The Vancouver Canucks’ goaltending situation has been the source of drama for quite some time, while Ryan Miller’s uncertainty seems like it mainly sprouted up as free agency approaches. Either way, the two sides may very well find an answer together once July 1 rolls around.
If nothing else, the two seem to be talking about a possible deal.
Multiple sources report that Miller is in Vancouver talking to Canucks brass as the free agent period approaches.
There was already some scuttlebutt about the Canucks flirting with Miller, 33, so this presents fire where there was smoke.
Adding Miller would provide a slight logjam, albeit a manageable one, in Vancouver. The Canucks currently employ the young tandem of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, with both providing promise but also a lack (sorry) of experience.
Lack makes $1.15 million for the next two seasons while Markstrom will be a RFA after he finishes out a deal that carries a $1.2 million cap hit in 2014-15. Neither deal is difficult to trade, while putting them on waivers could mean losing a goalie for nothing.
Consider this: Miller has 559 games of regular season experience alone while Lack and Markstrom combine for 88 games of regular season experience.
In a lot of ways, the idea makes plenty of sense: Miller could provide the stability the Canucks crave and vice versa. Of course, there’s the possibility that this situation could meltdown into another soap opera … which wouldn’t be so bad for those of us who get to write about it.
Not that such scenarios factor into our excitement about such matters, of course.
Not good news for the St. Louis Blues — the club announced this morning that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has been placed on injured reserve with a right-knee injury. He’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Pietrangelo suffered the injury Saturday in a knee-on-knee collision with Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle.
Based on the timeline provided, the Blues will be without their leader in average ice time (26:40) until at least the end of the month. St. Louis plays 10 times between now and Feb. 29, which also happens to be the trade deadline.
The big question, of course, is whether Pietrangelo will be ready to go upon re-evaluation.
The first day of the playoffs is April 13.
Related: Armstrong wants Blues to get healthy before any trades are made
Alain Vigneault took another shot at the NHL’s Department of Player Safety today.
This time, the Rangers head coach was upset about the lack of supplementary discipline for Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds in the wake of Saturday’s altercation with New York captain Ryan McDonagh.
“An All-Star player gets sucker-punched, goes down,” Vigneault said, per The Record. “I wonder if that’s (Sidney) Crosby, what happens? What are the consequences? And, on top of that, a player breaks his stick, throws it at the referees. In the rulebook, that’s automatic. It’s three games. Nothing happens. It’s not even on the sheet after the game.”
Simmonds’ punch left McDonagh concussed and unable to play tonight versus New Jersey, with no timetable for his return.
Earlier this season, Vigneault voiced his frustration with the league after Rangers center Derek Stepan suffered broken ribs in Boston on a hit from Bruins forward Matt Beleskey.
Vigneault felt the hit was late.
“I remember Aaron Rome in this building, .6 seconds late, getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup Final,” the former Vancouver Canucks coach said, recalling the contentious 2011 final.
Beleskey was not suspended.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse
Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.
The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.