Latest Avalanche and Jets Speculation – August 12, 2017

by | Aug 12, 2017 | Rumors | 36 comments

Could Matt Duchene be dealt to the Buffalo Sabres?

Latest on Matt Duchene and a look at the contract status of Jets head coach Paul Maurice in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS: Chris Nichols cites TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger’s Friday appearance on Buffalo’s WGR 550 discussing forward Matt Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche. Asked about the possibility of Duchene being dealt to the Sabres, Dreger didn’t dismiss the possibility, suggesting the 26-year-old might consider any option at this point.

Dreger thinks Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson, remains persistent in his belief the best move for his client is to get a deal done. He also wonders if perhaps the Duchene camp might stage a holdout from training camp next month to force the issue, though he’s not suggesting that will be the case. 

NHL.COM: During his preview of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the upcoming season, Craig Merz noted their unsuccessful pursuit of Duchene earlier this summer. GM Jarmo Kekalainen told Merz if a player becomes available that could help the Jackets, they’ll consider the short- and long-term options. “We’re not going to sell all our assets to try and get better for this year or the next little while. We have to keep our long-term options in mind,” said Kekalainen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kekalainen’s comments are similar to those made last month by Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis. While the Avs rumored high asking price for Duchene is considered the biggest stumbling block in trade talks, his contract could also be a factor. If he had three years or more remaining on his deal perhaps clubs would be more willing to pay up for his services.

It’ll be interesting to see what Duchene does if he hasn’t been dealt when the Avs open training camp next month. So far, there’s no indication from his side suggesting he won’t report if he’s not moved by then.

As for Duchene to the Sabres, I don’t see them as a fit. It’s believed the Avs wants a young, established top-four defenseman as part of the return. Rasmus Ristolainen fits that description but the Sabres obviously aren’t parting with him. I doubt the Avs will have interest in oft-injured Zach Bogosian and the Sabres certainly won’t part with recently-acquired Marco Scandella. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Paul Wiecek wonders why the Jets haven’t re-signed head coach Paul Maurice to a contract extension. His current deal runs through 2017-18. At the season-ending press conference, Maurice said his usual contract talks take about 10 minutes while GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said he had full confidence in his coach.

With no word yet from the Jets on the subject, Wiecek speculates over the reasons behind the delay. It could be Maurice wants more money or term than the club is willing to give. Another could be he lacks confidence in the Jets’ goaltending. Wiecek said he’d heard rumors for months claiming Maurice was unhappy with the club’s lousy netminding and wanted to see what moves they’d make this summer to address the issue before committing to a new contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wiecek also notes the two sides might already have a deal worked out and could announce it before the season opens. If the rumors are true and Maurice isn’t happy with the Jets’ goaltending, he probably won’t consider this summer’s signing of free agent Steve Mason to be an upgrade. If Maurice hasn’t re-signed by the start of training camp, his long-term future with the club will become fodder for the rumor mill. 



  1. I love the word “fodder”. Thanks for using it today Lyle.

    • You’re welcome. Tune in tomorrow when I consult my thesaurus for another interesting word…;)

  2. Rumors are like fires. No one ever admits to starting them, but before you know it they’re out of control.

  3. Paul Maurice is overrated. Maybe the Jets GM is waiting to see how Mauraice does this year, not the other way around? Jets have so much talent, but besides the goaltending issue, the team has had a discipline issue (too many penalties) going back to their Thrashers days, and Maurice hasn’t improved that

    • MikeP, the above makes it sound that Maurice has done a great job and the Jets would be lost without him. I believe he’s the reason the Jets didn’t make the playoffs. As I’ve stated here several times. The jets organization is on record for saying they “didn’t want to coach the skill out of the players.” during the last 20 games last season Maurice came out and said “the boys are spending to much time at the Buffet.” meaning they were not coming back to their own zone and not helping out their d.
      The Jets were one of the top offense (7th and 2nd in the west) in the league and one of the worst defense (4th most goals allowed), the PK wasn’t good (26th) and PP (18th). You could look at them numbers and say the goaltending was terrible and you wouldn’t be wrong; however it isn’t as simple as that. PK, PP and defensive game is a lot to with coaching. This team has a mind set of skill going forward not backwards, hence the “Buffet” reference and you know what happens when you have to much to eat, you generally get tired and don’t want to move.
      This is a big year for the Jets and Paul Maurice, he need to now clamp down and get more commitment from his players to play a better defensive system. If Mark Scheifele wanted to be one of the top c in the league maybe he needs to be more committed to the d zone. But this all starts with the coach, hard to tell them go forward and then after doing that for 80% of the games start telling them they need to spend more tell helping out in their own end. This is a big season for Paul Maurice, if there is no playoffs then there should be no contract extension. This team has to much talent not to be a playoff team.

      • Who is Winnipeg beating to make the playoffs?

        Many feel Dallas had the best off season, yes they did well acquiring Hanzal, Methot & Bishop but making the playoffs in either conference is no easy feat anymore.

        Parity is alive & well, the new lottery rules have eliminated tanking it as we watched Edm, Buf, Tor & a few others do in the modern era under the old lottery rules. I would have done the same thing, if your going to be bad, you may as well have done everything possible under the old lottery rules to guarantee solid odds of selecting 1st overall.

        Carolina’s acquisitions of Williams, Kruger, TvR & Darling may be the best off season moves for me. I have Carolina as a playoff team in the East as constructed now. Dallas’s were good but really with the exception of Hanzal, the other 2 were serious holes in their roster that needed filling & getting the often injured Hanzal doesn’t make sense to me, it pushes Spezza to the wing?

        Winnipeg is going to need everything to go almost perfectly to do so. They are right there with about 6 teams fighting for 2 spots but no easy feat. Do you see any of the West powerhouses Chi, StL, Anh, Min, SJ or Nas missing the playoffs? Some feel SJ’s aging roster is ripe for a fall, maybe but still way to much talent & solid top 4 D for me to see them miss baring a significant injury which is what almost separates who makes it in at 7 or 8 in the West.

      • I wouldn’t call Chicago, St.L, SJ or Nashville power houses. Chicago glory days are done, Nashville just made the playoffs and lost Neal, yes the have one of the best defense in the NHL, but Rinne is streaky. So who is the given in the West? Dallas, Anaheim, Edmonton, Calgary, Minnesota? I know the standing don’t need to restate them for me.
        Winnipeg missed the playoffs by 7pts, that’s without Trouba (22g) starting the season and Myers missing 71 games, Little 23 games. A healthy jets team, with Trouba, Byfuglien, Myers, Enstrom and the emergence of Josh Morrissey, and the addition of Kulikov this is a strong defense. Yes I believe this team should make the playoff ahead of Chicago, St.L and San Jose, also believe they should be competitive with everyone else in the West.

      • I believe they can compete as well, as stated, right there just not certain they can beat out any of the 6 teams I mentioned as the elite in the West with the exception of SJ possibly but injuries will play a huge role in determining who does or doesn’t make it at 7 or 8 in the west.

        I can’t write Chi off as a power house just yet. Any team with Toews, Kane, Saad, Keith, Seabrooke & Crawford is still elite. More than enough supporting pieces to be very strong & Hartmann & Schmaltz have very bright futures on this squad & Murphy is going to be a solid 2 way Dman in another 2 years, he can play a top 4 role now as he continues his development. Still the class of the West & once Hossa gets put on LTIR on opening day 5+ mil to improve this roster further.

        I like Winnipeg & have used the injuries you mention in defending the goaltender situation as well as the fact Winnipeg came out on radio & stated that they let the team play an open style last season as you stated, they didn’t want to stifle the creativity of all the young players. I assume they will be roped in some what this season.

        If Buffy would stop taking stupid penalties, that would help a ton, he lead the league with 40 minors, many bad penalties that cost Winnipeg wins.

        Winnipeg is very close & may need 1 more year. That said they have as good a chance as anyone at 7 or 8 for me, I don’t see them finishing any higher. Still very young but I agree that if all Dman are healthy that’s 1 of the best D’s in the entire NHL if the forwards will come back & help out.

        This has been a long rebuild but it’s right on the cusp of fruition. Will that be next season? Maybe, certainly by the season following.

        As for Nashville, I don’t care about the loss of Neal, Arvidsson stole his job both at 5 on 5 & on the PP by late Dec. & Aberg is a significant diamond in the rough. Add in Fiala’s development & the loss of Neal is nothing. Rinne can falter but Saros is a stud in the making ready to step in.

        I don’t see any of those 6 teams other than possibly SJ slipping out of a playoff spot baring a tragic injury, like losing Keith, Josi, Pietrangelo, Toews, Kane, Forsberg, Johansson, Tarasenko, etc.

      • That’s the beauty of it Striker, we have different views and you mention Saad as elite, but yet Chicago gave up more for him then they got, The loss on d is huge for them. Just for fun you say Toews, Kane, Saad , Seabrook, Keith and Crawford. I’ll respond with Scheifele, Little, Wheeler, Laine, Ehler, Byfuglien, Trouba, Myers and Mason. Then you throw in Lowry, Armia and Perreault. This is a very solid team and if Paul Maurice can get out of his own way, this team will be playoff bound and they won’t be just making it.

      • Striker. The answer to who thd Jets beat to make the playoffs is, everyone.

        Its a good team. Dallas doesnt know what D is either and their goaltending will still remain suspect and injury prone.

        Chicago is taking steps backwards.

        St. Louis is beatable

        Minni is beatable

        Nashville is solid but not a power house. Is Rinne showing up next year. Do they miss Neal’s offense.

        Oh but that poeer house team of chicago. That’s a threat. Duchene will carry them on his shoulders.

        The Central isnt the toughest division anymore.

        As discussed, better defensively play, improved goaltending and more discipline. Are all things obtainable.

        I can easily see the jets in the top 3cof that division. I can see any of the faves.

        St.louis, chicago, Dallas. nashville Get knocked down a peg.

    • Jets problems for the most part have not be goalie issues. Twofold-winning faceoffs especially in their own end has been a continuous issue every season and secondly their defence has to be more physical again in their own end. Too many times we see Buc make bad passes in his own end and with his hugh size should be pasting other teams diminutive forwards. Combination of loosing faceoffs and bad lays in their own leaves Jets goalie at the mercy of other teams forwards. Jets should sign Jagr if they could get him for cap friendly salary. Jagr might be slow but his smarts with the puck will out way any Jets players.

  4. Eichel-OReilly 1-2 punch should finally turn the Sabres into a competitive this year? Duchene makes no sense other than that the Avs should of traded Duchene and not ROR

    • Duchene to the Sabres is what media people say when they have nothing else to talk about.

  5. One of Paul Maurice’s favorite quotes is “you are what your record says you are.” His 596-569-99 NHL career coaching record is evidence of that.

  6. Why would Duchene hold out of training camp to force a trade? His name is in the rumor mill and he hasn’t been traded, so this means you don’t want then trade me because I’m not playing for you! Absolutely childish attitude that would be. He’s under contract and is eligible to be traded and the AV’s are exploring to see if there is a deal that they feel would help their team and are hoping someone will overpay for Duchene services. Which has not happened to this point.

    • I certainly agree Caper – Duchene’s best move is to be ready to play hard at camp and show everyone how talented he is. The better he plays, the brighter his future in the league, with the Avs or with another team.

      • Precisely. If Duchene wants to be traded whether he asked to be or not, or wants to be, his best way of making that happen is to play well. It also seriously impacts his future contracts requests.

        I think the best place for Duchene to play is Colorado. At 26 he fits the rebuild, they look to potential trade him next summer after a bounce back season if he can’t be extended or beyond as he approaches the trade deadline & UFA status in year 2.

      • Best place would with Isles. Also, if Sakic wants his price to be met, he should give Duchene an extenion of 2 years. More teams would be willing to give up assets for a player with term. Avs extend him now…so he has 3 years on contract and then trade him during training camp.

      • The earliest Duchene can be extended is July 1st 2018. CBA rules.

        There are several potential solid landing spots for Duchene. NYI is certainly 1 of them, it would give NYI the ability to move Nelson back to LW. Bos, Car, Clb, LA, Mtl, NJ, NYR or Ott could all use Duchene. Again at what cost?

        The issue is with his & Colorado’s herendous seasons, his value is tainted. It needs to be improved, the trade may have to wait till that happens. Both Duchene & Barrie are 2 of my biggest bounce back candidates next year. I see no way Colorado can be that bad again. I think the lesson about tanking it was learned. In this lottery world finishing last guarantee’s you nothing but a 81.7% chance of not selecting 1st & your odds in the new 3 round weighted lottery doesn’t even guarantee you picking in the top 3, just as Colorado experienced this year. They tried to secure 1st overall & the odds of probability bit them in the ass.

        That said Makar at #4 will be a stud offensive Dman in the NHL 1 day.

        I see Colorado scoring almost 40 more goals for next season but still being bad, the 2nd worst team in the west & 1 of the worst in the entire NHL, in or around 27th.

    • Exactly Caper. Duchene isn’t holding out, that’s more hysterics from Dreger.

      Dreger is the number one offender in all this beehive shaking on Duchene. He has been the most insidious “so called” insider trying to force Colorado’s hand. Probably because Sakic made him look foolish by holding onto Duchene so long. Dreger wants his cookies, but can’t find his praise unless he scoops. I used to hold Dreger highest in regard. I have always thought he was the most reliable and credible insider of all.

      But now I see he has glaring dishonest motives. It isn’t just that Duchene, or his return of goodies, is extremely important to my Avs, but around the draft Dreger started to show me how low he can be.

      He may, or may not, have Duchene’s agents personal phone number (I can’t verify that), but his guesses about Duchene personally leave me seriously doubting that he even has that.

      Dreger has shown me that he is a master manipulator on some agenda against Colorado. He may have some credibility with his other inside info, but with this Duchene scenario he has shown some evidence of trolling.

      Dreger has been the sole ANTAGONIST of the Duchene debacle, if it wasn’t for his outright mischievous deviance while dragging Duchene and the Avs through the mud I probably would have just let all of this pass without even commenting on it all summer. But Dreger has worked every media circle into a frenzy over this and has made it his purpose to dismantle any last credibility the Avs franchise has. He has shown some of his cards as to how he brings about rumor chatter.

      And as one Avs fan I have spent my entire summer trying to clean up behind him where I can. He has launched a smear campaign against Sakic for some reason, and he is the only one to be malicious about it. He definitely has some agenda here that isn’t just to say “first!” when it comes to the Duchene saga.

      If Avs fan weren’t so meek about all of this, perhaps I wouldn’t feel the need to rant so much, and rally on my soapbox.

      In all the years I’ve avidly loved hockey, I have never had anything against the hockey media. I have definitely had my irritations because of some of them, but I have always held the Canadian media in the highest regard for their authenticity of reporting. Namely Tsn and Sportsnet, and Makenzie, Dreger, Friedman, and EJ Hradek.
      But Dreger has really crossed the line with this fan and I feel he needs to be called out for his malicious agenda against the Avs, his meddling and mistruths in the situation, and his smear campaign against the organization.

      The Avs may be an easy target and our fan base meek, but I ain’t having it.

      • He’s not wrong tho, sakic has botched this from the start! Why would matty want to go play for a terrible avs team when he knows he’s on his way out. This kind of a hold out is a lot more acceptable than when it’s about money, dreger is bang on with his thoughts

  7. Can Duchene “Hold Out” ? I think he would be suspended not much difference except you don’t get paid….. I think he is a good fit on Boston. My discussion would be Duchene & #2- 2018 for Zboril & Pasternak & #1- 2019.

    • No way Pastrnak.
      Way overpayment on this deal.

    • No Thanks Silverscreen, Boston wouldn’t trade Pastrnak straight up for Duchene. This isn’t to slight against Duchene but to acknowledge that Pastrnak in his 3rd year has scored 34g and 70pts in 75 games who turned 21 in May. No, one year does not make a career but his projection is very positive. Duchene has one 30g season in 8yrs and is a very good player but not getting Pastrnak.

    • LM- I’m pretty sure they need to wait till next summer or January at the earliest to offer another contract to Duchene per cba

  8. and Debrusk makes the team

    • Debrusk isn’t ready for the NHL, nor is Pastrnak being traded. There are other players ahead of Debrusk on the development chart, some older & more NHL ready, like Bjork, Heinen, Cehlarik, Czarnik & with Boston needing a #3 RW, Senyshyn?
      Forsbacka-Karlsson is also be close, both are ahead of Debrusk. I don’t see Debrusk playing more than 9 games in the NHL this season coming late in the year, maybe.

      I do like Duchene to Bos to play LW with Krejci & Backes, the question is simply cost. Boston isn’t moving what Sakic wants, an established young top 4 Dman.

      If Sakic would take 1 of the prospect D not Carlo or McAvoy, a 1st & some other assets a deal could potentially be found but he’s holding to his rumored asking price. There may not be enough monies available to assume Duchene’s salary once Pastrnak is resigned unless Sakic took 1 of Miller or McQuad back in that deal as well.

      1 of Lindgren, Zboril or Lauzon, Boston’s 1st in 2018, Spooner & 1 of McQuad or Miller for Duchene & ? I would like to see it happen I just doubt it will. Boston’s roster looks set for next season.

      I also think Agostino will be given an opportunity to crack this roster as a 3rd line LW. Someone from LW will have to move to RW on Bostons #3 line.

      Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak.
      Vatrano; RW, Krejci, Backes.
      Agostino; RW, Spooner, ?/prospect.
      Belesky, Nash, Schaller.

      Spares, Kuraly, Acciari, either can move up or down from the AHL as injuries warrant as neither need to clear waivers.

      • Maybe Bjork is a head of Debrusk who had a solid season in the AHL and had a very good playoffs. He will be competing for a spot on the opening night roster. If he doesn’t make the roster he will be playing at some point in 2017-2018 season for the bruins

      • I assume your referring to Bjork playing this season not Debrusk? If so I agree.

        If Vatrano were to move to RW that would allow Bjork to play his natural position at LW as no room for him at C. I assume the 1st crack at that spot if Spooner; #3 C, is moved would go to Forsbacka-Karlsson or possibly Backes, although paying your 3rd line C 6 mil a year doesn’t make sense to me, he should only move to C if Bergeron or Krejci go down with injury.

        There are a bunch of prospects in the system very close to being NHL ready both at D & forward. What Sweeney has accomplished in 2 years both restocking the prospect kitty & getting the Bruins cap space cleaned up in the blink of an eye is very impressive.

        I think the business side of hockey will dictate who gets 1st crack at a roster spot with the Bruins out of the gate this season. Agostino needs to clear waivers, I think he will be given 1st kick at the can for the #3 LW spot or might he be able to play as the #3 RW? If he fails he will be waived & a prospect brought in.

        I’m going to be curious to see if Belesky gets waived & sent down; unfortunately only frees up 950K, if a prospect steals his job as his days in the top 9 are seriously numbered & with a 3.8 mil cap hit for 3 more years that’s wasted cap space.

      • I’m saying Bjork might be a head of him but Debrusk might be the guy coming out of camp. Big difference from the college ranks, then the AHL.

  9. Brett Pesce for Duchene makes too much sense. Maybe Carolina throws in a pick or mid level prospect. But only if Carolina can negotiate an extension with.Duchene. Maybe 3 years $19M or something like that.

    What about Nashville for Duchene? Bonino would fit better as a #3 centre.

    • Duchene can’t be extended until July 1st 2018 at the earliest.

      Nashville has a #3 C in Jarnkrok, he & Bonino are more like 2A & a developing 2B. Jarnkrok has had very short sniff’s in an offensive role & his best offensive years are still ahead of him but he is destined to be a checker I think. He takes the difficult assignments both 5 on 5 & on the PK. Scisson’s was deployed ahead of him offensively when Johansen was lost in the playoffs.

      I don’t see Nashville as a fit. This is a solid roster & serious cup contender as constructed. Flip flop the wingers around anyway you want.

      Forsberg, Johansen, Arviddsson.
      Fiala, Bonino, Smith.
      Hartnell, Jarnkrok, Aberg.
      McLeaod, Siccons, Watson.
      Spare Gaudreau.

      Josi, Ellis.
      Ekholm, Subban.
      Emelin, Irwin.
      Bitetto, Weber.

      Irwin, Weber & Bitetto will all rotate in & out of the line up until injuries open up more icetime. The top 5 are set & adding Emelin to the 3rd pairing improves what was already 1 of the best D’s in the NHL, their top 4 is Elite.

      Rinne, Saros.

      • What is the reasoning for not being able to extend a contract until the final year of the contract? Why would the players or the owners want that clause. It’s probably the primary reason Duchene has not been traded.

    • To me Carolina and Colorado are beyond obvious. I think that is the perfect fit for Duchene and makes Carolina so much stronger, even with the loss of Hanifin. The Avs supposedly targeted Hanifin because he had shown himself to be experienced enough in the NHL that he wasn’t just a top prospect. And he showed that he could be capable to be a 1-2 defenseman in the future. And he wasn’t so established that Carolina had become dependent on his presence too much yet, while also having a great stable close to the NHL. Slavin is already too established and Duchene isn’t enough for him even if Carolina was crazy enough to trade him. Their not.

      But when people are trying trade scenarios, Hanifin is the ideal Sakic is specifically looking for. This is mostly why Duchene hasn’t been let go of.

      • Are you nuts? Duschene isn’t getting hanifan straight up

  10. Sabres should make another trade with Colorado…ha ha, how do you like the floater Grigerenko and guy Zadorov who can’t figure out how to use an alarm clock? JT Compher don’t hold your breath he isn’t a natural scorer, more like a third line energy grinder.