NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2017
Latest on Matt Duchene, Thomas Vanek and J.T. Miller in your NHL Rumor Mill.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren believes it’s time for the Ottawa Senators to seriously consider pursuing Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. He cites the loss of left wing Clarke MacArthur (concussion) for the season and the consideration of captain Erik Karlsson’s long-term future with the Senators as reasons for general manager Pierre Dorion to look at acquiring Duchene before the March 1 trade deadline.
Warren acknowledges the asking price could be expensive. The Avalanche will want a piece of the Senators’ current blueline and a healthy piece of their future, which could involve promising prospects Thomas Chabot and Colin White. Duchene, however, could be worth it, He can play center or left wing, is in his playing prime and could provide a significant boost to the Senators offense. Warren admits the asking price could prove too high, but it’s worth looking into.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene was linked to the Senators last season, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Dorion’s revisited that interest. It would certainly be a bold move, but the Sens have surprised in the recent past with the Dion Phaneuf and Bobby Ryan trades.
The Sens are currently in good shape in the standings. While Dorion is reportedly shopping for a forward, he’s under no real pressure to make a big move right now. He can afford to be patient over the next five weeks. I suspect he’d prefer a rental player for now and perhaps look at bigger options, such as Duchene, in the offseason.
TVA SPORTS: Dave Morrissette notes Detroit Red Wings left wing Thomas Vanek could be available at the March 1 trade deadline. He wonders if Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin might bring him back for a second go-around with the Habs at the trade deadline. Three years ago, Bergevin acquired Vanek from the New York Islanders at the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While anything’s possible, Vanek didn’t do much for the Canadiens in the 2014 playoffs to make him worth bringing back for another go.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks doesn’t want the New York Rangers to use forward J.T. Miller as trade bait to address the hole on the right side of their blueline. He believes Miller would have to be part of a package to bring in someone like St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but Miller’s versatility and offensive skills have proven invaluable in helping the Rangers cope with injuries to their forward lines this season. If the Rangers are to pursue Shattenkirk with the intent of signing him to an expensive new contract, Brooks believes it’s best to wait until free agency, rather than give away vital depth at forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers can afford to see how things play out leading up to the trade deadline. If they do make a move for someone like Shattenkirk, it could indeed cost them someone like Miller. Perhaps management will look at cheaper short-term options at the deadline and then try to land Shattenkirk this summer.