The 2013 NHL trade deadline is approaching fast, (Wednesday, April 3), and the rumors surrounding huge names like Ryan Miller, Miikka Kiprusoff and the hottest commodities on the market is through the roof.
As the lockout-shortened regular season continues to shake out the standings, the buyers and sellers are becoming clearer. Add in the trade of Jarome Iginla (h/t ESPN), and the madness has already begun.
Rumors are flying, and with huge names like Miller, Kiprusoff and others on the trade block, the anticipation about if and where each is dealt has the hockey world in a frenzy.
All contract and salary cap information courtesy CapGeek.com.
Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres came into the year as a contender in the Eastern Conference, but as the team sits 13th in the standings, the realization that the season is a loss will hit and the franchise should become deadline sellers.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the list of players that Buffalo may be looking to trade includes elite goaltender Ryan Miller:
Sabres GM Darcy Regier could be busy. He has a lot on the table: Goalie Ryan Miller, defenceman Robin Regehr and winger Drew Stafford may all be moved by Wednesday with the franchise stumbling. With a limited no- move clause -- a list of eight teams where he'd wouldn't report -- Miller can have a say in his destination. Sources say the Lightning have shown interest because Anders Lindback (before he got injured) hasn't been the answer. However, there is talk Miller would rather end up on the west coast.
While there is no question that it will be a hefty price to acquire the goaltender, any team in contention that has major questions in net should consider Miller as not only an answer for this season, but for many seasons to come.
The biggest issue complicating a trade for Miller will be his $6.25 million salary and the extra year on his contract. If the team seeking the Sabres' goaltender is looking for a long-term solution, though, this is a deal that should be able to get done by the deadline.
Miikka Kiprusoff, G, Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames are obviously willing to sell-off expensive contracts after dealing longtime captain Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the franchise may not be done making blockbuster moves.
The next deal may include goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
Despite continuing to kick the tires on Vancouver Canucks backup goalie Roberto Luongo, the Maple Leafs may be looking into a deal that would bring Kiprusoff to Toronto, according to Garrioch:
The other option is a short-term fix: The Flames have demanded a first-round pick from Toronto in exchange for Miikka Kiprusoff. Not only is GM Dave Nonis reluctant to give up his No. 1 pick, there are no guarantees Kiprusoff will report if he's dealt because he's got a newborn at home. He's told Calgary GM Jay Feaster he'd rather not move.
This is a very tough situation because of the threats Kiprusoff made about not showing up if dealt, and the role that will play in the Flames' bargaining ability will hurt the franchise's position in negotiations.
If the Maple Leafs do not believe the current goalie tandem will hold up under the postseason pressure and a deal for Luongo doesn’t come through, the risk of acquiring Kiprusoff may be worth it in the long haul if the franchise can get the veteran to buy into the proposed deal.
Dan Boyle, D, San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are still in the middle of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference, but recent rumors have some of the team's biggest names on the trading block, including talented two-way defender Dan Boyle.
According to Garrioch, the Sharks have talked to at least two teams about trading Boyle and his $6.66 million contract, and there will likely be even more discussions as the deadline approaches:
The Rangers and Flyers have shown interest in defenceman Dan Boyle. If Boyle goes anywhere, it'll likely be the Rangers because they're in a position to make the playoffs and might be willing to pay the asking price. There has been lots of interest.
No matter which team lands Boyle—if the veteran and his high-priced salary are even dealt—the franchise will be acquiring one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL.
Not only does Boyle have 16 points (five goals and 11 assists) this season, his 10 power-play points make him a difference maker on special teams.
If a team trades for Boyle, they will instantly launch themselves into Stanly Cup contention.