The below was written and is contributed by Kevin Kopf (@kevinakopf)
The NHL is still buzzing after the Chicago Blackhawks late heroics that saw them clinch a second Stanley Cup within a four-year span.
Equally dramatic is the talk at the current moment that comes with the buyout window, opening in about 48 hours—11pm, June 26th to be exact.
Reports have begun filtering throughout NHL media outlets that several player contracts have been bought out by their respective teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mike Komisarek, Montreal Canadiens’ Tomas Kaberle, and both Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov of Philadelphia Flyer fame. (Important to note that the Flyers sought these buyouts in an effort to free-up cap space for Mark Streit’s massive contract signing.)
Many goalies are being talked about right now, and the fear of making a blunder similar to the Isles’ Rick DiPietro, is at the forefront of every GM’s mind who’s out to grab a permanent fixture between the pipes.
DiPietro’s 15-year contract is most likely, though not officially confirmed, to be bought out, as well. This leaves the Isles with a little more cap room with which to and a monkey off their back. They also need to start perusing new options in net, because in two-years time, a Poulin and Nabokov tandem in my honest opinion just won’t cut it.
Option 1: Jaroslav Halak
The 28-year old St. Louis Blues’ backup to Brian Elliot, is a known playoff performer as shown with both Montreal and his current club. He also has the ability to lead his team deep within a postseason, but as of yet, hasn’t been entrusted with the reins. Dealing for Halak would most likey include Kevin Poulin and a draft pick.
Option 2: Ryan Miller
A bit tougher of an option. This deal would take a lot more, maybe Niño, a first and a mid level prospect like Kabonov or Pokka. The payoff would be well worth it though. Ryan Miller is a true superstar, leading the Sabres for the past few years despite a few concussions, and has acted like the true performer he is. He is the cream of the crop that every team wants, and Buffalo isn’t doing anything soon so they could be willing to move him.
This offseason is preparing to be a good one, and it all starts in less than 48 hours.