Anaheim Ducks' goalies make good trade bait
The Ottawa Senators took on the Anaheim Ducks at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa On, Friday Oct 25, 2013. Ottawa Senator Bobby Ryan tries to get past Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen during first period action Friday. Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
The Anaheim Ducks have an embarrassment of riches in the net. Now, Bob Murray just has to decide what to do with all these goalies before the trade deadline in March.
Sources say the Anaheim GM has been getting calls from teams wanting to know what route he'll take with Jonas Hiller or Viktor Fasth because after signing Fredrik Anderson to a two-year extension Friday the Ducks can't keep everybody.
The club also has 2011 No. 2 pick John Gibson, who has a 5-0-0 record, a 1.53 GAA and a .953 save-percentage with Anaheim's AHL affiliate in Norfolk. Andersen, 24, has played two games with the Ducks and secured wins in both.
Lots of teams are looking for goaltending either because of injuries or poor performance. The Hurricanes, Predators, Oilers, Panthers and Islanders could all use help which means Murray has to decide when to pull the trigger.
"His best bet is to wait for the deadline because you find out pretty quickly it's hard to get value for a goalie," said a league executive Saturday. "Historically it just always has been."
Most teams are desperate now. Carolina has lost Cam Ward, Nashville's Pekka Rinne is injured and Florida doesn't have Tim Thomas. The Hurricanes must kicking themselves because they drafted Andersen and didn't sign him.
The Oilers want to put depth behind Devan Dubnyk while the Islanders need an upgrade from starter Evgeni Nabokov to compete. The question is: Who will be the odd man out? The thinking is Murray will move Hiller because he's UFA.
Murray isn't the kind of guy who will deal his top goalie to a team in the same conference as the Ducks. It is no accident Bobby Ryan was dealt to the Senators without several teams in the West getting a phone call that he was available.
Keep an eye on this, it will be interesting to watch.
l AROUND THE BOARDS: Could there actually be heat on Rangers GM Glen Sather after the club's terrible start? Many are wondering why the New York spent three weeks on the road in training camp when they started out the season with an extended nine-game road trip? The Rangers wrapped up their tour in Detroit Saturday night admist talk Sather has been looking around for a puck-moving defenceman. At some point or another, you have to think either Jim Schoenfeld or Jeff Gorton takes over the GM's role with the Rangers when the 70-year-old Sather steps aside ... Senators GM Bryan Murray has been patient early in the season but can't be pleased with the club's inconsistency in the first month. A player who has drawn interest is C Zack Smith. He has four years left with a cap hit of $1.875 million and many in the organization believe he's part of the solution. The Senators need his grit especially come playoff time because he's hard to play against. Ideally, the club is hoping someone will take C Jim O'Brien's one-way contract in Binghamton off its hands.
l THIS N' THAT: The vultures are keeping a close eye on Buffalo GM Darcy Regier. Sabres' president Ted Black is asking the proud fanbase to be patient, but that's wearing thin. The name of NHL VP Colin Campbell has surfaced as a candidate for the job if the Sabres decide to make a change. He has turned down GM's jobs in the past, but lives nearby in Tillsonburg and Buffalo would be a nice fit. Montreal assistant GM Rick Dudley remains the top candidate if a change is made ... If Avalanche GM Joe Sakic does decide to move UFA C Paul Statsny, there will be plenty of suitors. The Canucks and Leafs are both looking for help in the middle and would certainly have interest in Statsny. There have been no contract talks between Statsny's camp and the Avs. The club has been pleased with the way he has fit in this season ... Confirm or deny: The Oilers took one look at St. Louis backup G Brian Elliott and then decided he wasn't the answer especially with a $1.8 million pricetag? I know the answer.
l RUMOURS DU JOUR: New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello sent out an email last week offering up an unnamed "veteran defenceman" around. D Marek Zidlicky, 36, is the oldest player on the club's blueline while D Anton Volchenkov, D Peter Harrold and Andy Greene all qualify in the "veteran" category. It is doubtful the Devils will be able to move anybody. By the way, teams often send out an email without naming names to try to protect the innocent ... Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is getting plenty of calls from his counterparts who are "willing to help" with his club struggling. Several teams have shown interest in RW Jakub Voracek and RW Wayne Simmonds but it's highly doubtful either of those players will be dealt. The two guys the Flyers want to move the most: D Andrej Meszaros and D Nicklas Grossman. Both have been immovable objects for the Flyers ... The talk is the Stars are willing to move a contract or two. D Alex Goligoski, who has three years left at $4.6 million per-season, was a healthy scratch last week. Former GM Joe Nieuwendyk tried to deal him last season with no success ... Just wondering: Should the Sabres fire Ron Rolston and bring in Peter Laviolette?
Have a nice Sunday.