NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2017

by | Jul 12, 2017 | Rumors | 43 comments

Trading Matt Duchene could be the Avalanche’s best bet to land a quality defenseman.

Updates on the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton examines the sad state of the Colorado Avalanche defense. They currently have only three seasoned NHL blueliners in Erik Johnson (575 games), Tyson Barrie (338) and Mark Barberio (193) under contract for 2017-18. Promising Nikita Zadorov could head for the KHL if he and the Avs fail to reach agreement on a new contract.

Clinton observes the best option for bolstering the defense is trading center Matt Duchene. While the Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins have assets to help the Avs and were linked to Duchene in trade rumors, nothing’s come of it so far. 

Free agent options include Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya, Dennis Wideman and Roman Polak. Clinton suggests Cody Franson is the most intriguing, as he has offensive skills, can play second-pairing minutes and can run a power play. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as general manager Joe Sakic keeps the asking price high for Duchene (young, established top-four NHL defenseman, first-round pick, top prospect and maybe more), interested clubs will be reluctant to deal with him. The Avs have over $12 million in cap space and could easily afford any of those rearguards listed by Clinton on affordable one-year deals. That could depend, of course, on whether Sakic can find someone willing to pony up for Duchene. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports on the sticky contract negotiations between the Red Wings and restricted free agent winger Tomas Tatar, who has an arbitration hearing slated for July 20. She suggests the Wings could be better off signing Tatar to a one-year deal, evaluate his performance in 2017-18 and attempt to re-sign him to a long-term deal. If Tatar rejects that option, she recommends dealing him at the trade deadline for picks and/or prospects. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tatar recently hinted that he could be playing his final season with the Wings if he ends up getting a one-year contract via arbitration. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out leading up to July 20. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: Washington Capitals correspondents Jill Sorenson, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir believe the club should avoid the trade market to address their roster needs. Sorenson believes they should give their younger players a shot. If a need for a trade arises it might be best to wait until the trade deadline to make a move. El-Bashir and Regan agree, noting the Caps lack the depth in assets to spare. If a trade for a defenseman becomes necessary, Regan suggests waiting until a rival club to have issues in goal and perhaps shop backup Philipp Grubauer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grubauer’s name surfaced in the rumor mill leading up to the expansion draft but that chatter has since died off. With only around $4 million in salary-cap space, there’s not much wiggle room to bring in a quality blueliner via free agency. 



  1. A couple of things can be construed from this on-going soap opera with Duchene:

    either Joe Sakic is a psychic gambler who KNOWS someone is going to cave in and come up with exactly what he’s been demanding before the season starts (in which case I wouldn’t want to get in a poker match with him); OR

    he hasn’t yet grasped the reality that there is no other GM stupid enough to mortgage his (and his team’s) future to relinquish those kinds of assets, and that consequently his team may be headed towards the ultimate disaster of actually finishing behind an expansion team.

    • Actually the avs right now are a much better team than they were last season. Addition by subtraction. With beauch, tyutin, weircoish and a few other useless plugs gone and giving their young players a shot and adding yak and Wilson, they are already better, younger and faster than they were last year.

    • I would go with the latter.

    • I will say what I always say. Don’t trade Duchene, never made sense to me, as he approaches UFA status if he can’t be resigned then sure. Keep him unless you get an offer to good to refuse. Colorado will be significantly better next season. Better is still going to be bad but not Vegas bad, just worse than everyone else.

      I’d say about 65 to 70 points scoring 40+ more goals than last season.

      • Sorry that could be misconstrued.

        That’s Colorado getting 65 to 70 points in the standings & scoring 40+ more goals for not Duchene, although I see him bouncing back to career norms.

      • Duchesne a goner …. Especially now the way Colorado has kept him in the trade block for 2-3 seasons straight I think he’s fed up of that circus of a team . Plain and simple Sakic loved him as a player but as a GM he’s way over his head . Colorado needs to build from goaltending then defence and then offence they have young good talent on offence so now build goaltending .. Sakic keeps asking for a dman where he should be asking is for a young goaltender and then a decent young dman. I honestly would call up Montreal and ask for Lindgern and Fucale or McNiven especially that Price is there for 8 years , Plus I’d ask for a 1st round pick, plus V.Mete and Galleghar FOR Duchesne Montreal are so desperate for a Centre that they would pay that price … Colorado will have a great goaltending dual for the future and Galleghar is a spark plug plus a first and V.Mete is coming up the ranks as a very good dman that scores . And Montreal gets that elusive centre plus their goaltending is settled for 8 years they don’t need all those kids… I’d personally trade Price and keep Lindgern and Fucale and McNiven and get a lot for Price that would set up Montreal for years to come but Montreal don’t have the B*LLS to do it.

      • Frank; not only that, but Price’s trade value now is low – not many teams can or want 10,5m in caphit for one goalie. No one is going to pay big for him now – at 7,5-8,5 then maybe!

      • Well Striker from the sounds of it Sakic thinks there is no offer good enough to accept. Duchene is going nowhere soon.

      • Adoe: Yeah the Habs overpaid for Price. But he could still be the missing piece for a team aspiring to the Cup. Provided of course that Mtl would take up a big salary in return.

      • What are you talking about Frank? Duchene had only been on the block for half a season. Landeskog was for most of that time as well. But just because they were on the block doesn’t mean anything. They don’t have to be traded.

  2. Pens don’t have the assets unless Sakic took a flyer on pouliot or Cole… which they shouldn’t.

    • Maatta and 1st round pick plus Sheary

      • For someone who slots into a 3rd line spot and a UFA is two years at 6 million? No Thanks!

      • Is Barrie coming back as well? Cause pens can’t move a d unless they get one back somewhere. Cole is not a top 4 though he is a damn solid bottom guy. Hunwick is a stretch at a 6 guy. Ruhwedal will drown as a regular top 6. I’d offer col pouliot hags sprong. When col says no I’d walk away.

  3. Tomas Tatar is unhappy with the negotiations. If he gets a 1 year deal from arbitration he says it’s his last contract with the wings. Although he was leading goal scorer last year I would deal him for what I can get. He is a Jiri Hudler 2.0.

    • If I’m Tatar I want out of Detroit. His deployment under Blashill has been brutal. It was better last season than in year 1 with Blashill but I take the 1 year arbitration award & go play some where my skill set is more appreciated as a UFA.

      Hudler has had a good NHL career playing 708 regular season games, scoring 164 goals, 264 assists & 428 points. In his 2nd season in the NHL he was a significant contributor in their Cup victory scoring 5 goals & 14 points in 22 games, he did so playing under 12 mins a game!

      He made over 25 mil in salary in his NHL career. I think he can retire from the NHL happy.

      • Tatar has essentially been a 20 goal scorer every year of his career. In his 1st 4 full seasons in the league he has scored 19 goals in 73 games, 29 in 82, 21 in 81 & 25 in 82, that’s good for 34th for NHL forwards over that timeline. He has scored 99 goals in 345 NHL regular season games played.

        20 goal scorers don’t grow on tree’s especially 1’s that don’t see 1st line PP time. At least last season he saw 0:03 PP TOI/GP than Abdelkader. Tatar was 7th for PP TOI/GP in Det last season, 8th in 2015-16, 8th in 2014-15 & so on.

        Does he have warts? Who doesn’t.

      • Striker I would agree with most of what you said. However Tatar like Nyquist and Franzen before disappear when it matters. Sure he may have scored 20 goals but you get 5 in October, 4 in December so on and so on. Blashill has deployed him terribly but that is however because of how streaky he is. The season he won the cup was with a great team and line mates. Now Detroit is asking he be that “guy” and he can’t be! From what you saying he made his money so hes good? punch the clock and go home?

      • I hear you. He really leaves you wanting. Not soft specifically but watching him live his mental game isn’t great.

        What does Detroit have to replace him with though? I love Abdelkader’s game but should he get better quality & quantity of minutes than Tatar?

      • That’s where it is tricky… But I would like to Athanisou log more minutes however I hear he ‘s lazy and defensively lax. Mantha would be my pick to replace Tatar. He has the goal scoring pedigree and the size to boot. Even the kid they drafted Michael Rasmussen, although hes a few years away could slot in earlier than normal 8 years (haha) in Grand Rapids. Let’s face it Detroit isn’t in a position to contend weak goaltending, even weaker and aging D corps and mediocre scoring. They really need a quality rebuild! Trade Nyquist, Tatar, Green this year and build up around the rest.

      • I should have finished that with let’s see what we have in Svechnikov, Lorito, Frk, Callahan, Bertuzzi, Aubry, Jensen and Hicketts.

        Coming off a Calder Cup win we can see what they can do at the next level.

        You can tell I’m very passionate about the Wings and don’t want to go to an empty Little Caesars Arena, although I might be! Haha

  4. Did you see Duchene at the worlds he looks like the shell of the same player he was. Playing with elite talent he sucked don’t count on much of a rebound.

    • No, who watches those games?

      I did watch him in the World Cup though he played great on Canada’s 4th line with O’Reilly & Thornton although they produced as it’s #2.

      I am counting on a bounce back. Colorado was a terrible team last season, like historically bad. Very easy team to check, that won’t be as easy to check this season. I have him hitting his career average of 20 to 25 goals, 55 to 60 points in Colorado. If moved depending upon where he goes he could be better or worse.

      1 season doesn’t define a player. Here are his career #’s. 572 games played, 174 goals, 244 assists for 418 points. He was a stud in the faceoff circle last season leading the league with 62.6% FOW% on 1098 draws, 2015-16 tied for 3rd with 57.9%.

      This is a very good hockey player who played for a terrible team & everyone’s #’s in Colorado reflected that. Bednar was in over his head but had little to nothing to work with.

  5. Would love to see Tatar on Eichel’s wing in Buffalo.

    • I would think it depends on the quality of the young top 4 Dman, how high the 1st round pick is & what type of prospect.

      What I do know is Duchene is 1 year older than Johansen, he was drafted 3rd overall the season prior, Johansen went 4th overall the following year. Duchene’s goals per game average is .304 to .233 & points per game .730 to .665 both higher than Johansen’s. Has Johansen ever been selected to play for a Canadian Olympic team? World Cup Team? Canada’s best men’s teams.

      Colorado isn’t just giving this player away for nothing. I have never beard Duchene come out & say he is unhappy, nor have I heard Sakic say he is unhappy. This is a business, Colorado owns this asset for 2 more years & they need to do what’s best for them.

      This isn’t a distraction, once the puck drops players play. See Drouin, Kane, Kane, etc. This sin’t the 1st time a player has been in this situation nor will it be the last. When the right trade comes along he will be traded. That maybe tomorrow it may be as he approaches the trade deadline in his final year of his contract or some where in between. Who really cares? I don’t I like him in Colorao but moving him makes sense if the right deal exists, if not he stays, if he wants to sulk them trading him is even more difficult. His attitude & performance are as important as anything in his being moved.

      • Totally agree with you. Everyone is acting like he demanded a trade. There’s really not much pressure to move him, except from the media and fans of other teams.

    • He said Tatar, not Duchene. We get that you love Duchene though.

      • It posted to the wrong thread. I have no love for Duchene, I’m just stating the facts. You can’t judge a player on 1 bad year playing on such a bad team.

      • It was for Danny. Post below.

  6. I don’t like the idea of just holding on to Duchene. If he is unhappy, any your team is terrible, it’s hard to imagine that scenario getting better, and his value goes down as his remaining years gets shorter. I am not saying they should take a losing deal, but the package being reported is just insane. A 20-something established top 4 defender plus a prospect plus a first isn’t ever happening.

    I think Sakic should focus on getting full value, but forget about putting restrictions on the types of assets. Nashville would love to pull off that trade, why is Colorado only interested if they get Ellis or Ekholm? Those players are fantastic, but don’t really fit Colorado’s needs during the terms of their current contracts.

    Nashville does have Keven Fiala, Alex Carrier, Tremin, Kamenev, Saros all considered very good prospects all around 20 with some development behind them, and Fiala and Carrier likely ready to be full-time NHLers next year.

    Sulking players aren’t great to keep around a team looking to build on youth, and playing him while he looks disinterested doesn’t net you much more than a couple of points to make your lottery percentage a little worse.

    I also am a little puzzled why the Landeskog rumors completely evaporated. Not that I think it’s the same, but he was talked about quite extensively as well, but this summer those rumors seem to have disappeared. I don’t have an opinion on it, just wondering if anyone heard or is aware of why that would have happened to the extent it did.

  7. Hey guys!! I read the articals lyle posts everyday plus all the comments you guys make. I just dont comment much. Just curious if anyone has heard anything on the leon driasital contract situation? What might be the hold up is it term or value ? Both ? I know lawton said the avs and edm were talking a draistail deal but I heard chirilli squased that notion and he would be signed. Im just very suprised he isnt yet. Hopeing you knolwegable gents might be able to shed some light on that if you have read anything about it . Thanks guys

    • It has to be a pretty tough negotiation. Draisaitl has all the talent to be a bonafide superstar in the NHL. He just isn’t yet. So do they pay the player he is now? Do they pay for what he could potentially be(the Malkin to McDavids Crosby?) Do they bridge him for now only to have to break the bank in 2-3 years because he’s playing at such a high level? More questions than answers at this point and that is probably a big reason why it’s taking so long. It will get done and it will be soon. However the end result might be a little shocking. If I had to guess I would say he’s coming away with a 7-8 year deal at about 10 mill per. That locks up their 2 key guys for almost a decade and keeps them in the playoffs for that time. I also would bet that he’s going to become the 2C sooner than later. Especially if Puljujarvi can pull it together. But I am no george so it could very different.

      • Hell, you ain’t even a striker.

      • He was the 8th highest scoring forward in the NHL last year, doesn’t that qualify for superstar status? & only 2.5 years into his NHL career. I think it’s pretty safe to assume what Draisaitl is going to be.

      • Deeeeee, agree with most of what you said until the 10 mil part. Draisaitl, is and will be an allstar for a long time. But I just can’t see him getting 10 for 8 years. If the Oil want to buy some UFA years and go the full 8 years, a good over under would be $8M AAV. The comparing of McDavid’s contract was inevitable and seems to be the cause of such debate here in Edmonton, but sorry Leon, he isn’t in McDavids class. Scoring title, Hart and Lindsey after his first full season is rare, and McDavid is.

  8. Yeah I agree with everything you say I dont see his deal that bad in the long run its going to sting between him and mcdavid for a bit. Hopefully the cap keeps rising. Or its going to be tough to hang in to guys like maroon who im sure will be getting a substantial raise from the 1.5mil (not 100% on the $) hes making now. Altbough I belive a player like him can easily be replaced

    • Easily? It isn’t like 6′ 3″ 230-lb wingers who can give you 27 goals for $1.5 mil grow on trees! The problem with that thought process is that, by paying 25-30% of your cap on 2 players, you are constantly searching about for players who can contribute like that (and provide so “edge” as he does) for $1.5.

      • They can when they play with mcdavid maroon isnt a 5 mil a yr player his stats are inflated due to playing with mcdavid it isnt a coincidence that he had his best season of his career while playing on that line. And any one on a top line thay plays all season should be putting more points up then maroon. Dont get me wrong I love the guy I do but there will be many cheaper options that can replicate those numbers or beat them I wouldnt give him more then 3.5 per sorry but thats what he is worth he doesnt put those numbers up any where else maybe in Pittsburgh thats it

      • Riding shot gun with McDavid will get you plenty of goals, but ya George not 6’3″ package that will also have McDavid’s back. I think Maroon is smart enough to know this is a great gig for him. Everyone wants the $$, but if he is smart he will be reasonable about this. It’s not like Maroon is going to drive a line as he is not exactly fleet of foot, he is a big guy with good hands for a big guy. Also reads the play well. Complimentary player though.

  9. I think my words may be getting mixed up here. As im agreeing with each of you. The production that we get for 1.5 mil is off the charts one of the best bargins in the nhl. What im saying is what he is probably going to be demanding after this n3xt season he can be and probably will be replaced maybe the word easily shouldnt have been used.

    • Agree 100% Oil4life. Maroon is a great team mate to boot. $3M seems pretty reasonable. I would like to think that most GM’s understand they won’t get that same type of offence if Maroon isn’t paired with a great center. Hope he stays for a reasonable #.

  10. Ray I also agree with you on what leon will be paid im hoping its around 8 per he doesnt desrve more the crosby or kane thats forsure. Not yet anyways

  11. Enough of the Duschene saga..
    Sakic needs to delegate his duties , as Leafs did….
    Hiring Lamerello ..

    More interesting and more realistic curiosity ?!?!

    Who is the Leafs vision , as far as adding a very key piece to their future succcess, as in win now mode …

    I am referring to a top 2 defense man …..
    Any thoughts!!!
    We all know it’s inevitable