More speculation over Jake Gardiner’s future with the Leafs, talk of the Oilers shopping for a goalie, and a call for the Sabres to move Ryan Miller.
TORONTO SUN/THE GLOBE & MAIL/NATIONAL POST: Terry Koshan believes defenseman Jake Gardiner must improve his game (especially the physical defensive part) if he hopes to avoid being dealt by the Maple Leafs. James Mirtle and Michael Traikos go over the pros and cons of moving Gardiner, ultimately agreeing it would be a mistake by the Leafs to give up on the 23-year-old blueliner too soon.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Leafs were listening to offers for Gardiner but aren’t shopping him, claiming GM Dave Nonis has told interested parties it would take an “elite forward” for him to consider moving the blueliner. Bob McKenzie, meanwhile, believes Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is still waiting for the right opportunity to make a bold move to improve his club’s performance behind the blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs don’t appear in any rush to move Gardiner, which is understandable as they’re only four games into an 82-game season. That could change if Gardiner fails to impress coach Randy Carlyle later in the season, or if the Leafs need to address a significant roster issue at some point. For now, it appears they’ll remain patient.
As for the Oilers, they’re apparently not going to judge goalie Devan Dubnyk too harshly because the defense in front of him continues to struggle. Still, if there’s an opportunity to land another quality goalie, I think MacTavish would jump for it. In the meantime, he’s probably keeping his eyes open for blueline depth.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason suggests the Sabres should give Jhonas Enroth the bulk of the starts and aggressively shop veteran Ryan Miller. He believes Sabres GM Darcy Regier should “speed dial” the Philadelphia Flyers, who’ve undergone a coaching change and have questionable goaltending.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Problem with that theory is the Flyers don’t have a lot of cap space to absorb Miller’s $6.25 million salary for this season. Sure, the Sabres could take back some salary but the Flyers would still have to free up significant cap space for him, which means parting with a quality player or two. I don’t see Miller being moved during the first half of the season, simply because of his salary and the fact most teams aren’t wiling to take it on right now. And no, I don’t believe Miller will be dealt to the Oilers.