Kiprusoff, Vanek, Miller and more
Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled Monday night after allowing three goals on five shots, but is a popular player in the rumor mill. (Photo by Brad Watson/NHLI via Getty Images)
Kiprusoff, Vanek, Miller and more
In recent weeks, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis has made no secret his wish is to add a veteran goaltender to the roster.
After revisiting talks last week with the Vancouver Canucks regarding Roberto Luongo, Nonis received permission from the Calgary Flames on Monday to speak with Miikka Kiprusoff's agent.
Kiprusoff, 36, has one year at a cap hit of $5.83 million remaining on his contract, though the actual salary is $1.5 million. The Leafs apparently would wish to retain him beyond next season, as TSN's Darren Dreger reported they discussed a contract extension with Kiprusoff's agent.
But if Kiprusoff agreed to be dealt to the Leafs they couldn’t re-sign him to an extension until July, when this season is officially over.
Kiprusoff isn't the only Flame who is the subject of trade deadline speculation.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported Monday the Senators expressed interest in Curtis Glencross. Garrioch speculates the Flames would want goalie Ben Bishop in return.
Glencross, 30, has two years at a $2.55 million cap hit left on his contract, but also has a full no-movement clause.
Considering the Flames traded away Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, and could part ways with Kiprusoff, Glencross might be receptive to moving on to a playoff contender as well.
POMINVILLE, VANEK AND MILLER, OH MY!
Buffalo Sabres forwards Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek haven't been mentioned as frequently in trade rumors as teammate Ryan Miller, but with the deadline fast approaching, they're receiving their fair share of attention.
Over the weekend, Pominville told the Buffalo News he wasn't approached by management about waiving his no-trade clause. Like Miller, the Sabres must ask Pominville to submit a list of eight teams to which he wouldn't accept a trade. His agent dismissed a report claiming that list had been handed in at the start of the season.
On Monday, however, GM Darcy Regier requested Pominville's list. RDS.ca's Renaud Lavoie reported Regier told the winger that the club's current situation impelled him to see what's available on the trade market.
That doesn't mean Pominville will be moving at the trade deadline, but with several notable players already dealt, his potential availability should attract considerable interest around the league.
Vanek, meanwhile, said he wants to remain with the Sabres, but if their intent is to engage in a lengthy rebuild, he'd have to consider “the other direction,” meaning he'd test next summer's free agent waters. Unlike Miller and Pominville, Vanek lacks a no-trade clause.
The trio each have one more year remaining on their contracts. Vanek's cap hit is $7.14 million, Miller's is $6.25 million and Pominville's is $5.3 million.
Given the fact the players are eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, Regier isn't under pressure to move them at the deadline. If their market value isn't to Regier’s liking, he can afford to wait until the off-season for better options.
While there would be considerable interest in the trio, their cap hits could prove difficult to move with the salary cap declining to $64.3 million next season.
EXPECT ISLANDERS TO BE MORE CAUTIOUS
Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Herald reported Sunday that a source confirmed the Blackhawks and NY Islanders were talking about a “multiplayer trade” with Isles center Frans Nielsen as the centerpiece.
The Blackhawks reportedly sought depth on defense and had interest in Lubomir Visnovsky before the Isles re-signed him. Sassone suggested the Hawks could shift their focus to blueliner Mark Streit, who's eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer.
Sassone reported the Isles coveted prospect defenseman Dylan Olsen and forward Jeremy Morin.
With the Islanders currently jockeying with the NY Rangers for eighth overall in the Eastern Conference, parting with two key veterans for prospects would be an odd move. Newsday's Arthur Staple quoted a source who claimed there was “no chance” the Islanders would trade Nielsen.
As for Streit, Staple reported Saturday contract talks with the Isles were “progressing well.”
TSN's Darren Dreger, however, believes the two sides are approaching a crucial time, suggesting Streit's trade status will be determined by Wednesday morning.
If the Islanders were well out of playoff contention, shipping out veterans for prospects would be expected. Moving Streit and Nielsen now could damage their chances of clinching their first playoff berth since 2007.
DUCKS DESIRE DEPTH
The Anaheim Ducks minor swap Monday of Jay Rosehill to the Philadelphia Flyers for Harry Zolnierczyk might not be their only move before deadline day.
Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports GM Bob Murray wants to bolster his club's depth. Given his limited cap space next season ($53.9 million invested in 16 players), a rental player is likely what Murray is seeking, but he's unwilling to overpay.
Stephens believes they could use a good second-line center, listing Washington's Mike Ribeiro and Dallas' Derek Roy as possibilities. St. Louis' Andy McDonald could be another, though Stephens believes his injury history and the Blues likely unwillingness to deal with a conference rival negates that option.
Murray will likely shop a draft pick or two in hopes of landing that elusive center.
AS COYOTES SINK, WILL THEY BECOME SELLERS?
The Phoenix Coyotes have only two wins in their past 10 games and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic suggests that slide could push GM Don Maloney from a buyer into a seller by Wednesday's trade deadline.
Maloney said he didn't see anything in this season's trade market that could provide his struggling Coyotes with a much-needed boost.
McLellan reports the only untouchable is captain Shane Doan and it would take a blockbuster offer to convince Maloney to part with core players such as Keith Yandle, the recently re-signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Martin Hanzal.
Possible trade candidates include pending free agents Matt Lombardi, Steve Sullivan, Boyd Gordon, Raffi Torres and even goaltender Mike Smith, though Maloney hopes to re-sign him.
Maloney would prefer trade returns that help his club long-term. Given the Coyotes financial situation, McLellan believes any deal would have to be almost dollar-for-dollar.
Ekman-Larsson's new contract led to suggestions that Yandle would be made as trade bait for young scoring forwards. If so, Maloney might have better luck shopping him in the off-season than at the trade deadline.
Smith is currently on injured reserve, but he would still attract considerable interest. Unless his intention is to test free agency, however, it's unlikely Maloney will shop him now. As for those pending free agents, Maloney is more likely to get draft picks and prospects than roster players for them.
Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).