It's time for another edition of Rimer's Rambling's!
1. The Sabres finally made a move, by trading Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders last night. I'm kind of surprised that NYI GM Garth Snow traded a 1st and a 2nd round pick to the Sabres along with Matt Moulson. Yes, Moulson is a UFA as well, but to give away good picks without signing Vanek to an extension is risky! As I've said in this space twice now, Vanek really wants to play with the Minnesota Wild, and from a very good source of mine, he plans to test Unrestricted Free Agency. Could having good chemistry with John Tavares convince Vanek to sign an extension with the Islanders? I guess anything is possible?
2. With the departure of Vanek, all eyes have turned once again to Ryan Miller. I'm told that the Flyers and Sabres have recently talked about that very thing. Asking price continues to be Sean Couturier. My guess is Miller will be moved in the next month to the highest bidder.
3. Speaking of Goalies, interesting signing by Jim Rutherford this past week, signing former NYI Goalie Rick Dipietro to a Professional tryout with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL. With the loss of Cam Ward Rutherford is trying to find a goalie in an inexpensive way. Could we see the return of Dipietro to the NHL, this time with the Hurricanes? It's not out of the question, but I believe they'll first sign Manny Malhotra who's also down with the Checkers and has been playing really well.
4. Today the Toronto Maple Leafs recalled Defenseman John Michael Liles who's been playing with the Marlies in the AHL. The reason for this was to bring Liles on the Maple Leafs Western Road Trip, with trips to Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. I'm hearing that the Maple Leafs want to showcase Liles in Edmonton, and we all know how bad the Oilers are looking for help on D. Asking price won't be much, probably a 3rd or 4th round pick.
5. Speaking of the Oilers, there's some talk that Edmonton might have reached out to Pittsburgh as they now have a log jam on D with the return of Kris Letang. Before Letang was injured, there was talk about the Penguins shopping Matt Niskanen. Niskanen has been very solid in Letang's absence, and Rookie Dman Olli Maatta has been a nice surprise. I doubt Pittsburgh moves Niskanen now, but maybe they move Paul Martin?
6. This afternoon when Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was on [email protected] on Rogers Sportsnet & The Fan 590 w/ Daren Millard, Nick Kypreos, & Doug MacLean, Kevin was asked if his team needs to play better, or a Trade needs to happen. Kevin responded with, "I'd like to see both happen."