Updates on Duchene & Tavares – July 8, 2017
The latest speculation on Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene and New York Islanders captain John Tavares in your NHL rumor mill.
BSN DENVER: In a recent mailbag segment responding to a trade suggestion from a reader regarding Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, Adrian Dater said the problem with the Duchene trade scenario is he isn’t a marketable enough commodity to land a true blue-chip defense prospect. He points out the 26-year-old center is coming off a lousy season, hurting his trade value.
Dater notes the Avalanche want a “proven defenseman and more” in return. While interested teams know Duchene has talent, they have questions about his work ethic, plus they wonder if he sulks if he doesn’t like the coach or system, and why it seems he needs to play with good players to succeed, rather than elevating the play of others.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin lists the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings as possible fits for Duchene.
Larkin notes the Avs turned down the Blue Jackets offer of defenseman Ryan Murray as part of a return for Duchene. The Bruins might have to sacrifice “Brandon Carlo and/or Jakub Zboril”. They won’t part with promising young d-man Charlie McAvoy.
The Avs reportedly asked the Hurricanes for Noah Hanifin and were rebuffed. Larkin proposed the Penguins might have to part with rearguard Olli Maatta. As for the Kings, Larkin said they’re merely a suggestion on his part because Duchene’s the type of player they need.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs could ask for Seth Jones or Zach Werenski from the Jackets, and as Larkin observes, they’re not going anywhere. Columbus has depth in young forwards, but if Colorado general manager Joe Sakic insists on an established young top-four defenseman, there’s probably no deal there with Columbus. The Bruins are reportedly in the market for a winger to play alongside David Krejci, but I don’t think GM Don Sweeney is feeling pressure to swing a major deal here.
Hurricanes GM Ron Francis recently said he’s unwilling to part with assets for a player who could depart in a couple of years. That should rule out Duchene going to Carolina. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford pulled off big moves in the past (hello there, Phil Kessel) and he could have interest in Duchene, but I don’t believe he has sufficient available assets to make this move. Same goes for the Kings.
NEWSDAY: In a recent mailbag segment, Arthur Staple replied to a reader’s question regarding the New York Islanders’ contract talks with captain John Tavares. If a deal cannot be reached, Staple feels GM Garth Snow will have little choice but to trade him as they don’t want his situation being a distraction.
If this happens close to the trade deadline, Staple believes Snow “can ask for whatever he wants”, but thinks the response would be limited with only a few weeks to go in the regular season. If a deal goes down before the start of this season, Staple guesses the Isles could get “two A-level prospects, two draft picks (including one first-rounder) and a roster forward.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Staple points out, Tavares is taking the time to examine everything before deciding if he’ll commit to a long-term extension with the Isles. He wants to be certain about the direction of the club, the stability of the front office, possible plans for a new arena and so on. Tavares wants to play on a winner and he wants that team to be the Islanders, but he doesn’t want to invest the remainder of his playing prime to a club that isn’t willing to do everything it can to become a championship contender.