Teams that are looking to add defensive depth should be focusing on a pair of Eastern Conference squads. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports in the latest edition of Insider Trading (video link) that on top of veterans Zach Bogosian and Marco Scandella who were known to be available, the Sabres are also willing to part with Colin Miller. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes aren’t just open to moving Trevor van Riemsdyk as recent acquisitions Jake Gardiner and Joel Edmundson are also believed to be trade options for them.
Bogosian ($5.143MM) and Scandella ($4MM) are on expiring contracts and have had limited roles when healthy over the last couple of years. In Bogosian’s case, he recently asked to be dealt following the first of his healthy scratches earlier this month. But Miller has another two years left after this one at a reasonable $3.875MM AAV. While he hasn’t performed to expectations with Buffalo, the 27-year-old put up 70 points in his two seasons with Vegas and averaged over 19 minutes a night in both years. That was enough for the Sabres to part with second and fifth-round picks for Miller back in June although they may not be able to recoup that now considering he has spent time as a healthy scratch recently.
As for Carolina, Gardiner just signed with them back in September, inking a slightly-backloaded four-year, $16.2MM deal to match his $4.05MM AAV from his previous contract. He has struggled considerably with his new team though, recording just eight points along with an ugly -17 plus/minus rating; only four blueliners in the league have a lower rating. With those struggles, his contract, and a seven-team no-trade clause, the market for him may be somewhat limited.
Edmundson ($3.1MM) and van Riemsdyk ($2.3MM) are both pending unrestricted free agents. Edmundson was part of the Justin Faulk trade at the beginning of the season and has been a steady presence on their third pairing. However, the team would like to give Haydn Fleury some more playing time so clearing out one of their left-shot defenders would help create that opportunity. As for van Riemsdyk, he has been available for a while now but his value has taken a bit of a dip as he’s averaging less than 14 minutes a night, well below his career average which is up over the 17-minute mark.
McKenzie notes that both teams are looking for scoring help but at this stage, they may have to settle for future assets in return and then try to turn those around into the forward that they covet. While we’re only hours away from the Holiday Roster Freeze coming into effect, these players will be ones to keep an eye on heading into 2020.