Latest on Matt Duchene, Tyson Barrie, and more in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
Latest Avalanche trade rumors.
SPORTSNET: “Just for kicks”, Joe Pack lists the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and New Jersey Devils as potential trade destinations for Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, who’s become the latest hot topic in the NHL rumor mill.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens and Blue Jackets lack the cap space to take on Duchene’s $6 million cap hit this season, so it has to be a dollar-for-dollar swap to make it work. And no, the Avs don’t want cast-off players like Tinordi, Semin or Bourque.
The Senators and Predators have plenty of room under the league cap, but they’re budget teams so they also must swing dollar-for-dollar deals. Besides, if the Avs are seriously shopping Duchene, why ship him to a division rival like the Preds? No, they’re not a destination.
That leaves the Devils, who have ownership apparently willing to spend, but they’re also off to a better-than-expected start, so they don’t have to rush into anything yet.
Elliotte Friedman reports teams are waiting to see if the Avalanche can re-sign defenseman Tyson Barrie, who’s a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. If the two sides cannot agree on a new contract, Barrie’s name could be heard more frequently in the trade market. He also claims the Ottawa Senators came close last year to a deal with the Avalanche regarding defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, but it doesn’t appear that one’s on the front burner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I get why the Avs didn’t want to overpay to retain Paul Stastny and especially Ryan O’Reilly, but Barrie’s a big-minute offensive blueliner earning $2.6 million per season on his current deal. He’ll get a significant raise. They were willing to pony up to keep Erik Johnson. Budget team or not, they have to do the same for Barrie. Otherwise, it’ll be the third straight core player to depart in as many years. That doesn’t exactly send the right message to your fans about building a winner.
TORONTO SUN: If Matt Duchene is available, Steve Simmons believes the Toronto Maple Leafs should pursue him. He suggests offering up Dion Phaneuf and Nazem Kadri and even pick up a little salary to do it. “Would you do that? Would Joe Sakic?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming Sakic will agree to that return. He won’t. He’s already got two big-minute offensive blueliners in Johnson and Barrie, and Kadri is no replacement for Duchene.
Latest from Garrioch’s “Insider Trading.”
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports sources say “Columbus, Toronto, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Calgary, San Jose, Buffalo and Boston are on a list of more than 10 teams” seeking a top-four defenseman. Among those reportedly being shopped are “Trevor Daley (Chicago), Matt Carle (Tampa), Justin Braun (San Jose), Braydon Coburn (Tampa), Ron Hainsey (Carolina), Carl Gunnarsson (St. Louis), Jake Gardiner (Toronto) and Kris Russell (Calgary).”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daley’s struggling in Chicago, Carle’s been a healthy scratch in several games and Coburn’s a UFA next summer, so I can see those guys hitting the trade block. Ditto Hainsey if the Hurricanes opt to continue rebuilding with youth. With Kevin Shattenkirk back in the lineup, the Blues could be ready to peddle Gunnarsson.
Braun and Gardiner are playing big minutes for their respective clubs, so I’m skeptical over their availability. Ditto Russell, who the Flames could try to re-sign. Besides, if Toronto, Calgary and San Jose are seeking a top-four defenseman, why trade one of their own good ones? That doesn’t make sense.
The Flames would like to move Dennis Wideman, but he’s got a year left on his contract. Russell is more likely to be moved.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wideman also has a full no-movement clause.
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman’s been trying to make changes, including attempts to trade a defenseman, but he’s finding it tough to make deals. Garrioch also claims “there’s a belief” Yzerman could trade superstar Steven Stamkos if he’s not re-signed by the trade deadline, though Stamkos’ no-movement clause could complicate things.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For what it’s worth, Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times he doesn’t believe in making a trade to spark a struggling club, and even if he could, there are too many teams with limited cap space. As for Stamkos, maybe he and Yzerman are waiting for the commissioner’s annual December salary-cap projection before getting down to serious talks. Always helps to have some idea of how much cap space you’ll have to work with next season before negotiating a big contract extension for your superstar.
With Darnell Nurse playing well, the Edmonton Oilers could have nine defensemen when Justin Schultz returns from injury. Garrioch wonders if they’ll make a move using their blueline depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mark Fayne recently surfaced in the rumor mill.
Prior to defenseman Mark Streit undergoing pelvic surgery, the Philadelphia Flyers were trying to move him. He’ll be sidelined for six weeks.
Garrioch also touched on the Patrick Marleau trade rumors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He basically reviewed what we already know. Marleau’s supposed list of trade destinations are the Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings and New York Rangers. The Kings and Rangers have zero interest, while the Ducks aren’t a fit.
Avalanche GM Joe Sakic called a lot more teams seeking a defenseman than the Ottawa Senators.