Latest on the Avalanche and Jets – December 17, 2016

by | Dec 17, 2016 | Rumors | 38 comments

The ongoing struggles of the Colorado Avalanche could turn Matt Duchene and Gabe Landeskog into trade targets.

The ongoing struggles of the Colorado Avalanche could turn Matt Duchene and Gabe Landeskog into trade targets.

Check out the latest speculation on the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets. 

FANRAG: Chris Nichols provides a recent summary of this week’s trade speculation from NHL insiders Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger regarding the Colorado Avalanche.

Speaking with NHL Network on Wednesday, Friedman said the Avs could accommodate veteran winger Jarome Iginla if he decides to waive his no-trade clause if there’s a wiling buyer for his services. He also casts some doubt on any talk of the Avs blowing up their roster, noting they have $17 million coming off their books at season’s end. That will free up room next summer to pursue one or two defensemen.

Appearing on TSN 1290 on Wednesday, Dreger noted how quiet things were leading up to the holiday trade freeze (Dec. 19-27). Among several topics, he addressed the Avs recent struggles. “There’s a lot that’s going to develop there from a speculative standpoint and there’s some big names that are going to be circled,” said Dreger. He noted Matt Duchene’s name has surfaced from time to time and Gabriel Landeskog’s surfaced briefly last summer. He feels GM Joe Sakic “is soon going to be willing to consider just about anything.”

ESPN.COM: Matthew Coller recently suggested the Avs considering moving Duchene or Landeskog, either to stockpile first-round picks and prospects to rebuild around Nathan MacKinnon or moving one of them for either a top-four defenseman or a replacement for departed two-way center Ryan O’Reilly. Coller also thinks an argument can be made for moving MacKinnon, as he’s probably more valuable than Duchene or Landeskog.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A couple of weeks ago, Sakic was preaching patience with his core players. That patience, however, could be getting tested. If Sakic goes the route Friedman indicated, he won’t find much help via free agency, as the pickings for defensemen are decidedly slim. The best available blueliner is Kevin Shattenkirk, and I doubt he’s keen on returning to the Avs. To land a top-four defenseman could mean shopping Duchene or Landeskog next summer. 

EDMONTON SUN:  Jim Matheson reports young Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck doesn’t look like a 60-game starter yet. He advocates landing an established goalie with only a few seasons left on his contract before the expansion draft, such as Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop or Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, and let Hellebuyck take on a backup role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Hellebuyck has potential, but he needs to share the duties with an experienced veteran who can act as a mentor. The Jets risk hampering his development. Their goaltending currently ranks among the league’s worst this season, so this is something they must address in the near future.

Landing Howard or Fleury, however, could be difficult if they’re not on their list of preferred trade destinations. Bishop’s a UFA in July and will likely cost far more than the Jets can afford to entice him to Winnipeg.  


  1. Moving Mackinnon? I can’t think of a problem that would be a solution to.

    ROR replacement is not going to happen, but finding a C to play in the three hole is easily done. Bozak has ties to Denver, for example.

    • Dan39. This isn’t directed at you just on topic.

      The problem isn’t at C. McKinnon, Duchene & Soderberg form a solid top 3. The problem is no wingers forcing Duchene to LW & McKinnon to RW constantly trying to create 2 scoring lines. Other than those 3, Landeskog & Rantanen there isn’t another forward on the team that can really help offensively leaving the top 2 lines 2 wingers short, or if Duchene or McKinnon are moved to the wing & Soderberg & moved up no hope for their bottom lines to score.

      This team is devoid of NHL talent. Only time & good drafting can fix this issue, moving out 1 of the few scorers they have solves nothing, in fact it will make it worse. These players aren’t old they are part of the future, the future is just at least 3 years away minimum, perhaps longer if a significant upgrade can’t be found in the top 4D or top 6 forwards with out giving up more than draft picks.

      Help is coming. Sakic is building thru the draft it’s only year 2 or 3 depending upon how you want to look at Colorado’s rebuild since Sakic was brought on board as EX VP hockey Opps & GM the season following.

  2. No way he moves MacKinnon. That would cost him his job.
    Build around him. Looks like COL needs to hire better scouts. Not a lot to show in the last few years.

    • This assumes it’s a drafting problem not a development problem

    • Colorado has only had 1 significant miss since Sakic took over. Bleackly; Arz received a 2nd round compensatory pick, at 23 in 2014 expended with Wood; Looks to be a solid D prospect now for Arizona, to get Boedker for what they hoped would be a playoff run. Swing & a miss.

      McKinnon, Bigras, Greer, Rantanen, Mirinov, Beaudin, Meloche, Boikov, Spencer & Jost all appear to be solid drafts elections with NHL futures & his trade for Zadarov, Compher Grigorenko, & the 31st pick in 2015 later flipped to SJ for 2 2nds; 39th in 2015, Greer, & returning their 2nd acquired previously in trade in 2016; 40th Morrison, made the best of a bad situation with O’Reilly.

      • 2013 draft McKinnon and Bigras. 2014 no one in the NHL yet.2015 Rantanen,Greer. Nothing so far in 2016. Going back to 2012 Blandisi.
        Not a great track record. You need better scouts to come up with a good player when you are stuck in no man’s land with your draft position.

      • You said nothing so far in 2016? Way to judge them already on that

      • Not judging Jason. Just stating facts. Other teams have 2016 draftees playing. Got anything to input or just judging me ?

      • Can’t really say the 2016 draft only 4 out of 210 are playing by my count lol

      • Actually, 5 BBB – but I agree, a tad early to be assessing 2016 draft (Matthews – Tor, Laine – Wpg, Puljujarvi – Edm, Tkachuk – Cgy and Chychrun – Ariz.

        What is interesting is that 12 of the 2015 1st rounders are now in the NHL and 2 2nd rounders

  3. Winnipeg problem is more about systems and discipline. Enstrom three penalty, Florida 3 goals. This team has had this problem since Maurice took over. Who once said he was ok with the penalties if they were of a certain type. Clean up their nonsense and change the coverage, don’t be leaving your coverage to soon.

  4. If the Jets put Howard or Fleury in front of their defense, Winnipeg would quickly learn that Hellebuyck (who has big upside)is not the problem.

    The last thing the Jets need is to block their young goalies with expensive veterans. Maybe get a veteran backup behind him. I hear Ondrej Pavalec is on the block.

    Regarding the Avalanche…I said the hiring of Sakic (who had no background for this) and his hiring of Roy would be a disaster for that team. Then I had to eat crow after they had that fluke year making the playoffs…I’m officially uneating that crow.

    A dumpster fire at 5,280 feet.

    At least Yzerman and Francis spent years learning the craft, Sakic (and I believe Linden, too) was just handed the job for being a franchise icon and the predictable results have followed.

    • I think Sakic has been solid. I agree with you on Roy.

      The 3 seasons before Sakic was hired Colorado finished 14th, 11th & 15th in the West. In the 3 years since 2nd, 11th & 9th. Sakic is building thru the draft, Roy wanted it fast tracked unfortunately there was & is no fast tracking this mess. Thankfully Sakic won & Roy had a tantrum as usual & quit.

      Sherman stayed on as GM for Sakic’s 1st season turning over the reigns the season following & stayed on 1 more year as a consultant essentially.

      Help is coming but building thru the draft when not picking in the top 5 consistently is time consuming & takes at least 5 years. This is year 2 or 3 depending upon your perspective.

      • lol Considering that comparison of 3 years prior and 3 years since it appears that the 2nd place in the west would have a lot to do with ROR and Stastney now that they are gone it’s trending the wrong direction when you consider the position they now find themselves last 3 years 21st 21st 30th overall not seeing any improvement by Sakics team your example is skewed.

      • Count me among those who think Sakic is out of his depth as a GM. At the end of the 2010-11 season he became Executive Advisor and alternate governor. On May 10, 2013 he became Executive Vice President of Hovkey Operations having final say on ALL hockey personnel. In 2014 he became de facto GM.

        The team’s record since the 2011-12 season is:

        2011-12 – 88 pts 11th in the West 208 gf – 220 ga
        2012-13 (48 games) – 39 pts – dead last (which got them MacKinnon – a no-brainer)
        2013-14 – 112 pts 1st in Conf 250 gf – 220 ga
        2014-15 – 90 pts 5th in Central – 219 gf – 227 ga
        2015-16 – 82 pts 6th in Central 216 gf – 240 ga
        2016-17 so far – sitting dead last

        Isn’t exactly Jack Adams material.

  5. If Boston is in contention by deadline I would bring Iginla back.
    That would let them move Backes to third line center.
    Which would create more balanced lines.
    Wouldn’t pay too much though.

  6. Winnipeg won’t be trading for a goalie. Hellebuyck has played well. Little their best 2 way forward has missed 23 games, Myers their #3 Dman has missed 22 & counting. Perreault 14, Trouba 15, Stafford 15, Armia 23 & counting, Matthias 23 & counting & numerous other short term injures, hell Enstrom even went home for personal reasons missing 3 games.

    Jim Matheson isn’t the brightest bear in the woods. Winnipeg is set in net. What ails Winnipeg isn’t goaltending but serious injures, a hold out, a core of young players doing what young players do, disappearing for long stretches; see Ehlers, & a brutal 5 game road trip in mid Nov playing 5 games in 8 days losing all 5. These injures have forced even more youth in to roles they aren’t yet ready for.

    Winnipeg has yet to play a game with their projected starting roster for this season. I’m not sure there is another team in the NHL that’s had that problem so far this season other than Dallas.

    Winnipeg sits 3 points out of the last wildcard spot in the west. That said it’s some what deceptive as they have played 33 games tied for most in the league with Calgary having played 5 more than Columbus who’s played the lowest with 28. Nashville has played 4 less & sits 1 point behind Winnipeg, 4 behind Calgary with 4 games in hand.

    • “Injuries are just an excuse ” oh wait, that was thought #289 in Strikers world a week ago. Today it’s something different!

      • Everyone has injures, they aren’t an excuse but a reality & certainly need to be factored into the equation. Not all injures are created equal.

        This issue started over Montreal losing Price & them going from Cup contender to brutal in the blink of an eye last season. Good teams over come, find a way to hang in there & stay in the race until resolved or addressed. Injures specifically to Price in Montreal were bad but that doesn’t excuse the colossal collapse Montreal suffered last season that was an excuse. If your that dependent on 1 player that’s a serious problem & really means your not that good a team.

        Winnipeg considering their injures specifically to Little & Myers with Trouba’s hold out have played well. The fact they are still in the hunt is impressive & lends to the quality of their depth to plug players in to cover for all the injures.

        Few teams could lose their best 2 way C & #1 until recently & #2 Dman & hope to stay competitive coupled with a multitude of injures to others.

        Again what ails Winnipeg has nothing to do with goaltending but injures, scheduling oddities & as those injures & the schedule balance out for all Winnipeg will be better team than they have shown to date.

      • You need not manipulate context & if you wish to be rude or insulting I will respond in kind.

      • Rude? Oh you mean like ” I believe otl stands for overtime loss”. Please spare all of us your never ending bs!

      • And nobody needs to manipulate context when it comes to you. Honestly nowhere in life have I seen such flip flopping, long winded, talking out of both sides of your mouth garbage as you spew here daily. It’s really brutal when about every poster here has to point out your make believe, arrogant, self loving posts on a daily basis. Honestly, do you ever get sick of yourself?

      • Striker I think you need to go do some research on who else was injured for the habs last yr…………..just saying it wasn’t just price

    • Striker I’m calling you out on this one.

      A few months ago we argued on LA trading for Halak, even though his contract is horrible and extended past this year and Quick was coming back.

      SO here is your contradiction, you say Jets shouldn’t trade for a goalie cause Hellebuyck has played well and the injuries that have befalling the Jets.

      Well the Kings have been hit just as hard if not harder than the Jets have with (Quick, Kopitar, Garborik, McNabb, Andreoff) all missing considerable time. Add in the fact that Budaj has better numbers than Hellebuyck and you can see why I’m confused.

      So its interesting that you think LA desperately needed to trade for a goalie, but Jets don’t even though Budaj has outperformed Hellebuyck in every category imaginable.

  7. If a player waives his NMC to be traded is it also waived for the purpose of the expansion draft?

    Can players waive their NMC after the season and before the expansion draft?

    • They could potentially do so at any time if asked & they agree to it.

      • I believe no for the other part of your question. The NMC would move with the player. Lyle or someone else may have a better handle on this. There has certainly been some confusion as it relates to NTC’s nor do we have much reference point as comparables.

    • @GP first part is kinda a head scratcher in the NHL, because it depends on how it`s worded in his contract. For the most part it`s no, a player would have to waive the NMC separately for the expansion draft and they can do that. So in a nut shell, nobodies really 100% sure on the first part and the second part is a definite yes

  8. Colorado has yet to give Landeskog any PP time since he returned from injury which seems very odd.

    As we have discussed many times I don’t see Colorado moving any of it’s core. McKinnon, Duchene or Landeskog. Colorado is a bad team. I’m not sure what Freidman’s, Dreger’s, Fry’s or others expectations are for this roster. It’s 3rd & 4th line forward depth is brutal. It’s 4 thru 6 D spots being manned by kids or Dman no 1 else would employ & they can’t even ice 2 full scoring lines.

    Moving any of the core doesn’t make it better. Until significant upgrades are made to 5 to 7 players what you see is what you get. Colorado should be able to acquire at least 1 quality Dman before the expansion draft from 1 of the 5 or 6 teams confronted with losing 1 for nothing. Anaheim, Columbus, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, NYI or Winnipeg. Numerous others are confronted with losing a young Dman that hasn’t yet shown his NHL abilities.

    Nor is the UFA market barren. Frankly it’s pretty solid perhaps the best in almost a decade. Not for top flight guys they are rarely available anyway but in Markov, Wideman, Kulikov, Shattenkirk, Stone, Oduya, Streit, Daley, Franson, Russell, Alzner, Hainsey, etc. tons of legitimate NHL Dman that would easily be upgrades for Colorado over what they are icing now. Most will be signed by someone long before Colorado gets a chance to bid on them as UFA’s unless traded for prior but with expansion looming weird times.

    • All these guys you list, the best for the Avs (and in general) would be one you didn’t list – Radulov.

      Maybe Roy knew just a little something, after all.

      Don’t know if Bergeron is actually THAT dense, though, to let Radulov get to market.

      • though I get that you were listing D men.

      • Let’s see if Radulov can stay on the wagon through the playoffs. There will be immense pressure in Montreal to win, especially with the window closing on their current roster. Of course, an injury to Price and it won’t matter what any of the rest of them do.

      • Don’t think Bergevin has to worry about radulov he just doesn’t stop working, his work ethic was never the issue it was his off ice issues. He has been the best free agent signing this offseason

    • Striker, good list, but there is going to be stiff competition for those top four D that become available.

      Virtually every team we hear about in these pages is trying to upgrade their top four. I trust Lou is ready to transact, just a matter of being patient.

    • I’m not sure how much of a significant upgrade much of that list is on Weirchoch Zardov or Beauchimen maybe a little bit but not to the point of a dramatic difference you could swap maybe 1 or 2 pieces out but I doubt overall it makes a last place team a playoff team in a season and probably considering what some will want as UFAs I’m not sure Sakic cutting guys like Cody Franson Johnny Oduya or Striet and Markov their retirement fund checks is a great idea. lol I’m with Lyle on this one the Avs will probably need to make a trade to make a substantial difference to their blue line.

  9. More than a few sentences and never more than a paragraph, I won’t read it anyway…Who has the time….Colorado is screwed ! Maybe a couple of A+ prospects for Landeskog- Ho Sang and DeColle kind of thing and hope they hit on one.

    • Something doesn’t sit right there IMO. I’m not sure if it’s considering Ho Sang and DeColle both A+ prospects or the the thought of Landeskogs value not sure which but something seems odd.

  10. As was suggested a few weeks ago I can see a match between the Isles and Avs. The Isles need a winger for Tavares and have more D than they can protect. The Isles could move Pullock, De Haan, or Hickey (or perhaps two of them) along with picks and prospects in an attempt to get Duchesne or Landeskog. I could see the Isles moving their first which is looking like it will be high this year and one of their young forwards not named Barzal.