The latest on Ryan Miller ,  Paul Stastny, Brian Elliott, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Alex Goligoski and much more.

Are Jakub Voracek or Wayne Simmonds available?

Are Jakub Voracek or Wayne Simmonds available?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports sources claim Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray has been getting inquiries about what he’ll do with Jonas Hiller or Viktor Fasth after he signed Frederik Andersen to a two-year contract extension. The Ducks also have promising John Gibson in their system. “The Hurricanes, Predators, Oilers, Panthers and Islanders” could all use help…Garrioch wondered if NY Rangers GM Glen Sather is feeling heat over his club’s poor start…Senators center Zack Smith has “drawn interest” but they hope someone will take Jim O’Brien’s one-way contract off their hands…Garrioch speculates Colin Campbell and Montreal assistant Rick Dudley could be candidates to eventually replace Sabres GM Darcy Regier…He also believes the Canucks and Maple Leafs would have interest in Paul Stastny if the Avalanche decide to shop him…He believes the Oilers balked at Blues goalie Brian Elliott’s $1.8 million salary…Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has let it be known he’s willing to shop a “veteran defenseman”.  Garrioch speculates Marek Zidlicky, Anton Volchenkov, Peter Harrold and Andy Greene fall into that category…Several teams have shown interest in Flyers forward Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds but it’s “highly doubtful” either are moved. The Flyers would prefer to move Andrej Meszaros and Nicklas Grossmann…There’s talk the Dallas Stars are willing to move a contract or two. Blueliner Alex Goligoski (three years, $4.6 million per season) was a health scratch last week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks will be patient with their goaltenders. I doubt they move Hiller despite his UFA status next season simply because they don’t want to upset things right now. Fasth has been sidelined and Andersen has played well filling in for him…Sather will leave as GM of the Rangers when he’s good and ready…I also doubt the Senators move Smith…So far the Avs are saying the right things about Stastny’s performance, giving no indication they could move him. Revisit this around February…Elliott’s salary and inconsistency are obviously why the Oilers passed…Of those Devils blueliners listed by Garrioch, Zidlicky and Greene might attract the most attention. Volchenkov is often injured and carrying too much salary…The Flyers won’t move Voracek and Simmonds…Goligoski’s contract makes him almost impossible to move and it wouldn’t surprise me if he become a compliance buyout candidate next summer.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl believes the Sabres have missed their best chance to trade Ryan Miller, citing the rarity of goalie trades since 2005-06 and the limited returns. He speculates the best return for Miller could be a second round draft pick. “In order to secure a big return for Miller, the Sabres need a team to either lose its goalie to injury or be desperate for a playoff run”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres will get a better return for Thomas Vanek than Miller, whose stock has declined since winning the Vezina Trophy in 2010. I also agree their chances of getting a big return for Miller depends upon the desperation level of playoff contenders.  Given 23 NHL teams have $5 million or less in cap space, Miller’s $6.25 million salary is tough to absorb right now. The best time to move Miller is close to the March 5th trade deadline.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson points out the blatantly obvious: the Oilers need defensive help, and soon.  He calls upon GM Craig MacTavish to make a move “by trading something of real value to get a top 4 D-man or getting help in net, or getting more responsible forwards away from the puck.” Matheson noted the Oilers have given up 48 goals in twelve games, adding  MacTavish must “send a message to his players and certainly to the restless fan base that three wins in 12 games is an embarrassing start. It is time to panic.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But will MacTavish do anything? He’s not dealing from a position of strength, and anything to help his team now will cost one of his good young players.