NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2017

by | Jan 14, 2017 | Rumors | 47 comments

Colorado Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog still dominate the NHL rumor mill.

Latest on the Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators & more in your NHL rumor mill.  

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s recent appearance on Edmonton’s 630 CHED discussing the plight of the struggling Colorado Avalanche. He said he hasn’t heard defenseman Tyson Barrie’s name mentioned in trade rumors. Considering the Avs need blueline help, trading Barrie wouldn’t address that problem.

He believes teams are interested in left wing Gabriel Landeskog and thinks the asking price for center Matt Duchene is higher. However, he can see a team that thinks it can win this year pursuing Duchene. 

NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough observes the Avalanche will have difficulty fixing their defense via trades, citing the high number of teams that are also in the market for young defensemen, the lack of available blueliners and the high cost that teams will set for them.

THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports the constant losing and trade speculation is getting to Duchene. Of late, he’s taken to ducking the media, perhaps tired of having to reply to the same questions about his future with the Avs. Despite the club’s struggles, Duchene tells Frei that there’s no lack of effort among his teammates. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s inevitable that the losing and the trade speculation will get to Duchene. Landeskog probably feels it too. So far, there’s no indication either guy wants out but it’s not something they have control over. Both players lack no-trade protection. Either one could be dealt this season if management gets an irresistible offer. But as Brough notes, finding a top-quality young defenseman via trade this season won’t be easy. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  Pat Hickey reports there will be speculation over what moves Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin might make leading up to the March 1 trade deadline. Hickey doesn’t rule out Bergevin pursuing a defenseman. He also notes Avalanche stars Landeskog and Duchene are available but wonders if Bergevin can afford the asking price for either guy. “Lots of teams will be asking for Mikhail Sergachev or a first-round draft pick and there won’t be many takers for (Tomas) Plekanec or David Desharnais,” writes Hickey. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene would be a great fit on the Habs, but they don’t have a top-level defenseman to part with to get him. I see Bergevin seeking an affordable rental blueliner at the deadline. And no, Bergevin won’t land a top star by packaging a fading veteran with an untested prospect and draft picks. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson agreed with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the Carolina Hurricanes would be a good trade partner for the Colorado Avalanche. The Hurricanes possess depth in good young forwards, while the Avs have forwards such as Landeskog and Duchene to dangle. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also believe the Avs and Hurricanes could make good trade partners, but it’s up to Carolina GM Ron Francis to decide if he wants to part with one of his top young blueliners for Landeskog or Duchene. We don’t know if Francis is interested in either guy. Maybe he’s got his eye on other targets. 

Matheson suggests the Edmonton Oilers ship defenseman Griffin Reinhart to the Ottawa Senators for winger Curtis Lazar. Both are former first-round draft picks who aren’t playing up to expectations. 

Matheson wonders if the Boston Bruins could convince captain Zdeno Chara to accept a trade this summer to the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and the rights to winger Valeri Nichushkin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t see that happening.  Matheson also noted Chara has a no-trade clause and probably doesn’t want to go anywhere. He’ll finish his contract, and likely his NHL career, next season with Boston. 

Teams are calling the Vancouver Canucks expressing interest in veteran winger Alex Burrows. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burrows has a no-trade clause. Canucks GM Jim Benning said he’s not asking his players carrying those clauses to waive them. Burrows must ask Benning to be dealt. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Bob McKenzie’s recent appearance on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing the St. Louis Blues’ goaltending. McKenzie believes the Blues are concerned over the decline of young starter Jake Allen this season. He feels they’ll keep an eye on the goalie market, though they must be careful on what they can afford and what they can give up.

McKenzie mused over the possibility of the Tampa Bay Lightning perhaps offering netminder Ben Bishop to the Blues for a defenseman, though the Lightning might opt to retain Bishop in hopes he can right their own struggling ship.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKenzie was only talking about a hypothetical move. He wasn’t saying the Blues and Lightning are talking trade. 

Bishop is a pending UFA and would be costly for the Blues to re-sign. I don’t think they want to part with a top-four defenseman to get him unless they decide to swap UFAs and send defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to Tampa Bay for Bishop. Seems the easiest thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. 

A few weeks ago, McKenzie’s colleague Darren Dreger suggested the Blues could be a good destination for Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. I dismissed the notion at the time, but Allen’s steady decline since then has changed my mind. However, as McKenzie points out, the Blues have over $60 million invested in 17 players for next season, and they must re-sign or replace pending UFAs Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrik Berglund, as well as re-sign young blueliner Colton Parayko.

Fleury is under contract for two more years at an annual cap hit of $5.75 million. The Pens need to move him or buy him out before the expansion draft in order to protect Matt Murray. They probably won’t set an expensive asking price. If the Blues are on his list of acceptable trade destinations, perhaps a deal could be made. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion continues to search for forward depth. With the pickings currently slim in the trade market, Dorion could also look to within for help. Veteran left wing Clarke MacArthur (concussion) could return to action by the end of this month.


  1. Will be interested to see this Sens team tonight as the Leafs take it to them in a home game on the road at Canadian Tire Centre. Not quite sure how they are as good as they are, but if players are outperforming they’d be wise to deal them while hot

    Good to see the trade errr rumour market heating up now.

    • as a Bruin fan I do NOT want to see a 3pt game. Lets Go Ontario!

  2. IF the Blues make a goalie move, who’s the best option—Bishop or Fleury?? Both have dealt with injuries.

    • I’d see what the Jets were thinking of doing with a guy like Pavelec or the Isles and bring back Halak before I go cutting down those trees yet if I was the Blues. I’m guessing they wouldn’t cost as much and I’m not sure they are that worse of an option. Seems like the Blues were burned making the bold flashy move for a goalie with Marty and Miller before and I wouldn’t want to make that mistake again. Amazing with some of the teams the Blues have had that they still have this issue.

      • The Blues supposedly have a couple good goalie prospects who aren’t yet ready (Husso, Copely, Binnington). Who knows if any of them are a long term solution?? I’d be ok with another try with Halak for the short term, I guess. Fleury only has a couple years left on his big contract though, so he might be an option. Bishop would need resigned to a BIG contract, which I don’t think would happen.

      • Ya that’s kinda my thinking on both Fluery and Bishop nvm the cost to acquire them keeping them is going to probably more expensive than they might be worth over the long term to the Blues Pavelec or Halak are much cheaper short term gambles if they stutter it’s either 1 year or no years, and could possibly be picked up for less. I’m not sure the Blues need a very expensive long term guy like Bishop maybe Allen is just off maybe the guys in the system work. I’m not throwing that kinda money at Fleury for the next 2 years after this for a playoff run never know what you’re getting there

      • Fleury is definitely Jeckle and Hyde when it comes to the playoffs.

  3. I have said since the beginning of the Duchene rumours that MTL does not have, nor are they willing to part with the assets to land a Matt Duchene. And as Lyle has pointed out, Plekanec, Juulsen and a 1st isn’t going to get it done.

    Of the UFA D available from Struggling teams, Dennis Seidenberg is the best bargain heading into the deadline at a cool 1-mil cap hit. Seidenberg, 34, has 13 points in 33 games and is a +17 on a struggling Islanders squad. He also boasts 50 hit and 69 shot blocks in 33 games. Bergevin could easily send either Ryan Johnston or Joel Hanley + a 2nd rounder to the Isles for Seidenberg.

    The other bargain basement blue-line rental is Patrick Wiercioch from Colorado. In 36 games he boasts 9 points, including 3 goals. his cap hit is only $800 K and is only 25 years old. Again, he can most likely be snagged for mid depth chart defenceman (Johnston, Hanley, Didier) and a 2nd rounder.

    As far as forwards are concerned, you could go Hanzal, but he’s unreliable at best. I would try and take advantage of Tampa Bay’s struggles and see if you can wiggle Brian Boyle out of them for a pick + a prospect. He’s a big man with a lower cap hit and numbers equal to Hanzal’s.

    • Bolts may over value Boyle a bit. They don’t need to get smaller or softer, not lose their best penalty killer & 10 goals. With a higher value in the Lightning scheme than in many others, hard to see anyone paying the asking price.

      • The Bolts are currently 13 points out of the wildcard it may be in Yzerman’s best interest to unload their best UFA trade chip and rebuild a little toward next year.

      • Bolts are 6 pts out of a wildcard spot, each played 44 games. They`re 4 pts behind Ott for 3rd. in the division, but Ott has 4 games in hand. I think it might be a little early yet to hit the panic button

      • Yes yogi, you are correct. My apologies, I misread the standings. In that case, I would much rather MTL go after UFA D depth for the playoff run…If they’re looking for UFA forwards maybe they’ll want to talk to DET about the availability of Thomas Vanek. Vanek is a UFA, and was lights out for MTL last deep playoff run (2014). Vanek won’t be cheap as he is one of DET’s top scorers. But he would add size and skill to MTL’s line up. Perhaps a deal can be struck between the 2 clubs. Something like: Vanek and Ott to MTL for De La Rose, Matteau, Fucale and a 1st.

      • You know Craig, if I`m Detroit I take that trade. I see it as Det has nothing to lose and it would help Mont. Whether any of those 3 prospects ever play any meaningful games for Det is one thing. Det would still have a late 1st rd in what is being described now as a thin draft.

      • Craig. But only 4 & 5 points back of Ottawa; 4 games in hand, & Boston; TB has a game in hand on Bos, in the Atlantic.

        TB isn’t pulling the plug. Lots of hockey to be played. The season is essentially only 1/2 over.

      • Sorry Craig someone picked it up. Hadn’t made it that far into the thread.

      • I think MTL would benefit from having Vanek back especially if you want to get past Columbus or Minnesota. What a story line it would make if Vanek were to face the team (Minnesota Wild) that bought him out, in the cup final. It would be an even better story if he was the guy who helped MTL beat them.

      • yikes…Columbus VS Minnisota final

    • Wait a second… you mean teams aren’t rushing to the phone to trade for Thomas Plekanic or David Desharnais? Or a prospect who’s about 4 players down on the teams farm chart or a 1st round pick that will likely be towards the end of the round in a draft that looks much worse talent-wise then last years?

      News to me! LOL

  4. After awhile it does start to be come a little bit comical to hear the Dorian continues to search… and all the different ways of hearing the Sens can’t really make a deal. I don’t mean it as a slight at all, really I like the Sens, just the way Garrioch makes it sound like Dorion is on an expedition in the Andes mountains searching for Shangri La.
    After the past 4 months I picture him pulling himself up a snowy mountain with a frozen beard…keep looking Pierre you will find your forward! Stay tuned tomorrow to see Dorion cross a desert barefoot (walks past a unicorn un flinching) in search of his mythical forward.

    • Dorion couldn’t find his butt with a GPA unit.

      • lol wonder how many hours he spends in the parking lot in search of his car…think he just walks around kicking tires till he comes across it?

      • Melnyk OK’d his elevation to the GM role simply because he willingly became Charlie McCarthy to his Edgar Bergen – in other words he would parrot Eugene’s lofty annual promises of “doing what it takes to bring a championship to Ottawa.” Empty rhetoric that sounds good to the gullible but, judging by the empty seats lately, has fallen on a lot of deaf ears of the not-so-gullible. Having said that, the place will be packed tonight thanks to Leafs fans in the area now clamoring back on the bandwagon.

      • There’s room for 1 more George.

        *pats seat*

        Honestly with the off week I got messed up and forgot they were in Ottawa tonight until yesterday still debating on going but last minute I know I’m likely looking at 250 300 bucks for me the wife at the Canadian Tire centre and not sure I want to do it. Shoulda got my tickets last week. Could have had great seats for half that lol.

      • George the way you talk, I would think Ottawa was at the bottom of the standing, really they are fighting it out with Toronto for second in the division. Yes I know Boston there but considering only 1pt ahead and 5 more games played i’m giving 2nd place to Ottawa by default and 3rd to Toronto. So if the fans can’t support a winning team, what can they support?

      • I’m with you Caper. I look at winning % more than standings points. Granted you have to win those games in hand but a better indicator of ranking in the standings. Especially with 3 point games.

      • I get the Ire of fans against what’s going on on Ottawa. They’re being fed the melnyk lie that the team will do whatever it needs to compete as melnyk just pulls the purse strings ever tighter. Doesn’t just have repercussions for the team now, but who knows how stars like karlsson are viewing this and their next contract. He’s already voiced his displeasure before. If you have to point to one thing throughout the organization that’s been impeding them from truly competing it’s the way Melnyk has handcuffed them. The dollar in dollar out has left dorion looking for bargains and people wonder why Timmy Murray left. I don’t blame Dorion.
        The assets are there to go after a Lando or duch but it won’t happen.

        Fans have kept their buts out of seats because they are fed up at how the team is being run and melnyk better wise up because hell be loosing more money by his lack of commitment

      • Exactly my thoughts BrokenHip. They may appear to be in a good position now, but the way this team is structured I see them as no better than a bubble team. And I just wish Garrioch and Dorion would stop talking about MacArthur as if HE may be the answer to their search for more Top 6 scoring. Hell, the guy hasn’t played a meaningful game in well over a year and is one solid hit from the dribble room. Can they be THAT stupid to think he is even remotely in the picture? I feel for the guy, but let’s be realistic here – MacArthur is done – he just won’t admit it yet.

      • Exactly George. Right now getting mac back would equate to getting a 3rd liner at best but with no certainty of how many games he can play. It’s just lip service from booboo and Dorion. It’s almost a non-factor. It also doesn’t really address the need he team has for a top line LW.
        But that’s the handcuffs right there.

  5. Let’s assume Pittsburgh does trade MAF what is a realistic return, can they still get a 2nd Rd pick or if they keep some money on his contract do you think Pitt could get a 1st Rd pick

    • Honestlyi dont see a 1st for maf. If he was playing good then yeah. But if he was playing that good then i doubt the pens would move him. They would take the risk of losing him to vegas. As it stands now id think best would be a 2nd. But with the cap creating all kinds of problems for so many teams and so many bad contracts. The pens are hoping to create cap space but i would think theyd have to take a bad deal back. So i believe their best bet is to make a deal with mcphee on the side to leave murray alone. Or do what i would and trade murray before they find out he’s not what they thought.

    • 2nd rounder or decent (but not organizational top 3) prospect and a backup goalie.

  6. Here is my totally made up trade that will never happen, but kind of tell you what I think. From St.Louis Stastny, Perron, Allen and a 1st to Boston for Krejci, Spooner, Chara and Rask. St.louis gets their number 1 goalie, a number 1 center 3rd line center and a dman to help develop Parayko also makes them a cup contender. Boston get Cap space in a couple of years, much cheaper goalie. 3 Bruins have nmc so they would have to agree. to waive. Chara cap is only 4m next year. The first would help balance because Statsny and Perron only have a year left, where as the b boys have lots and lots and lots of term and dollars left.

    • Boom! Now that’s a rebuild. lol, Blues then go on to be eliminated in the first round and their window slams shut forever with a team of unmovable contracts and Boston goes all in on the lottery with 100 bucks of 649 tickets.

      • The only “unmovable” contracts would be Rask or Krejci… which would run counter to the whole trade that took place because those players were moved lol.

        Also, Chara only has another year left and at a reasonable cap. Spooner would have to be resigned in offseason by the Blues and assuming it’s a fair contract… that would be movable in the future if needed.

    • Yikes St. Louis might have a little problem trying to fit the 22 mill under the cap this year, even with players gone to Boston. Never mind the expansion draft disaster that would come next. Don`t even think you could pull that one off on PS4. Take Chara out of the mix and St. Louis might be interested

  7. The Sabres should try to jump in on the front for landing either or both Landeskog and Duchene. Buffalo has a good relationship in dealing with Colorado.

    To BUF: Duchene + Landeskog
    To COL: A.Nylander + Bogosian + Kane + 2017 1st Rounder

    • Yikes this is terrible. trade ya a top line for a draft pick a glass figurine if a D man a set a handcuffs and a lil bit of fingers crossed.

    • The Avs best player plus their 24 yr old captain and best two way player, both on great deals, for Buffalo’s 2 biggest disappointments and a high prospect not living up to expectations and a 1st?

      Yeah , I’m sure Sakic will be all over that

    • Not a chance. We need defense. Nylander is not being traded. Kane should stay in Buffalo.

  8. Things should get interesting leading up to the deadline and then to the expansion draft. There’s some good players on the market but it seems that most of the teams that are buyers either don’t have much cap room or lack the prospect depth to get a major deal done which means gms will have to get creative. But I do see alot of deals happening as teams prepare for the expansion

  9. I like the idea of Duchene & Landeskog together as a package. That would be a deal. What could potentially come back would have a lot of choices and negotiation. Probably giving “Burnaby Joe “a headache these days

  10. Random question for Bruins fans…is a left handed Brendan Gallagher a good comp for Frank Vatrano? I’ve only seen him play a few times.

    Regarding the Blues and Fleury, I had heard that the Penguins were waiting for a few teams to realize they need upgrades to be real contenders and it was implied that the Blues were one of the teams they were thinking of…but I’m sure how that deal would work. It would seem that the Blues would have to get rid of Allen to make it happen, but I don’t see the Pens wanting him, unless the Blues could eat half of his cap hit…which I doubt they want to do.

    Is there a team that would want Allen?

    • I’m afraid that Allen’s $4 million (plus) salary for extended years will send a lot of teams away=No Thanks! The only thing might be to package him with Shattenkirk and Jaskin for a bigger “prize”?!

    • MG,

      Tough question cause as a Bruins fan I haven’t seen Gallagher that often except when they play the B’s. I will say though that Frank Vatrano is a player with quite a bit of talent. He definitely has an eye for the net and can be goalies clean with his shot. Issue is he wasn’t healthy this year and has only played 12 games.

      He’s also only getting about 14 min TOI per game. Krejci is getting about 18 min per game… I’d like Julien to give Vatrano 16-17 min per game. Also, would like to see him play 90% of a full season and in that top 6 roll to judge what type of player he is currently.

      That obviously won’t happen because Julien shuffles the lines more than a Las Vegas blackjack table…

  11. Cody McLeod goal and a scrap with Iginla on way to Gordie Howe hat trick in debut in Nashville.Grit of Iginla could bode well for Oilers or Flames to come calling?Oilers week on right side and after Draisaitl very little talent aside from gritty Kassian.Eberle will be an off season move as a $6,000,000 salary tough to move unless a chance taken by a desperate team like the islanders or jets want to rid selves of a bad contract as well?

  12. I certainly don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities that the Bruins eventually move Chara. Simply from the standpoint that Chara’s career is coming to a close. I would think he wants to raise the cup again before he retires or at least has that opportunity to make a run at it.

    That opportunity is no longer on the Bruins this season nor will it be next. His contract next year has a $4m cap hit. It’s doable for a lot of teams. He has shown us this year that he’s still capable of playing in a top pairing role. Even on a Stanley Cup contender he’d be a great 2nd pairing defenseman. Give him a little less minutes per game. That’s the type of dman that would put you over the edge for a cup run. Fitting that they don’t burn him out.

    Also, I could see Chara waiving his NMC to go to a cup contender. Either this year or in the offseason for a final run next year. The Bruins can always resign him so that he can retire a Bruin if that is what he ultimately desires.

  13. Burrows?

    Hopefully no one is that stupid. The guy was already a wash up last season.