Updates on the Canucks and Flames – March 16, 2017
The latest on the goaltending of the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames in your NHL rumor mill.
VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre recently speculated this season could be goaltender Ryan Miller’s last with the Vancouver Canucks. He expects Miller will make family a priority when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, noting his family lives in Los Angeles. While the Canucks would ideally like to re-sign the 36-year-old Miller to a one-year deal, MacIntyre feels that’s unlikely for Miller, who’s proven this season he can still be a superior starting goalie in the NHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller’s played well on a rebuilding Canucks team, but it could prove difficult for him to land with a club in or close to Los Angeles. The LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks are all set in goal. The Arizona Coyotes could use a quality backup for veteran starter Mike Smith, but Miller might not be what they have in mind. I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of Miller returning to the Canucks on an affordable one-year deal.
CALGARY SUN: In his 10 reasons on why the Flames recently enjoyed a 10-game winning streak, Eric Francis cited the strong play of goalie Brian Elliott. Having overcome a poor first half of the season, Elliott’s performance notably improved in recent weeks. Francis speculates that ” it’s now suddenly probable he’ll re-sign with the club long-term.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott’s performance of the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs could determine his long-term future with the Flames. Ben Bishop will also be eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and the Flames attempted to acquire him last June before opting instead on Elliott. The Flames were also linked to Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury last June and in the days leading up to the recent trade deadline. If Elliott stumbles down the stretch or in the postseason, the Flames could consider other options between the pipes.