Why aren’t the Avalanche making trades now? Are the Penguins truly interested in Ilya Bryzgalov? How long will Ryan Miller and Tomas Vanek remain Buffalo Sabres?
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports there was talk over the weekend of the Avalanche and Flyers making a deal, with the Flyers shipping a defenseman to Colorado for Avs checking forward John Mitchell. While Dater is confident the two clubs “talked”, he noted Avs coach Patrick Roy said his team wasn’t interested in making trades right now. Though the club has plenty of cap space ($10.6 million), Roy said they want to see how their current roster performs before making any deals. He also noted teams which are pressed for cap space are “trying to unload the player that basically no one wants”, adding that’s no help for the Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A wise decision by the Avs. Though they’re lacking in skilled experienced blueliners, there really wasn’t very much available to choose from. Yes, I know, some of you will ask, “what about John-Michael Liles?” Well, Liles has a partial no-trade clause and if asked might not be keen to return to Colorado, but I think the Avs front office really isn’t interested in bringing him back.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen, in his “answers to pressing NHL questions”, speculated over how long Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek will be with the Buffalo Sabres this season. Allen guesses the duo (both slated for UFA status next summer) will be with the Sabres until close to the March 5 trade deadline, when the bulk of their expensive contracts have been paid out. Given Vanek’s Minnesota ties, Allen speculates the Wild could be interested in him if the Sabres fail to re-sign him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild seem a natural fit for Vanek, but they’ve got over $45 million tied up in 15 players for next season. Even with a rising salary cap, they might be unwilling to invest in another high-salaried player.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW’S Josh Yohe reported yesterday via Twitter: “Just spoke with a very reliable source who made it clear that the Penguins are not currently interested in (Ilya) Bryzgalov.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, that settles that…wait, Yohe’s source said they’re “currently” not interested in Bryzgalov. Doesn’t mean they won’t pursue him later, right? Right?? See what I did there? Seized upon one word to keep the “Bryzgalov-to-Penguins” rumor alive. In reality, the Penguins lack the cap space to add a free agent. If Vokoun is out indefinitely and Marc-Andre Fleury struggles, they could be forced to add another goalie, but they’ll have to free up more cap space to do it. For now, they’re crossing their fingers Fleury plays well and Vokoun returns before the end of October.