The latest on the Islanders, Ryan Miller, Kyle Quincey and the Hurricanes.
SI.COM: Allan Muir believes the sooner the New York Islanders acquire a goaltender the better, citing Carolina’s Anton Khubodin, Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller and Buffalo’s Ryan Miller as possibilities. He doubts, however, they can land Miller while the asking price for Hiller (picks, prospects) could be too expensive at this point. He expects them to make a couple of smaller deals to acquire a goalie with long-term potential as well as a veteran blueliner…Muir doubts struggling forward Zack Kassian will get his chance to improve with the Canucks, believing most teams around the league would love to add his size and nastiness. The problem for the Canucks is any return for Kassian would be compared to what they gave up (Cody Hodgson) to get him.
CBS SPORTS: cited NHL columnist Chris Botta’s recent tweet claiming former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is definitely a top candidate to replace Jack Capuano if the Islanders make a coaching change. Laviolette’s first head coaching gig was with the Islanders, who hired him in 2001. Botta also took to Twitter with the following: “Told GMs have started to check in with Snow re: Vanek, Nabokov, AMac. They’re not available yet. Garth looking to add pieces.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Isles made a pitch for Miller and the Sabres were willing to move him there, I don’t believe he’d approve of the deal. Hiller’s not going anywhere with Viktor Fasth currently sidelined until January. The best option could be Khudobin or his Hurricanes teammate Justin Peters. The Isles have resisted firing Capuano, who can’t be blamed for the crappy goaltending and the injuries to his blueline. Sadly, coaches sometimes end up as scapegoats for poor roster decisions by management. I don’t see how Laviolette improves their current roster. Snow won’t be a seller until closer to the trade deadline if the Isles are still out of playoff contention by then. There will be interest in Vanek and Andy MacDonald, but I don’t know who would want Nabokov, as he’s now past his “best-before” date. As for Kassian, if he can packaged into a deal which lands the Canucks an affordable scoring winger, they’ll consider it.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres goalie Ryan Miller appreciates the faith coach Ted Nolan has placed in him as a player to build around, but he also noted the new contract for NY Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (seven-year, $59.5 million) “sets the standard” now for free agent goalies. Miller also had a “getting to know you” discussion with new Sabres president of hockey ops Pat LaFontaine. He also said talk of accelerating the club’s rebuilding process isn’t enough to convince him to stay, as he needs to see results.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, if the Sabres are willing to offer up seven years and nearly $60 million, Miller will consider it; otherwise, he’s outta here. Considering Miller will now be the best goalie available in next summer’s UFA market, he’ll find a club willing to invest long-term in him.
CAROLINA HURRICANES; In a recent interview, Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said he doesn’t intend to place Anton Khubodin or Justin Peters on waivers, knowing they would be claimed by a rival club. He admits that’s resulted in teams contacting him about trading one of his goalies, which he could make a decision on within a week. He also acknowledged trade talks had heated up over the past couple of weeks because of his unhappiness with his club’s performance of late, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if a trade developed over the next couple of weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the link. Khudobin or Peters will be shopped, possibly packaged with veteran blueliner Tim Gleason. The Islanders desperately need goaltending help, and while Khudobin and Peters aren’t proven starters, they’re probably better than what they’ve got now.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James believes the Red Wings should trade defenseman Kyle Quincey in order to allow promising Danny DeKeyser to come off LTIR sooner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quincey’s mediocre performance won’t help his trade value, but there could be a couple of clubs out there (hello there again, Islanders!) who might be interested.