The latest on Matt Duchene, Tyson Barrie, Cam Fowler, Trevor Daley and more in your NHL rumor mill.
Highlights from Friedman’s weekly “30 Thoughts.”
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic tested the trade market to see what would happen if he decided to make a move. Avs center Matt Duchene was mentioned in recent trade speculation.
Friedman also says he has zero information suggesting Sakic is shopping defenseman Tyson Barrie, who he believes the Avs want to re-sign. Barrie’s a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights.
He also repeated his report from earlier this week regarding the Avs previous interest in Ottawa Senators defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Jake Gardiner. It doesn’t appear as though they’re revisiting that interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Duchene and Barrie rumors are starting to die down now. While I don’t doubt Sakic was probably gauging the market value of some key players like Duchene, I don’t believe he’s going to move him during this season. If he does decide to trade Duchene, that’s the kind of deal that happens in the offseason. As for Barrie, I think the Avs will do all they can to keep him.
Friedman also noted recent trade rumors regarding Anaheim Ducks rearguard Cam Fowler. He cites an NHL executive casting doubt on them, noting Fowler’s solid play and his value to the Ducks.
The Minnesota Wild’s blueline could get crowded once promising Mike Reilly and Gustav Olofsson are deemed NHL ready.
The Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets are in the market for a defenseman. Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Trevor Daley “can be had”, but teams might not be keen to pick up his $3.3 million cap hit. He’s got another season remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sens or Blue Jackets really wanted Daley, either one would’ve probably acquired him by now. Given his struggles with the Blackhawks, I don’t think there’s much interest in him.
One NHL coach wonders if Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is in the market for another right-shooting defenseman.
The St. Louis Blues have no plans at this time to bring back center Vladimir Sobotka, who owes the club another season at $2.7 million. Currently suspended by the Blues, he wouldn’t have to pass through waivers this season to rejoin the club.
Latest on Matt Duchene.
TSN 1260 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Darren Dreger voiced his amusement over those dismissing last week’s report claiming Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was calling around the league gauging interest in center Matt Duchene. He goes on to suggest if (“and it is an enormous if”) the right deal came along, Sakic would consider trading Duchene.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will have to be one heck of a deal, the kind we almost never see in-season anymore. If Sakic decides to trade Duchene, it’ll likely be in the offseason.
Senators shopping for a defenseman.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray is working the phones seeking to bolster his blueline. While Murray kicked the tires on Matt Duchene, Avs GM Joe Sakic likely isn’t ready to make that move. Garrioch cites two league executives suggesting if Murray is interested in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor Daley, the asking price “is likely a second-round pick along with either winger Matt Puempel or Shane Prince.” Garrioch also listed Carolina’s Ron Hainsey, Calgary’s Kris Russell, St. Louis’ Carl Gunnarsson and Tampa Bay’s Matt Carle as other options for Murray.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks are in the market for a No.4 defenseman, so I don’t see how that return helps them at all. And if that is their asking price for Daley, they’re grossly overrating his trade value. I don’t see Hainsey or Russell becoming available until the Feb. 29 trade deadline, if at all. With Kevin Shattenkirk back in action, Gunnarsson could be dealt. Carle is believed available, but he’s earning over $5 million annually with three more season left on his contract, plus he’s got a partial no-trade clause. I doubt the cost-conscious Senators will go after him.
Could the Oilers shop a blueliner?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis notes the impending return of Justin Schultz will give the Oilers nine defenseman, and he doesn’t rule out a trade to address that logjam on the blueline. Mark Fayne, Eric Gryba, Brandon Davidson and Nikita Nikitin could be among the trade options. Willis doesn’t include Schultz in that mix, but doesn’t rule out a possible trade deadline move.