Matt Duchene talks about the trade speculation swirling about him, while Max Domi talks about the trade rumors that recently swirled about him and teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
COULD DUCHENE BE DEALT IN 2016-17?
SPORTSNET 590 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene was recently asked about the trade rumors dogging him since last season, responding with a chuckle that he doesn’t know if he’ll finish next season with the Avs. “We’re a team that has not been where we want to be the last couple of years, and hopefully we get it back together this year. But if things don’t go that way, I’m sure they’ll be looking to make some big changes. That’s already obviously been talked about a lot in the media.” He went on to say his focus is on helping Team Canada at this fall’s World Cup of Hockey and then trying to help improve the Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene’s name first popped up in the rumor mill last November. He and teammate Tyson Barrie were mentioned this summer as possible trade candidates. Avs GM Joe Sakic insisted the pair weren’t going anywhere and so far has been true to his word. However, Duchene is correct in his assessment that big changes will be coming if the Avalanche fail to improve next season. The club’s critics would prefer a coaching change over shaking up the roster. Given the friendship between Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy and the latter’s role in management, that doesn’t seem likely.
DOMI LAUGHS OFF PRE-DRAFT TRADE RUMORS.
SPORTSNET 590 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Arizona Coyotes winger Max Domi laughed off the trade rumors last month leading up to the opening round of the 2016 NHL Draft linking him and teammate Oliver-Ekman Larsson to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first overall pick. “I thought it was pretty funny, to be honest with you. But that stuff, it’s amazing how fast the fire can spread, so to speak. One guy tweets something, and all of the sudden everyone’s a GM. (Laughs)”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those rumors were either wishful thinking or just musing out loud. The chatter actually originated out of Edmonton last winter, with a pundit suggesting the Oilers offer up the first overall pick (if they won the draft lottery) to the Coyotes for Ekman-Larsson. The Coyotes constantly rejected that speculation, just as they dismissed the notion of parting with a package of Ekman-Larsson, Domi or Anthony Duclair and a first-round pick for the first overall pick. Domi and Ekman-Larsson are expected to be key pieces in the Coyotes rebuilding process. They aren’t going anywhere.