2013 NHL trade deadline: Tampa Bay looking at a Sabre?
A day after naming a new head coach, the Lightning are tied to rumors of going after a goalie of some notoriety.
The 2013 NHL trade deadline is April 3rd at 3 PM EDT, just less than six days away at the time of this writing. Still, the buzz has built up grandly on Wednesday night. Maybe it's the full moon? Maybe it's just the fact teams know that the deadline is real close now?
For example, Jarome Iginla is out tonight in the Calgary Flames game against the Colorado Avalanche and the hockey world is in a tizzy of speculation that suggests Jarome is bound for Boston. Nothing has gone down for certain at the time of this writing but it seems all but certain.
Earlier in the evening, Tampa Bay's name popped up in the rumor mill and tied to a big name as well. The source, however, could lead one to immediately dismiss the suggestion.
Hearing @tblightning inquiring about @buffalosabres Ryan Miller.Who would bolts give up?@tps_guy @darenmillard Koekkoek? Connolly? other?— Dean Millard (@TPSDean) March 27, 2013
A short time later, Sportsnet - Canada's other sports cable network - repeated the claim: Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and goaltender Ryan Miller:
Buffalo is asking about Tampa Bay.Ryan Miller is in play. More to come.#sportsnet #TradeTracker— Daren Millard (@darenmillard) March 28, 2013
Facts are facts and the Lightning are thin at goal. An injured young netminder, an unsteady AHL veteran and a career backup isn't the strongest situation for a team that had a new head coach boast chances for the playoffs. Anywhere you look, Lightning goaltending speculation will pop up for the second season in a row.
That also being said, a deal between the Bolts and Buffalo doesn't seem logical. Both teams are becoming divisional foes after this season. Does Buffalo really want to deal their netminder to a conference rival, let alone a divisional foe? Then there's the status of Miller's contract: He has one year left on it, paying him $6.5 million. With the 2013-14 season seeing a cap reduction from where it currently stands - that contract doesn't seem exactly cap-friendly.
You take the original report at its word and what also doesn't seem to make sense is the Bolts willingly moving top level prospects to a divisional foe. In a way, that move would be a severe mistake compared to the Miller-in-division trade; young players sacrificed by Tampa Bay in a deal will be around for years and contributing (annually) to contests against the Lightning. Can you really say that Ryan Miller would be around for an extended period of time after his contract expired?
Yet stranger things have happened. This is, after all, Jedi Master Steve Yzerman. A deal between the two clubs still doesn't quite make sense though, no matter how much you believe an acquisition like this is necessary.