NHL Rumor Mill – June 9, 2017

by | Jun 9, 2017 | Rumors | 39 comments

Would Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene be a good fit with the Anaheim Ducks?

Updates on Matt Duchene, Alex Galchenyuk, Jordan Eberle and many more in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s appearance yesterday on Edmonton’s 630 CHED where he mused over possible trade destinations for Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene.

When asked about the possibility of the Avs shipping Duchene to the Montreal Canadiens for Alex Galchenyuk, Friedman said he believes it’s more than likely the Habs will try to trade Galchenyuk though it’s not 100 percent he’ll be moved. He also suggested the Ottawa Senators as a possible destination for Duchene, noting they have prior interest in the Avs forward.

Darren Dreger appeared on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 to discuss what the Anaheim Ducks could seek in return for defenseman Sami Vatanen. “Matt Duchene is going to get traded – at least that’s my view – in this off-season. Is Matt Duchene what the Anaheim Ducks are looking for? Probably not, but you never know.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene for Galchenyuk seems to make the most sense if the Avs and Habs wish to move those players. It remains to be seen, of course, if those clubs are willing to make that move. The Senators had interest in Duchene two years ago, but after their surprising playoff run this year, they might have other plans in mind.

The Ducks have sufficient depth at center. While Duchene can skate on the wing, I don’t think his $6 million cap hit is a fit in Anaheim unless the Avs are willing to pick up a healthy chunk of it. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Friedman also appeared on NHL Network yesterday discussing possible moves by the Minnesota Wild. With the Wild carrying limited salary-cap space and facing the loss of a good player via the upcoming expansion draft, they could make a move.

Friedman believes it’s possible Nino Niederreiter or Mikael Granlund could be dealt. Both are restricted free agents this summer and Friedman notes Niederreiter’s name came up in the rumor mill earlier this spring. He also believes they don’t want to leave winger Jason Zucker exposed in the draft.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Wild senior VP of hockey operations Brent Flahr admitted his club has spoken to other clubs, but his team is hoping to work something out with the Vegas Golden Knights regarding the expansion draft. He suggested it’s doubtful the Wild makes a major move before June 21. While the club could be forced to choose between exposing Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba or Marco Scandella in the draft, Flahr indicated that it might be better to lose a player that way rather than make a bad trade.

It’s also believed the Wild have spoken to the Dallas Stars regarding the third-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Nill seeks a defenseman in return. Flahr dismissed the notion of that trade becoming a reality for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has said he’s “all ears” regarding offseason trade offers, but Flahr’s remarks suggest they’re not going to make a move just for the sake of not losing a player to Vegas for nothing. I still wouldn’t rule out a possible move by the Wild if they get a decent return that’s exempt from the expansion draft. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples agrees with TSN’s Dustin Nielson’s suggestion that the Vegas Golden Knights could be the best destination for Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle. In this scenario, the Oilers ship Eberle to the Knights for a defenseman they select in the expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Knights certainly have the cap space to take on Eberle’s $6 million annual salary through 2018-19. It’s an interesting theory, but Golden Knights GM George McPhee has forewarned not to expect his club to be a dumping ground for clubs carrying a contract they want to get rid of. If he sticks by that, you won’t see Eberle skating for Vegas next season. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Hine wonders if the Blackhawks recent signing of Czech defenseman Jan Ruutta means they’re preparing to move blueliner Trevor van Riemsdyk. There was speculation last week claiming the Hawks were working on a deal in which van Riemsdyk and center Marcus Kruger could end up with the Vegas Golden Knights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carrying over $77 million in salary-cap payroll for 2017-18, the Blackhawks must shed salary this summer. Moving out Kruger and van Riemsdyk would free up over $3 million in cap space. Signing Ruutta certainly seems like they’re laying the groundwork for moving out van Riemsdyk. Whether he and Kruger end up in Vegas remains to be seen. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: J.J. Regan casts doubt on recent speculation suggesting the Washington Capitals could trade goaltender Philipp Grubauer rather than possibly lose him for nothing to the Vegas Golden Knights. “If Washington trades Grubauer, that means they will lose someone else. If given the choice between losing a top-four defenseman, a productive forward or a backup goalie who likely does not factor into the team’s future, losing Grubauer may actually be a small price to pay.”



  1. It would seem to reason that the Avs need help on their blueline – what about with the CBJ, for, say, Murray, Milano and a high pick?

  2. Would rather keep Galchenyuk over Duchene thanks. Nevermind the cap hit, but it’s not like there’s some huge difference in point production and surely last year Duchene laid an egg in +/-.

    • One of many eggs laid by the entire Avalanche team so he wasn’t alone in that. But I agree – the last thing the Habs need is yet another smurf up front.

      • I always find the smurf comment to be a hilarious one! Look who is 1 game away from winning the cup? A team full of so called “smurfs!” If your not in the know look at the size of the penguins players (which in some cases seems a little generous) they are made up of lots of small guys with heart and skill. Size doesn’t win hockey games. Skill, determination and hard work win hockey games.

      • Those smurfs… hey George? Who’s that I spy with my little eye leading the rough n tough Stanley cup playoffs in goalies?

      • Goals… jeeesh

      • Chrisms,

        Nashville is leading in goalies (used) HAHA

      • I didn’t see one second of game yesterday ?

      • All you needed to see is the first 91 seconds. It was all over then.

        Expect Nashville to bounce back and force a game 7 on home ice

      • What is a smurf now? Duchene is 5’11” 195 lbs.

        I smurf for me is significantly smaller.

        Duchene had a brutal year. He’s a top 3 bounce back candidate. How did everyone like E. Staal’s season in Minnesota. I assume most had written him off. Or how about J. Schultz. Who we debated here endlessly.

      • shultzy regressing back to mean these playoffs but he is in a bigger role than he should be. should put a cap on his salary for next season as he is at best a second pairing d man.

    • you are looking at bare stats. Duchene is a much better 200 foot forward. Galchenyuk isn’t going to be a 1C anytime soon, there is a reason why multiple coaches play him on the wing

      • Ppl forget that before the injury he was a point per game player and the last half of the yr before he was one of the top point producers

    • Because he plays for the avs… duchene is a better player and if you wouldn’t take that you’re out of your mind

  3. Las Vegas may want to tread lightly when it comes to dealings around picking/not picking a certain player. They can’t/shouldn’t become too greedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Gm’s help each other out for future favors. Does anyone remember the trades that would have only “Future Considerations” heading the other way?

    • Yeah. It’s an interesting debate… for some people.

  4. McPhee is no dummy – and it wouldn’t surprise me if, based on previous experiences, there are still some GMs to whom he wouldn’t offer a glass of water in the Sahara even if he owned a reservoir, so any dealings with those teams will only be made if he thinks to overwhelmingly favors the Golden Knights.

  5. I doubt Ottawa is still interested in Duchene – but I do think the guy Dorion would love to see in Ottawa is Landeskog – a big LW with mean streak.

  6. June 21 – July 2 activity is going to better than at any time in league history. Leading up to that, this website will experience the same. No shortage of speculation and possibilities.

  7. Yeah I not sure how much of an upgrade Duchene is over Galchenyuk long term. From offensive point of view I think they can/will put up similiar numbers. Also, Avs will be looking for Galchenyuk +.

    On the Wild, I can see them having too many good players exposed at both D and F. So likely easier for them to work a deal with Vegas on who they select as oppose to making a trade and still losing a quality asset.

    • Duchene for Galchenyuk is a lateral move, neither team improves or gets worse. So why bother?

  8. I have an idea! How about all of the players that seem to have potential and need a change of scenery get to go to Vegas! No cap rules apply for one year! Duchene, Kane (Evander), Galchenyuk, Eberle, Elliott et al. That would be a real “gamble” wouldn’t it? If anybody can squeeze something out of these guys Gallant and Kelly can!

  9. Is there a rule that prevent a team that can’t protect a defenseman and a team that can’t protect a forward to swap these players before the expansion draft. And re-do the same trade right after the draft ?
    Just for fun say Crosby for Subban june 15th…Followed by Subban for Crosby june 25th !!!!

    • Such moves are forbidden under the CBA, so it’s unlikely they’ll be allowed for the expansion draft.

    • Not allowed.

    • That kind of stuff only happen in the Q where a player once wound up being traded for himself!

  10. why would Vegas help a division rival by taking Eberle who need to resign McDavid and Draisaitl? Eberle is soft as butter and ties up 6M in cap space….. McPhee would be insane to do that unless Edmonton is including a first round pick

    he’s already said he’s all about building a team and not being a dumping ground for bad contracts

    • I agree bill neftleberg! I don’t why everybody expects McPhee to go out of his way to ice a loser! In fact, I would argue that he has been given the opportunity to ice as good an expansion team as possible. I don’t think this team is going to be an easy two points next year for most teams! McPhee knows what he is doing.

  11. I would hate to see a Chucky for Duchene trade, especially if it would be Chucky +. The Habs need a #1 center in the worst way but Duchene is not a #1, a great #2 maybe. They need to move into the top 10 at the draft, there are a few interesting centers who would fit nicely as our #1, maybe not this year, but next.
    If they want a #2, go hard after Hanzel.
    It just makes me nervous to think MB is at the controls this summer, he will F..k up somehow.

    • dont know… according to some his stats are about on par with legit number one centers.

  12. Dylan Strome would be a perfect fit for the Habs.

  13. If I’m vegas I’m looking for picks and prospects with only a few bad contracts/vets. They get top three pick this year and next year now add solid goaltending and vets and in 3-4 years they challenge for a playoff spot. They are essentially a rebuild if you factor in what they will actually get, so I’m sure they know that. They do have to hit the floor of the cap so I can see a few bad contracts but it will cost who ever wants to get rid of them.

    • Sorry 6th pick this year

      • Very wise

  14. Duchene is a much better player then Galchenyuk. He is easily a number one center/winger. Playing for the worse team in the league doesn’t help your stock or your motivation. Any team that trades for him will extend his contract, a great term would be a year or two bridge contract for 4-5 mill, and worse case scenario he only does become a 2nd liner, only overpaid for a year

    • Duchene has already had his bridge deal. If you believe he is a better player than Chucky, why in the world would he sign for 4-4.5 for 2yrs??? He will be looking for 7-8 for 7-8 yrs. Chucky will sign for around 6 for 5 yrs, what Duchene is making now.

  15. Ghost signed for 6 years @ 4.5M AAV. Reasonable value for very good offensive production

  16. When Galchenyuk was drafted I thought he was the best pick in the draft. Last year he got around 30 goals. Not bad but Duschene is a better player right now but in five years who knows. That draft year had Forsberg, Trouba, Lindholm, Dumba, and Reilly who have now passed him.

    The comment about Bergeron is out of line. He signed Radulov and traded for Shaw. Probably had the best off season of any GM? I am a Leaf fan so no homer estimating here. Now hopefully he can resign Radulov?

  17. Vegas had to have a team that doesn’t get blown out every night.
    Probably can bank on a trap team for the next 3-4 years.
    While they might get some half decent d men, their forwards will be a collection of 9-12 regular players. Their draft pick is two years away. It’s all sunshine right now, let’s see when they lose 3 out of every 4-5 games and see how much enthusiasm the city of Vegas has for this team.