Post-NHL Trade Deadline Rumor Roundup – March 2, 2017
Find out why Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Jaroslav Halak, Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata weren’t moved on deadline day.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Bruce Garrioch believes the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes were interested in Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. None, however, were willing to pay the Avs’ high asking price. He claims plenty of teams kicked tires on Duchene and teammate Gabriel Landeskog but Avs GM Joe Sakic wouldn’t budge. One of them could be moved in the offseason.
NBC SPORTS: TSN insider Bob McKenzie also noted Sakic wasn’t under any pressure to move Duchene or Landeskog at the deadline. He also linked Duchene to the Habs, Isles and Canes. The Avs know if they wait for the offseason there’ll be a lot more interest in those two players.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports Snow wasn’t interested in the weak market for rental players and was pursuing bigger fish, such as Duchene or Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt anyone’s surprised that Duchene or Landeskog stayed put. Sakic made it very clear he wasn’t lowering his prices for those two before the deadline. As McKenzie pointed out, playoff contenders like the Habs and Isles weren’t willing to blow up their rosters to grab either guy. The Canes aren’t contenders, but I think GM Ron Francis just doesn’t want to overpay for Duchene. One of those Avalanche forwards – perhaps both – could be dealt by the NHL draft in late-June.The Isles, Habs, Sens and Canes could revisit their interest around then.
Garrioch believes the Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins may have had interest in New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak at the deadline. The Isles needed to get a goalie back in order to expose one at the NHL expansion draft in June. Halak’s $4.5 million cap hit for next season was also a sticking point.
CALGARY HERALD: Eric Francis reports Flames GM Brad Treliving denied he was shopping for a goalie leading up to the trade deadline. “The idea that we were really active in the goalie market really wasn’t real,” he said. “We wanted to strengthen the defence in front of them.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Isles might find a taker for Halak before the expansion draft via trade. Most likely, however, they’ll expose him in that draft and then either shop him or buy him out afterward.
Garrioch reports the Florida Panthers looked into acquiring Arizona Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata before they dealt for Detroit’s Thomas Vanek.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports the Coyotes sought either a second-round pick or a top prospect for Vrbata. They could re-sign the pending UFA this summer. Coyotes GM John Chayka said he didn’t receive any calls about winger Shane Doan, who wasn’t surprised by the lack of interest. “Not a big market for a 40-year-old, fourth liner who only wants to go to a contender,” he said, laughing, adding that he never sought a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You get the sense that Chayka really didn’t want to part with Vrbata, who’s played very well since returning to the Coyotes this season. Of course, if someone was willing to meet his asking price it would’ve been a different story. Sure, he could’ve moved Vrbata and then try to bring him back as a UFA, but I think Chayka prefers keeping him for the rest of the season to have more time to negotiate a new contract with the winger.