player nonetheless. I agree that the leafs just wait and Kadri has to smarten up and sign a bridge deal. Does it bother anyone else that Kadri just doesn’t move that well?
      What is surprising to me is how the Blues got Shattenkirk done, and then have let Alex Pietrangelo deal linger. In my humble opinion, this kid is really REALLY a possible elite guy all around. Yeah, he has to get bettr in his own end and is still learning, but if I were the Blues I wouldn’t be playing low-ball with a guy that can very well take an elite status by the time he is an UFA.
      If he keeps things in the back of his memory, and wants decide shopping himself when a UFA gets him more than the difference the Blues are holding back on money wise now, they cause themselves a bigger headache when they have to match.
      I have always been shocked and even angered when I watched guys in these bridge deal years like Evander Kane get far more than they have produced and they are STILL trying to build a major league game, but Pietrangelo, in my opion is the real deal, and is one a the few deserving a much longer higher payout. (And I am in no way a Blues fanboy, or Piet’s daddy.)

  2. In other non-Leaf news, most of those UFAs could/should find homes by training camp. I think Brunner would provide some scoring punch to a team like the Stars or Coyotes. Morrow would fit nicely in Vancouver where he could provide grit or leadership. Boyes could be a good second line contributor in Dallas or Carolina. The Hurricanes and Avs are both woefully thin on D, and both would benefit from a 5/6 spot being taken by either Hainsey or Whitney. Depending on whether yhe Flyers put Meszaros on LTIR may I suggest signing Hal Gill. Hes big, ornery and would provide experience on the Philly blue line. Mason Raymond’s speed may win him a checking line role on a team with an established top -six, ie Boston. Dan Cleary could bring some grit and leadership to the Sens or Sabres. Ian White at this stage might add some blueline depth to a team like Tampa. Sadly, I think Prospal’s and Hejduk’s NHL runs are over. May be KHL or bust for these veterans. Bryzgalov is likely to wait until a starter goes down with injury or a team’s netminding situation implodes. (Calgary and/or Edmonton come to mind). Theodore may have to wait awhile for finding a new home but he still would make a servicable backup. (Nashville?) And Tim Thomas will sit until hell freezes over. He’s become the Sean Avery of goalies.

    • I’m a little confused as to why Brunner has been picked up by anyone, perhaps he is asking too much based on playing a strike shortened season in the NHL. I think Buffalo would be smart to invite him and also Morrow to training camp – nothing ventured, nothing gained. Brunner might be a good pickup bridging the transition of our young Euro’s – Armia, Larsson et al into the NHL. Morrow for the right price can provide the leadership needed and he is still capable of playing the corners, going to the net (playing in the dirty areas) and scoring.

      On another note, I don’t see Boyes going to Dallas – Lindy has already ridden that pony and it just didn’t work out. I can see CO trying to do a Statsny for Miller deal, but I think Darcy would probably want something like ROR/Giguere for Miller/McNabb or Pysyk.

    • Lol agreed nitro

  3. I can’t see the Sens bringing in any more UFA’s.. unless Michalek’s knee procedure he had in Gernany does not fix his troubles..

    Brunner apparently, is asking for too much money. Cleary would be an interesting pick up by the Sens considering the play mostly the same system as Detroit…

  4. There’s liite left in UFAs to warrant saying any are “nice fits.”

    These leftovers are not gonna make any team jump a notch qualitatively enough to throw money their way, unless a team has a crucial injury where they are unable to find suitable replacemenst form with in.

    Oh, and while I am at it, Buffalo’s Pysyk needs to be far more a “kittycat” to play in the nHL. despite the skill his tail is behind his legs far to much to think he can be counted on to stand up to the tough NHL play game in and game out….

    • Agreed on the left over UFAs there are some pieces there but nothing that I could see being the difference between a team making or missing the playoffs, mostly depth pieces and role player types as opposed to needs or like you said “nice fits”. Brunner may be decent young top 6 type guy but is obviously over valuing himself, and probably not seen as much of a difference maker to be at that price range by many GMs

      • I think one of the problems facing Brunner is that the Red Wings let him walk. I mean if the rest of the leagues GM’s consider Detroit to be a team that usually keeps players that it values, and are a great judge of talent then they must be thinking something is not right with guy.

        • Good point

  5. I think when the wings saw Brunner clicked well with their boy, they went out and signed him with two ideas in mind.
    First he would be a veteran who might fill if they wing youngsters weren’t able to fill the loft expectations et on them to score and take jumps in their development while on the job. (They actually did take jumps in development.)
    Second he might just fit perfectly and fill the net and add a guy teams would have to worry about.
    The problem is he was less interested in unearthing pucks and playing hard i his on zone, than wanting his teammates to get him the puck, and not reciprocating. I think that became evident and not what the wings were going to reward.
    Oh, I think if a team wants more offensive they may throw the money his way. You don’t need to look far for instances where this happens. Calgary brings in Roman Cervenka, tries to sell him as the next high skilled vet scorer, and then they find it difficult to sell your newbies on the idea of “whole game-whole ice” when you gotta a “skilled’ guy, playing one way and in spurts.

    I agree with you that partially the league GMs is reading the Detroit walkaway strongly.

    But this last couple UFA sessions has shown anything, is that the GMs seem always filling to overpsend on the players with “half-games” or pay middle defenders like they are soon to be top pair guys…