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.
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.