NHL Trade Rumors 2014: NY Rangers' Ryan Callahan, Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller on Trade Block
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The New York Rangers may be active on the trade market once the roster freeze is lifted with the National Hockey League (NHL) currently on its Olympic Games break as players head to Sochi and team officials prepare for the league trade deadline less than a month away.
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The Rangers have already traded D Michael Del Zotto for D Kevin Klein late January and may put team captain F Ryan Callahan on the market if they cannot come to terms on a new contract before the March 5 trade deadline. The New York Post is reporting that Callahan, who is in Sochi with the U.S. men's hockey team, and Rangers general manager Glen Sather remain far apart on keeping the popular team captain.
Callahan, who has 11 goals and 13 assists for the season, becomes a free agent on July 1, is seeking a seven-year deal worth above $6.5 million while the Rangers are offering a five-year deal worth $30 million.
TSN's Darren Dreger reports that the Rangers, who are second in the Metropolitian Division, have the option of talking with the St. Louis Blues, who are interested in RW Chris Stewart if he were made available in any deal for the 28-year-old Callahan if they fail to re-sign the forward after the Sochi Olympic break.
New York has to also decide what to do with D Dan Girardi, who also becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. While both sides are close in reaching an agreement, the 30-year-old defenseman is seeking a six-year deal at $5.5 million per season. The Rangers have made two counteroffers - one at six years at more than $5 million each season and another five-year deal at $5.5 per year. The Rangers have made it clear they are willing to part with the defenseman after the Sochi Games if they cannot come to terms prior to the deadline.
The Rangers' intrastate rivals, the New York Islanders, have also been busy on the trade market, sending F Peter Regin and C Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who were deemed free agent busts by the club, to the Chicago Black Hawks for a fourth round draft choice.
D Andrew MacDonald and LW Thomas Vanek are also on the trade block for the Islanders after both players rejected contract offers to re-sign with the team over the last couple of weeks. The New York Post reports that MacDonald turned down the Islanders' four-year, $16 million offer, forcing general manager Garth Snow to considering trading the defenseman.
Snow will also take offers for Vanek - who rejected a seven-year, $50 million offer, preferring to test the free agent waters, who was acquired in a trade after the Islanders sent LW Matt Moulson and two draft picks to the Buffalo Sabres early this season.
TSN's Bob McKenzie believes Vanek, who has 19 goals, 30 assists, and was named captain of the Austrian men's hockey team playing in the Sochi Games, may draw interest from the Los Angeles Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are looking for a scoring punch in their offense. The Kings, currently third in the Pacific Division and ranked 29th in goals per game, are also looking at the Sabres' Moulson and the Calgary Flames LW Mike Cammalleri to add offensive firepower to the team. Los Angeles has also held talks with the Edmonton Oilers looking to send F Kyle Clifford to the Oilers for C Sam Gagner prior to the Olympic roster freeze, according to Edmonton Sun.
Moulson is not the only pending free agent the Buffalo Sabres may look to move after the Sochi Games are over. G Ryan Miller, who is in Russia preparing to play for the U.S. men's hockey team, will be put on the trade market, with new Sabres general manager Tim Murray saying that he is looking for "a partner" to swing a deal with. TVA Sports et Journal de Montréal's Renaud Lavoie tweeted that the Minnesota Wild and the Washington Capitals are interested in talking with Buffalo to acquire Ryan, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.
One surprising name on the NHL trade market is longtime New Jersey Devils G Martin Brodeur, who has lost his starting job to Cory Schneider. The Devils traded for Schneider during the 2013 NHL Draft, sending their ninth-overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks for the goaltender. Schneider has gone 7-2-4 in his last 13 starts prior to the Olympic break and has performed stronger in front of the net than the New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup winner.
Brodeur, a 20-year veteran with the Devils and unrestricted free agent at the end of the year with a no-trade clause, met with New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello on Thursday, having previously admitted that he realizes the possibility exists he may not end his career as a New Jersey Devil.
"It's within the team's rights to try and make themselves better," said Brodeur to NJ.com after giving up six goals in two periods in New Jersey's 7-3 loss to the New York Rangers in their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium. "The fact is, I have the luxury to decide what I want to do. I hope if [GM Lou Lamoriello] is able to help the team, he'll ask, regardless of what it is. It's definitely something that is possible."
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