Updates on Duchene, Kovalchuk & Kruger – July 4, 2017

by | Jul 4, 2017 | Rumors | 97 comments

Are the Boston Bruins pursuing Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene?

Latest speculation on Matt Duchene, Ilya Kovalchuk and Marcus Kruger in your NHL rumor mill. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty cites a recent report from Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch noting the Boston Bruins recently had talks with the Colorado Avalanche regarding center Matt Duchene. “Assumption is 20-year-old Brandon Carolo would be key piece leaving Boston,” wrote Portzline.

Haggerty notes Carlo was linked to Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog last season but the Bruins’ weren’t willing to part with the promising young blueliner.

He doesn’t believe the Bruins should risk mortgaging their future by sending Carlo to the Avs for Duchene. “If anything, Boston should be pushing a package that includes (Ryan) Spooner as a cheaper roster replacement for Duchene, and a prospect like Zboril who could be part of Colorado’s core group moving forward.”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports it’s unlikely the Carolina Hurricanes will part with one of their good young defensemen to land someone “who has two years left and then he can walk away.” He points out that describes Duchene, whose contract ($6 million annual cap hit) runs through 2018-19. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t see the Bruins parting with Carlo for anyone. I also don’t see the Avs agreeing to accept a package like the one suggested by Haggerty. It’s believed they want an established young top-four defenseman, which explains why they’d likely want Carlo from the Bruins.

For some time, I felt the Hurricanes could be a good destination for Duchene because of their depth in young rearguards. Francis’ comments, however, spikes that notion.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports the ongoing offseason plans of Devils GM Ray Shero could hinge upon whether Ilya Kovalchuk is ready to return to the NHL. It’s believed the Kovalchuk camp is working on a sign-and-trade situation where the Devils sign the left wing and then ship him to a new club. The Devils could peddle him for a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot. 

Gross said the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks were reportedly interested in Kovalchuk. He also speculates the Montreal Canadiens could kick the tires after losing Alexander Radulov to free agency. It’s believed the winger prefers staying in the New York/New Jersey area, fueling speculation he could join the Rangers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero recently told NHL.com he doesn’t expect the Kovalchuk situation to drag on for long. We could see a resolution to this by the end of the week. The Jackets were very interested in him but that could depend upon what happens with their efforts to acquire Duchene from Colorado.

The Rangers have about $8.3 million in cap space and must re-sign RFA forwards Mike Zibanejad and Jesper Fast. They also don’t have any top-four right-handed defensemen to spare. The Blackhawks are bumping against the salary cap ceiling so I doubt they can afford him. 

CANES COUNTRY: cites NHL.com’s Brian Hedger fully expecting the Vegas Golden Knights to soon move recently-acquired center Marcus Kruger, though he’s unsure of the destination. The Athletic’s Craig Custance said he wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up with the Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If we take Hurricanes GM Ron Francis at his word, he won’t part with a good young defenseman for someone like Kruger, who’s signed through 2018-19.



  1. Habs need to add to their top 6. Ideally a Center but not looking like that is achievable this offseason. Kovalchuk would be interesting add but Devils would have to accept not getting a RH dman out of the Habs.

    I believe Kovalchuk plays LW? Then Galchenyuk and Drouin would move over to center and RW.

    Max Danualt Drouin
    Kovalchuk Galchenyuk Gallagher

    Offer Kovalchuk 2 years 6.25M and offer Devils a 2nd and Jacob de LaRose.

    Also, resign MArkov. 1 yr 6M or 2 yr 5M.

    • I expect kovy will cost more.

      • Salary and/or trade assets?

      • kovy will be at least 5 per year… closer to 6 and while only certain teams will be on his list there will likely be enough for a bidding war… I expect kovy will cost a good prospect and a pick or a 1st. jackets are a good match… milano and a 2nd if kovy was two years, just milano if 1 year deal.

      • Kovi sticking with the KHL

    • Radulov also offered good size up front along with Patches, which now the Habs are lacking once again. Losing Galchenyuk would even make them smaller and he would be massive overpayment for an aging winger that already bolted to the KHL once.

      Hemsky is not a bad gamble as he can be productive when healthy(in 2005)

    • not a chance give markov 3 million 2 year only other wise walk .he will not get a better deal at 38 years old we want to win the cup not support old hockey players . this is a business to win the cup . for get kolvechuk go for jagr and yukapov if galyanchuk and yuk spark like in sarnia we have a great line in them two million for both 1 mill each go 1.5 for jagr

  2. Just trade Duchene to the Penguins and be done with this……

    • pens dont have the pieces unless they move dumo or maatta that they leave themselves woefully thin on d.

      • Bhrisms….They do have the pieces and yes i would trade Oli Matta he is number #5 on the depth chart behind Letang, Dumolin, Schultz and Cole Rudewhel played great in the bottom pairing young and resigned they would have to add a depth defense man or two

        I also do like your idea about Marcus Kruger although he ain’t that cheap. He has a bonus in his contract for this season he will be at $4.028 million this year (hence why Chicago dumped him) and then his salary goes down to $2.3 next year.

        Also heard Jordan Stahl back to Pittsburgh Carolina retaining %30 of his salary not sure what goes back to carolina…. Rutherford Francis have dealt before.. so?

      • Maatta has passed Cole on the depth chart. He is a top 4 young developing Dman on this team. Bu the playoffs he was playing almost 2 mins more per game than Cole & only 23 in August. Pit isn’t moving this player.

      • Wrong black n gold. Maatta hasn’t been passed and ruhwedel played decent but he is not a permanent member of the top 6 for a cup team. Kruger had his bonus paid out hence the wait to trade him to Vegas. And why would car hold almost 2 mil for 6 years? Nowhere near cap.

    • Would love to see Duchene in Pittsburgh but I don’t think it will happen. If the Pens were going to move Maatta in a package for him they would have had to have resigned Daley or brought in another UFA dman on top of Hunwick. And not much left out there now.

      What about Duchene to the Oilers? They can afford his cap hit for the next 2 years and if he succeeds in Edmonton he’s probably likely to resign when his contract is up. He can play 2nd line centre and they can keep Draisaitl with McDavid. Plus have those 3 together on the first PP. could have Lucic and Strome as his wingers. Would trading Darnell Nurse be too steep though? The Avalanche won’t want Sekera or Russell. Larson and Klefbom are off limits in a Duchene deal so that leaves Nurse.

      Nurse/2nd rounder in 2018 for
      If that happens it does create a big hole on the blue line though and most UFA dmen are already signed. Oilers could trade for Jason Demers but not sure who they would give up.

      • nurse 1st rounder and roster player for him. maybe they would take nuge!

      • The Oilers have already made way too many mistakes up front through the draft. No way the current management team trades for a forward who mirrors the type they are trading away. Oh wait! Strome for Eberle! Hey, this might happen.

      • Easy there big boy Chrisms….you may be right about the bonus but Matta is number # 5 he isnt better than cole Schultz dumolin letang…your dreaming if you think he is…



      • Why pass on Bonino at 4 to have Duchene making 6 plus on the 3rd line? I don’t see Staal or Duchene being a fit due to their cap hits. Maybe Carolina is willing to take a hit on Staal,!but I seriously doubt Sakic is taking a hit on Duchene. But even if he does that expires next year. I’m sure Duchene will want a bump from his 6 next year.

      • Oooops. 2 years. I keep thinking he’s an Ufa next year.

      • I don’t see Carolina moving Staal. They just signed Williams as a UFA & traded for Darling, TvR & Kruger.

        Carolina is a playoff team next year in the East.

        I don’t know who thinks these rumors up but why would Carolina move 1 of the best tier 2 2 way centers in the league & retain salary to boot?

      • Duchene can & has played LW. Most may want him as a C but some as a LW. If Bos has interest I assume it’s to play LW with Krejci. Similiar to Backes being brought in to play RW playing some C as injures dictate & certainly helping in the faceoff circle much like how say a SJ uses Pavelski as a RW but he & Thornton both taking draws on their strong sides.

      • Striker, that part makes sense, but I need to ask you as a fellow B’s fan; do you trade Carlo for Duchene straight up?

      • ny. Reason is both players are much better than bonino, malkin Crosby will miss at least 20 plus games hurt, pens role three lines so either would likely play with kessel, dusch can play wing, and pp time for dusch or kill time for staal. It works with pens style it just would be hard to accommodate salary wise and asset wise to obtain

      • I’m a little confused. I agree and I think anybody would Duchene is a much better player than Bonino. But you don’t like Stepan at 6.5 as a first line center , mid 50 point player, that sees high quality competition, plays pp, pk, any situation , but like Duchene at 6 per low 50s point production on a primary role as a 3rd liner? Staal same or worse numbers _@ 6 per? Same 3rd line roll? Not to beat a dead horse, but your reasoning is a little off to me.

      • And Duchene has put up these numbers primarily in a top 6 role. I guess you could argue a drop or raise in production, but I’d say a drop is more realistic because of the minutes Crosby and Mallon play.

      • ***Malkin*** if there’s any justice in the world Stepan gets traded to Pittsburgh!

      • in that case stepan would be awesome!


        the reasoning is staal is actually a good defensive centerman, all advanced stats show stepan was anything but. duschene the thinking is he is either gonna center kessel or wing malkin or crosby and get to a 70 + point level.

        and staal at 6 mil for the role pens wold trade for him isnt a good deal. overpaid for what he would do, even if he did it well.

      • Lol, lay out those comparisons! Please. I’d love to slice them apart

      • Staal was on a team that didn’t make the playoffs, ditto Duchene,,,, cmon, he is Arizona now time to drop that homer bias! Stepan is above and beyond either guy you’re creaming ur pants over! In EVERY category,,,,, other than faceoff %

      • Ray Bark.

        You should know me well enough that I don’t move that quality of D for almost anyone unless confronted with no choice.

        I would give up 1 of the prospect D not Carlo or McAvoy & a 1st. Would even be open to adding Spooner.

        No to Carlo for Duchene even if he had longer term. I do like Duchene though.

      • You know… I don’t seem to be the one who even brought mr Stepan into the convo at all… I’m not going to all the fancy stat sites to relook up crap I seen before. Call it a cop out if you want. if it’s a you win you can have it. he was traded imo for far more than I thought he was worth. Nyfolizzy wins.stepan was worth the 7th overall pick. Who knew.

      • thought so Striker, just checking!

      • Lol. Stepan isn’t worth 6.5 as a 1st line center, but Duchene is worth 6 as a 3rd line center….. see how dim that looks? Probably not! Lmao! Bias, homerism? Nah black and yellow, black and yellow! Lmao!

      • HOMER!

      • Total cop out, because there isn’t one damn stat other than face off % that will even come close to supporting any of the bs you spew! Zero! Stop homer…. stop!

      • Crosby sucks!!!! Just because I say he does! I have Zero back up, zero credibility, but Kruger is better! Because I say so ! Crosby so sucks! Lmao!

  3. I could see Kruger in pitt. is he is a cheap acquisition.

    The boston stuff is very typical. only d man that would likely beat other teams offers would be a carlo/mcalvoy/krug… not established b prospects like zboril. But it also makes sense to not move those pieces with chara aging out and the value of young top 4 d. something would have to give for a deal.

    • Sounds like Krueger is heading to the hurricanes

      • If Duchene had 4yrs left on his contract I would consider moving Carlo. The fun stuff for me is Carlo had a strong rookie season playing beside Chara. If Carlo played in the AH last season with the same talent he be refused in a trade. My point being Zboril name keeps getting throwing around like he’s a 1st round bust.
        Jakub is a left shot defenseman, something by the way the Bruins are looking for, and is still a solid prospect. He can skate, shoot, hit and play soild in his own zone. The knock on him isn’t his talent, it’s his attitude, that he doesn’t always showup and can be selfish. If Zboril can mature and be more consistent, he will be a better all round defenseman then Carlo.
        I understand you must give up something to get something, but after two years would Duchene still be a bruin. Zboril has not played an NHL game is a top prospect also a commodity that the organization is in need of Left side dman, who should not be moved unless your convinced he won’t mature like Tyler Seguin.

      • the two year thing is odd to me… the only teams that should be concerned are av’s, jersey, knights, maybe yotes and nucks. every other team should be thinking cup possibilities in the next two years. In bostons case I would give up the farm but they have depth in d prospects, and are a reasonably talented team.. duschene would vault them up a couple pegs, especially in a weak atlantic. two years! is a hell of lot of hockey and time.

      • wouldnt

      • Two years is two years, could Boston make it to the finals, sure they could. They have a solid core and good prospects.
        We are talking about 20yr old defenseman who generally have longer careers then forwards. I’m not giving them up for a two year guy unless I think that guy can bring us the cup, not just advancing a round.
        In two years when he vaults your watching a stud dman in another organization that use to be yours just two years ago. Not worth the gamble.

      • Charas last years. Berg hitting his peak. Backes getting older… I’ve seen it before… hell lived it before… the long game becomes more important than the ultimate goal. 2 years isn’t a deadline rental. A lot can happen in two years. Could you lose a good player? Sure. But a piece that vaults the team to the team to beat in the Atlantic? No team won the cup without taking risks. As George is very fond of saying… a team less favored got within one double ot goal of the finals. Not saying Boston should trade carlo for duschene but the “two year” thing should be irrelevant if the team feels they are a contender whatsoever.

      • Kind of agree with Caper on this one, but I get your point Chrisms. With Caper as I don’t believe Duchene makes them a real contender this year. Unless it is part of a larger plan. The B’s D core is not good enough with Carlo let alone without him. They have plenty of young unproven, but talented D men in their system but their best D man “today” is 40, which tells you what you need to know. The #1 position of strength for the B’s for “today” is center. Why trade for another one unless you have another move in you pocket that moves out either Krecji or Backes to address their D for today.
        If they are going to make a short term move it should be for LD.
        If it was me I move either RD of Miller (played LD in the playoffs) or McQuaid to get the LD to round out the top 6 on the blue line and find another scoring winger. Ease Debrusk in in the bottom 6 until he proves it at the NHL level.

      • Krueger went to the canes it’s done

      • It’s confirmed – he’s with the Hurricanes for a 2018 5th round pick. Yakupoov has also found a home – in Colorado – one year $875,000. Last kick at the can for Nail.

        what’s weird about the Kruger deal is, we still don’t know what the “future considerations” are to go to the Hawks!

      • Chrism, if I take your point of view, the two year window. Then the question becomes does Boston have a better chance with Duchene in the lineup and Carlo out? I’m not sure the answer that question is a yes and more likely then not in year two.

      • That is fair caper. I just don’t get the only two year thing in general. If you are moving futures and players for dusch now it’s because you want to compete now. Two years is two shots at the ultimate goal. And no telling he doesn’t resign after that.

      • The Atlantic won’t be that weak next season. Carolina & Buffalo will be significanlty better with the additions they have made. Bos & Tor’s rebuilds with Carolina & Buffalo’s will be another year in & do you expect TB to bounce back?

      • Striker… care to try again?

    • Pens won´t pay 3m/y for a 3rd line center who brings zero offense to the table…

    • Dejan Kovacevic heavily hinting that a Kruger to the Canes deal could free up Jordan Staal to be traded AND that the Canes need to move his contract.

      • its a lot for a 3rd line center but if they cleared hags salary they might be able to pull it off. course Dejan is a baseball guy and has always been ho hum with hockey coverage.

      • If the canes Bring in Kruger, and trade Staal they’d be about 2 million under the cap floor? Not sure why they’d have to move him?

      • Carolina is not moving Staal, Kruger cant do what Staal does for Carolina. As Nyr4life stated, they have no reason to move Staal.

    • I guess Pit couldn’t spare the 5th round pick Carolina paid.

  4. Kovalchuk is not a center and do not see a place on the Rangers. Islanders makes more sense.

    Unless the Rangers flip DeAngelo+ to the Devils for Santini(righty D version of BrendanSmith) and Kovalchuk.

    • I don’t see DeAngelos value anywhere near that. He’d be a former 1st rounder on his 4th team since being drafted.

      • I agree and added the +. Wishful thinking for the righty Santini from NJ who plays with an edge.
        With Shattenkirk, DeAngelo and Day the Rangers have potentially three offensive minded D on the right side soon.

        I am also not sure Holden or Staal are better than Klein. Klein has lost the favor of AV 200%

      • Klein was terrible last year. I take Holden and Staal over him all day. ( I just wish Staal cap number was reversed with Kleins) He’s retiring from injury which explains why he had a major fall off the cliff last year.. Day should be 100% untouchable. I don’t think there is a reasonable trade out there I consider moving him or Skjei.

      • I feel Day is untouchable at this stage

      • I think his frame is NHL ready, but probably should be brought along slowly for a year or two. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a shot this year, but I’d rather he be eased into his role. Depending on his development, he could very well make Mcdonagh expendable in the near future, possibly right in time for Mcdonaghs re-up which will more than likely be pretty expensive. However I wouldn’t mind seeing Mcdonagh, Skjei, Day, as the top 3, along with Shattenkirk, Smith maybe Deangelo / Or Graves. Now if they could just find a way to get Staal out the door!

      • I heard a rumor and Jordan Stahl misses the Burgh and Rutherford and Francis have dealt before…there is a Pittsburgh Carolina connection..it opens up the way to go after Duchense for Carolina if they move Jordan Stahl..

    • Devil’s ain’t flipping Santini anywhere unless the return is phenomenal. One of the very few D prospects that actually looks like will pan out in the system.

  5. If Capfriendly is correct, Ny will have around 11.3 million when Klein officially retires. I think Fast and Zbad will cost 6-7.5 combined leaving 4-5 in cap space.I think the interest in Kovalchuk is one sided.
    Ny has a couple of good young D-prospects, left and right handed but I don’t think I’d sell either for Kovalchuks services.

  6. I wouldn’t move Carlo for Duchene either. Duchene is a better player sure but looking at salary and the future Carlo is better long term.
    Only way I move him is if Landeskog comes with Duchene in a bigger deal with Colorado taking back salary to make the numbers work.
    Carlo,Vatrano,Spooner,Belesky,Debrusk or Synshyn and a first.
    Colorado retain about one million on each player.

  7. Kruger for a 5th. I want to assume some of these prices are handshake deals harkening back to the draft. Tvr and Kruger for a 2nd and 5th makes more sense…? Mcfee did a good job of getting futures in the expansion draft but then turns around and flubs the flips? It’s not adding up unless there is something going on behind scenes

    • I agree. I think that the deal was made prior to Carolina signing Justin Williams.

  8. Everybody knows what Ray Shero wants. It’s very simple he needs a top 4 D, doesn’t matter left or right, and he will flip Kovalchuk.

    I think with Chicago something could be worked out if we took back a heavy contract to help facilitate a deal. It wouldn’t come cheap but it could benefit both teams. CLB also makes sense.

    • chicago doesnt have a d to move. nash, clbs, canes make some sense.

  9. “Colorado Avalanche‏ Verified account @Avalanche 23 minutes ago

    We have signed Nail Yakupov!”

    I’m confused by the exclamation point…

    • Hey … he’s a former 1st overall pick don’t you know. Joe probably looks at it as a major coup.

      • I think it’s pretty exciting! Maybe he “just needs a change of scenery ” from his last “change of scenery” and if it doesn’t work out in Colorado maybe they flip him for another team that just thinks he needs a “change of scenery “?

      • Stick to your own team there Georgie!

      • Ooh. Gee. Mea culpa. I didn’t know we were all confined to just commenting on “our teams.” Better inform Striker.

      • Lyle as well. He’s a Montreal fan I believe? I think he should change this entire site to all things Montreal!

      • Well Nyr4Life, you’ve now got an ex-Hab in David Desharnais – one year $1 mil

      • Speaking of “maybe a change of scenery” – LOL

      • 1 year $875,000 how do they go wrong. He’ll probably get more ice time in Colorado then he got in Edmonton or St.Louis if he can win a spot. What do they have to lose knowing they will be bottom feeders this season. Talk to the kid rebuild his confidence if it doesn’t work he’s gone the next season. They get lucky or they have an ahler for a season.

      • Eh. 4th line duty and see where it goes. Not a lot of other options for NY on that area, it’s a far cry from what he was making! Zero risk for a team that is in transition.

      • At best Yakupov is a 3rd line winger even in Colorado next year but that & 2nd line PP time & perhaps he can get his career on some form of track.

        Andrighetto, McKinnon, Rantanen.
        Landeskog, Duchene/Compher, Jost.
        Wilson, Soderberg/Compher, Yakupov.
        Comeau, Colborne/Soderberg, Neito.

        Depending upon what happens with Duchene. It’s not good but it’s way better that what they started with last season.

        That 1st line played well in the dozen or so games they got together. Andrighetto didn’t just start there but once put together it clicked well.

      • Hockey83, you’re right the risk is low financially, and COL is reaching. There is risk, and that is Yak continues to play the way he always has. He has not been able to read the play and react properly within the system the way he has been coached. He either won’t or he can’t. Either way it leads to problems with the team if he is given quality ice time as other players resent it if another player will play the right way and is not given the opportunity. Which leads to dysfunction. Just what COL needs more of.
        I believe he simply can’t process the game, as by all accounts here in EDM, he tried, but couldn’t.
        I will set the over/under at 40 games played this year in the NHL.

      • The guy is a turd, you can’t polish a turd! Can we move on now ?

  10. Im not saying its going to happen but Francis played in Pittsburgh..Rutherford was the GM in carolina there is a connection there and i think Francis wants Duchense bad Stahl loves Pittsburgh

    • Seems maybe you love staal?

      • Hahahaha

      • Actually Stahl is solid rather have duchense just relaying a story that i heard from my friends back in Pittsburgh where i grew up that’s all Chrisms

  11. Well i hope that next season will be end sooner than later… the only thing which i want to know is, if the Canadiens will have more points then Colorado last season or less?

    • So far, It seems like MB has sent the Canadians reeling on a feeling that seriously went awry.

      • I believe this is the last 2 years for Bergevin, and after that rebuild.

  12. Does MB called RF and give a mid pick and prospect to get Staal to come to Canada? He is a legitimate center and still can contribute offensively…..his style would pair well with Patches……. and Gally can continue his role as developing #2 center. Gives MB another year to see what Gally can do.

    • Well if Staal can play in the 3rd/4th line then probably yes. If 1st/2nd them definitely not.
      He has no idea how make trades, who to trade or sign, and what we need. It is what it is, but said thing, season in Montreal is done before even it start

    • Speaking out of turn here, being a Toronto fan, but there’s no way Marc Bergevin can stop now. If the current Montreal roster remains unchanged, the Habs will be giving every other team a big head start to the season. And Bergevin might be job-hunting.

      • To be honest, he should start looking for a new job., unless he will add 2-3 big pieces. Otherwise Montreal and Bergevin are done.
        In my opinion, Canadiens won’t make the play offs this year

  13. Wow Colorado is really going for the lottery pick. First Bernier and now Yakupov. Expect the former to get many starts and the latter to get top line minutes. This team has the right name as they are really going down hill! Hate to be in charge of pushing that crazy carpet back up the hill.

  14. “Hey Sakic….this is Gorton over here in New York….I heard you are piling up on former first rounders…(heehee)…..I have this STUD of former 1st rd Dman who is cost controlled for you….Would you like Staal? I’d give him to you reluctantly (heehee) for eh let’s say Zadarov and the rights to Butcher or even just Butch…either or…..?…..How does that sound Joe??”

    • Sure you eat 1/2 his salary for the remainder of his term & throw in a 1st then I might be able to accommodate you.