- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: If Ryan Miller isn’t willing to sign a contract extension with the Sabres, and it’s thought that that conversation will take place, the new GM will hold an auction for his services. Pat LaFontaine wants to have new GM by Christmas. Belief is that Miller wants to go to a Western Conference team, and the Kings may have interest. Jonathan Quick is out for at least a month, and Ben Scrivens isn’t the long-term solution. GM Dean Lombardi will deny it, but he’s been looking around. The Blues could also be a destination.
The Rangers are trying to free up some salary cap space. The Senators, Hurricanes, Oilers and Sharks have interest in Michael Del Zotto, but the Rangers want a defenseman in return.
It’s thought that Henrik Lundqvist wants an eight-year deal worth $8-$9 million a year. The Rangers also have UFAs Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman, and RFA Derrick Brassard, who could get $4 million if he goes to arbitration.
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards could be on the hotseat, same goes for Jets Claude Noel. Islanders Jack Capuano could be in trouble as well.
The Sharks have been shopping Martin Havlat and his $6 million salary. There has been mild interest from the Panthers and Rangers.
The Blackhawks had looked at Rene Bourque before making the Kris Versteeg trade.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin wants to do something big.
The Panthers would like to move Scottie Upshall, Tomas Fleischmann, Brad Boyes, Tomas Kopecky, Marcel Goc and Shawn Mattias before the trade deadline. There is lots of interest in Dmitry Kulikov, but he may bolt for the KHL.
Flames Mikael Backlund and Shane O’Brien are available.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is looking for defenseman to replace Ladislav Smid. “They want to do something but they overrate their players which means the prices are high,” said a league executive.
The Oilers should be able to get a top pick for Ales Hemsky.
- Arthur Staple: Islanders Thomas Hickey will be evaluated today, and if it’s deemed he’ll be out long-term, they may have to look at making a trade.
- Seth Rorabaugh: Rorabaugh thinks the Penguins could use a tougher third-line player, but remembers that they were swept by the Bruins when they had Iginla, Morrow and Murray.
- Andrew Gross: Team USA GM David Poile will continue to scout Rangers Chris Kreider, though he’s still a longshot at this point.
- Steve Farnham of All Habs: Elliotte Friedman interviewing Mike Vernon, with Vernon talking about his conversation with Patrick Roy to ‘get traded.’
“I recall even having a conversation with Patrick Roy, in Montreal, at a little breakfast space there, spot we always used to go to. I just walked in by myself; I was early to the rink or something like that and he was there.
He said, ‘Mike, come here, I want to talk to you.’
He goes, ‘the pressure, and the media, and the fans,’ he was really; I knew he was thoroughly upset by all of this, and it was really bothering him.
And I said, ‘Patrick, you just have to get traded’. And I said, ‘I got traded, I’m enjoying it in Detroit and everything else.’
Low and behold, that game was the game where he went up to the president. He was in for all nine goals, and he walked up to the president and I’m like going, ‘Oh no’!”
“So the game is over and I’m bee-lining for the dressing room. All the boys are like, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ I’ll talk to you later, I gotta go!
No one could figure out why I was running in the dressing room, undressing, shower and I was gone out the door.
After, they came to the establishment where I was having a beer or dinner or something like that. They were like, ‘Verny, what’s going on?’
I said that I didn’t want to feel the wrath of the media.
They were like, ‘What are you talking about?’
I have an idea what Patrick was doing over there. And I didn’t know if he would say anything or do anything.
You know, ‘I talked to Vernon about this earlier in the day’. I’m like, “Holy shit, I better get out of here, I’d get hung!”