More fallout from the Thomas Vanek trade, plus the latest on Ryan Miller, Dion Phaneuf, the Sedins and more.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough believes if the Buffalo Sabres are to trade Ryan Miller, they should do it quickly, citing Miller’s decent performance, several teams in need of goaltending could face missing the playoffs if their problem goes unaddressed, he’s not the only goalie possibly available (Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller), and the need to sever the relationship sooner rather than later.
CBS SPORTS: cited a radio interview with CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, who not only believed the St. Louis Blues had interest in Thomas Vanek before his trade to the Islanders, but also said he wouldn’t be surprised if they had interest in Miller.
CBC.CA: Friedman noted the Sabre have nine picks in the first two rounds of the 2014 – 2015 drafts. “With Moulson, Ryan Miller and Ott all potentially in play, you expect more to come.”
SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox believes the Minnesota Wild could try to lure Vanek when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Nick Kypreos also reports Miller doesn’t want to accept a trade to a Canadian team.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Sabres tried to shop Vanek to the Toronto Maple Leafs but the Leafs weren’t interested as Vanek (a winger) wouldn’t have been a good fit. He reports the Sabres retained between $1.3-$1.4 million of Vanek’s salary in the trade to the Islanders, who also received some draft protection. “If it’s a top-10 pick come June, they can defer for the Sabres to draft in 2015 instead, a decision that the Islanders can make at that draft.”.
Pierre LeBrun also believes the St. Louis Blues could be a destination for Miller, depending upon the play and health of Blues starter Jaroslav Halak. He also believes the Montreal Canadiens could soon re-sign defenseman Alexei Emelin. He also claims no numbers have been exchanged between the Maple Leafs and Dion Phaneuf, but doesn’t believe the Leafs are comfortable going north of $7 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Vanek and Matt Moulson to keep surfacing in the rumor mill between now and the March 5 trade deadline. Miller will also remain a fixture but currently there aren’t many destination for Miller. As long as Halak keeps playing well, the Blues have no reason this season to chase Miller.
SPORTSNET.CA: Nick Kypreos believes a seven-year, $50 million contract is what could keep Dion Phaneuf a Maple Leaf. He also doesn’t believe the Leafs are actively showcasing goalie James Reimer, but feels at some point in the future they’ll have to move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: $50 million divided by 7 is an average annual cap hit of over $7.142 million. The Phaneuf camp supposedly won’t take less than $6.5 million per season. It wouldn’t surprise me if they eventually settle on something close to $7 million per without going over that number. Of course, if the Leafs should march to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, they’ll happily open the vault for him.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson, responding to reader e-mail, believes it would take “four pieces,most likely draft picks and two position players” for the Oilers to land Nashville’s Shea Weber, believing Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle would have to be part of the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about landing Weber, Oilers fans. Won’t happen.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher noted contract negotiations between the Canucks and the Sedins agent J.P. Barry are ongoing.