Morning Rumors: Sabres, Panthers, Rangers, Oilers, Pens, Jets, Lightning, Leafs, Bruins and...

Morning Rumors: Sabres, Panthers, Rangers, Oilers, Pens, Jets, Lightning, Leafs, Bruins and Scouting PHX-MIN

  • Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News: Sabres Pat LaFontaine is hoping that Ryan Miller wants to stay long-term in Buffalo.

    “The most important thing is to listen to what Ryan Miller wants to do,” LaFontaine said. “Obviously you’d love to keep a great goalie like that. He knows Buffalo. Everybody loves him here but at the same instance I’ve got to know what he wants to do. If it fits into the plan long term and financially it’s a good fit, Ryan Miller will be here. If not, if he doesn’t want to be here, we’ll make the best choice for the future of our organization.”

    If they are able to keep Miller, it could speed up the teams rebuilding process.

    “To come by a goalie like that who wants to stay here should he choose to want to stay here helps our team grow,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to develop. If he wants to be here under the right terms, I think you’d love to keep Ryan Miller.”

  • Jason Gregor: “Lafontaine said if Miller wants to return they will make it happen. If not, then they will move him. Ott would like to stay.”
  • Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel: Fialkov wonders if Ryan Miller would be a good fit with the Panthers.

    “My situation here has to play out before I could consider anything else,’’ Miller said. “I pay attention to the league, I know what’s going on. I’m happy that Florida has new ownership. It’ s important for every team to be healthy. Florida’s a good spot. My grandparents live down there in Stuart … my  mom’s mom and pop live in Lakeland. Florida’s a good spot but …’’

  • Craig Custance: “Here’s what I don’t get about Girardi talk. Why would a team in playoff contention trade valuable d-man for futures?” Corey Masisak: “I don’t think they’d get nearly the haul he suggested, or be able to make the 2014-15 team better just by trading Girardi”
  • Craig Custance: It would have to bring in a huge haul for the Rangers to trade Girardi in the middle of a playoff race. Corey Masisak: Maybe, but Girardi is a pending UFA and the Rangers could have cap issues.
  • Jason Gregor: Sees Ales Hemsky a fit over Sam Gagner in Pittsburgh due to contract and overall style.
  • Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press: Lawless doesn’t think the Jets firing Claude Noel will fix the team as they don’t have enough talent or leadership. Coaching alone won’t make enough of a difference.

    If a fresh perspective behind the bench is deemed the appropriate measure, it must be coupled with new accountability among the players. The big boys with the Winnipeg Jets don’t push one another. They don’t demand a high enough standard from within.

    Take your pick. Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien or Blake Wheeler should be on the way out of town at the same time as Noel.

  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: When looking at the Jets and what Lawless wrote (above point), Staples thinks Andrew Ladd is exactly what the Oilers need. Blake Wheeler is little riskier than Ladd due to the perceived defensive issues. Staples wonders if the Jets would be interested in Sam Gagner for any of Ladd, Wheeler or Byfuglien? With Mark Scheifele and Brian Little down the middle, the Jets may have to move Gagner to the wing.
  • Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun: The Oilers will likely trade Sam Gagner, and he may not be the only one. The Oilers need three or four top-six forwards that are in the 210-225 pound range, a No. 1 and 2 defenseman and a starting goalie. Gagner is likely the first to go, with Nail Yakupov and/or Jordan Eberle possibly next in line.
  • Eye on Hockey: Brian Rafalski signed a deal with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Josh Rimer: Have been told that Rafalski wants to return to the NHL. Has been skating with the Everblades for a while. The Lightning have been looking for a top four defenseman, and Rafalski could be their guy. Helene St. James: Rafalski had contacted the Red Wings for his release papers. They granted it. May not hear interest in him until he shows that he can play and retain his interest to play.
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “Until Kadri proves he’s a player that the Leafs can’t live without than the trade rumours will still be around.” … “Nonis isn’t shopping Kadri but he’s listening.”
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “If this team continues to struggle and they miss the playoffs then there will be a full organizational review”
  • Joe Haggerty: Haggerty doesn’t think the Bruins have any trade that is imminent.
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “It was made clear to the coaching staff that if they weren’t going to use Holland than they were going to take him away from them”
  • Dale Lamontagne: The Maple Leafs had a scout at the Coyotes-Wild game last night. (Also scouting the game were the Red Wings, Penguins, Rangers, Flyers, Avalanche and Ducks)