As NHL free agency approaches (starts Friday, June 5), the rumors that potential big-name stars could be traded has the excitement around the league through the roof.
With top-tier players like Ryan Miller, Jaroslav Halak and Ryane Clowe reportedly on the market, the expectation that at least one of these names will be dealt could shift the landscape of the NHL for next season.
Buffalo Sabres Ready to Move Ryan Miller?
Ryan Miller has been one of the most consistent goaltenders in the NHL over the last ten seasons, but his time with the Buffalo Sabres is reportedly close to coming to an end, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
The Sabres remain intent on moving Ryan Miller but whether it happens this summer or at trade deadline next season remains to be seen...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2013
While dealing a goaltender of Miller’s caliber is normally unheard of, the veteran has just one year left on his current contract. If the franchise doesn’t feel it has a reasonable chance to sign Miller long term before he hits the open market, it’s the franchise’s duty to get the best deal possible.
Miller is a top-tier goalie, and Buffalo will get a hefty return when the team decides to make a deal.
Philadelphia Flyers Hunting for Jaroslav Halak?
The Philadelphia Flyers used one of the amnesty clause buyouts on goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, via Dave Isaac of the USA Today, but the need for a consistent backstop is still there.
According to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly, the team may be looking to trade for the remedy:
According to an NHL source here at this weekend’s NHL draft, the Flyers have made some inquires with St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong about the availability of Jaroslav Halak, who lost the starter’s job to Brian Elliott this past season.
Philadelphia thought that Bryzgalov would be the long-term solution to the inconsistencies in net, and while that plan faltered, the franchise still must address the need for an elite netminder first and foremost.
Halak would be a perfect fit if the price was right.
While Halak didn’t fit in the scheme of what the St. Louis Blues were doing, the one year left on his deal worth $3.75 million may be cheap enough to warrant the Flyers making this trade. If the asking price is reasonable, this would be a trade that could actually happen.
New York Rangers Desperate to Move Ryane Clowe?
The New York Rangers traded for forward Ryane Clowe last season before the deadline, per LeBrun, but have reportedly decided to shop the rights to the impending unrestricted free agent before he hits the open market, via LeBrun:
The Rangers, with no cap room, have told teams they're willing to trade Ryane Clowe's rights. Hes UFA July 5— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2013
Clowe was added to the Rangers roster because of his toughness and his offensive touch around the net. While New York had high hopes, the San Jose Sharks were trading him for a reason.
The veteran forward didn’t live up to expectations for the Sharks this year, and he didn’t live up to the Rangers' expectations either. Now the franchise is hoping to get whatever they can for the free agent.