“You do have to look at some of the hot spots. Arizona might be one based on play. Colorado – 30th in the National Hockey League right now. Come on. There’s a lot that’s going to develop there from a speculative standpoint and there’s some big names that are going to be circled. No one is surprised that Matt Duchene’s name surfaces from time to time. I mean, that’s been the case for the past two-plus years. But this summer, believe it or not, I heard Gabriel Landeskog – the captain of the Colorado Avalanche – his name included in trade discussions as well.
“So I’ve got to believe that Joe Sakic is soon going to be willing to consider just about anything.”
OK, I’m starting to feel sorry for Nail Yakupov, as sorry as you can be for somebody getting paid $2.5 million not to play in St. Louis. He’s been a healthy scratch 12 times, and when he does dress, he’s averaging 10 minutes a game. He’ll be available to Vegas in the expansion draft, for sure. Would they take him? If not, will anybody else sign him to a bargain-basement, one-year $600,000 contract next season or will he be in the KHL?
With Ben Bishop nearly getting traded to the Flames last summer, you’d think there might be some reflection by the Lightning goaltender heading into tonight’s game at the Saddledome.
You’d also be wrong.
“Zero thoughts,” Bishop said. “It’s over and done with.”
But Bishop, 30, felt it was close to a done deal June 24 at the NHL draft. Trade talks between Tampa Bay and Calgary got advanced enough to where Bishop was working out a contract extension with the Flames. That was important as Calgary was on the list of teams that needed Bishop’s approval for a deal.
This in, Oilers announcer and insider Bob Stauffer speculating as he does on the radio about who the Oilers might trade and who they might acquire, with Stauffer’s speculative interest today focused on Jarome Iginla of the Colorado Avalanche.
Said Stauffer: “In spite of the loss of Darnell Nurse the perception that Edmonton needs a right shot (d-man) I would argue that, yeah, they need a right shot, but the more pressing need is upfront and not on defence.
“He has said in an interview with Adrian Dater, who’s a local reporter down there in Denver, that last year he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to move, but this year, the final year of his contract and possibly his career, he will consider doing it,” Elliotte Friedman said on Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment. “And the word is if he does want to go the Colorado Avalanche will search the market and see what the options are for Iginla to go chase the Cup one more time.
The list of players who might be available is short, but would be longer if the Canadiens’ injury situation isn’t resolved by February. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins keeps surfacing in rumours, but his potential has to be weighed against a $6-million cap hit and the price the Canadiens would have to pay for him.
There are also fans who believe Arizona’s Martin Hanzal, 29, is the answer. Really? The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Czech has a reasonable cap hit ($3.5 million) but he hasn’t scored more than 16 goals in a season and has reached 4o points only twice.
With the December NHL schedule kicking into high gear most of the NHL teams are beginning to find out where they fit in terms of the overall standings and the playoff pictures. Furthermore, some teams such as the Tampa Bay Lightning have many decisions to make as the season progresses and may look to move some big name players such as Ben Bishop to help them to fill voids left behind as a result of the Steven Stamkos injury. There will be many decisions to make for those who like to bet on sports online as to where the teams will end up at the end of the season.
Judging by the mutual-admiration dialogue between Miller and management, it’s plausible that the 36-year-old veteran won’t hit the open market. He’s not going to be dealt or moved at the trade deadline, even if the team tanks. An assessment of who will work best with Markstrom next season will be made before July 1.
Kuzma: Canucks could consider extending contract of UFA Miller