Latest Avalanche Speculation – August 31, 2017

by | Aug 31, 2017 | Rumors | 23 comments

Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene remains the subject of trade speculation.

Latest on Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene and defenseman Nikita Zadorov in your NHL rumor mill. 

USA TODAY’s Kevin Allen replied to questions yesterday on Twitter regarding the trade status of Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. He doesn’t see Duchene being dealt before training camp opens next month because so many teams have limited salary-cap space, adding there’s confusion over what the Avs’ strategy is.

Allen considers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens as the top three trade destinations. He also knows the Blue Jackets tried to acquire Duchene earlier this summer but the Avs asking price (“1st rounder, quality young defenseman, proven NHLer and top prospect” ) remains high. He wonders if it could cost them Ryan Murray and Boone Jenner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs general manager Joe Sakic recently said he’s still willing to entertain offers for Duchene. However, It appears he has no intention of lowering his asking price.

Recent reports out of Columbus indicate the Jackets could still have an offer on the table for Duchene. Murray was believed to be part of it. Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t discuss it but said he wouldn’t rule out making a trade before training camp opens if it will improve his roster. 

Carolina seems a good fit as they have depth in good young NHL defensemen. Hurricanes GM Ron Francis last month indicated he’s not interested in parting with assets for a player who could depart via free agency in a year or two. While he didn’t mention Duchene, whose contract expires in 2019, it wasn’t difficult to figure out who he was talking about.

The Canadiens were linked to Duchene in June. They certainly need help at center but lack the depth to meet what the Avs seek in return. 

BSN DENVER’s Adrian Dater took to Twitter saying negotiations between the Avalanche and restricted free agent defenseman Nikita Zadorov have “backslid a bit, claiming there’s a half-million difference  between the two sides. He’s heard Zadorov, 22, seeks $2.5 million while the Avs are offering $2 million. He also said there’s talk of a short-term bridge deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs are taking a curious hard-line stance with one of their few decent defensemen. He could’ve signed with a KHL team, even threatened to do so if he didn’t have a new contract with the Avs by the end of July, but it’s obvious he wants to stay in the NHL. They have plenty of salary-cap space and Zadorov isn’t asking for an exorbitant raise. They should be able to sort this out before training camp opens in September. 



  1. Avs and Zadarov are really arguing over 500k. I would think it must be more about term. He is an RFA, correct? If he’s only looking for $2.5m I am really surprised no one has sent an offer sheet. He is still young and has a lot of potential.

    • Likely because the Avs have plenty of cap space. They would match the offer and repay that favor when they get the chance. IE – The Bruins could really use a LD. Hello Pastrnak.

    • Why would another team want to help Colorado get Zadarov signed?

      If trying to sign Zadarov to an offer sheet it needs to be constructed in such away so as Colorado may possibly choose not to match it. No 1’s signing Zadarov to a 2.5 mil offer sheet as Colorado would simply match.

      With the rules for offer sheets having to be amortized over 5 seasons for the purposes of determining draft pick compensation, no team is going to exceed the 5 years, it would probably take at least 5 mil annually to get Colorado to even consider letting Zadarov walk under such an offer.

      Neither team benefits as you just make Zadarov a UFA after 5 years & for most of that contract Zadarov gets seriously overpaid & in today’s cap world few teams can afford that type of luxury.

      I like Zadarov, like you I think he’s got at potential, for me at least #2 potential maybe #1 & in the next 3 to 4 years as he approaches 26 years of age & in or around 400 NHL regular season games played we will find out if Zadorov becomes that player he is anticipated to be. At 6’5″ 235 lbs he is a monster of a man & there was a reason he was selected 16th overall in 2013.

      With 145 NHL regular season games under his belt at 22 he is further along in his development than most other Dman selected that year, 2013. Nurse; 7th 115 games, Morin; 11th 1 game, Morrisey; 13th 83 games, Pulock; 15th 16 games, Mueller 18th 15 games, Theodore 26th 53 games. Only Jones; 4th, & Ristolainen; 8th, have played more NHL games than Zadarov since being drafted that year as Dman in the 1st round.

      Of the 10 Dman selected in the 2nd round of 2013 none have even started their NHL careers as yet, 3 have had a cup of coffee & all still qualify as NHL rookies having not exceeded 25 NHL regular season games.

      • Striker, you consistently defend Sakic and at times especially the ROR trade. Zadarov is the key piece in the ROR trade, how bad will it be if he bolts to the KHL over 500K?
        The fact that they are haggling over 500K makes it look like they aren’t as high on Zadarov as you are.

      • All just part of the negotiating process. If he bolts they lose him for a year or 2, his development continues & he’s still be Colorado property if & when he wants to return to the NHL.

        I would also assume that if he were to bolt to the KHL he would have done so already.

        Trouba signed last season on Nov 7th for 6 mil spread over 2 years, almost a month after the season started. He was far more developed & used what little leverage he had to try & get what he wanted. He lost, at least in the short term.

        There are currently 13 RFA’s yet to be signed, almost all are coming out of their ELC’s but 3 & of those 3 only Foligno is Minny is of consequence. All 10 are using what little leverage they have, holding out hope that as the sooner we get to training camps the teams will blink & pay more than they are currently offering.

        Zadarov has ZERO, leverage, has accomplished very little & I wouldn’t buckle on the 500K either. 2 mil per on a 2 year deal seems fair to me. Come opening day I would be shocked if Zadorov isn’t signed & playing.

        Colorado is going no where next year with or with out Zadarov, if he wants to bolt, bolt. He might want to ask Demitra how air travel in the KHL is. Sorry that’s in poor taste. Only a handful of KHL teams can afford to meet there salary demands, the KHL is dieing on the fine due to it’s dependency on their ownership groups dependency on oil income for their profits. All their good players are bolting back to the NHL with a few very minor exceptions. That league isn’t getting better but worse daily.

      • Hard to judge Zadorov playing on such a bad team, even worse during his time in Buffalo. Avs should be making sure the ROR trade is not a total bust by locking this guy up. He still has parts of his game that need fixing.

  2. I don’t worry about any of these unsigned players till opening night. Almost everyone gets signed by then with a few instances where it has to wait till opening day to address LTIR issue’s. Hold outs are incredibly rare.

    Training camps for veterans are still 2 weeks away, the season still slightly over a month away, almost all RFA’s will be signed & in training camp, a few specifically AA from Det may have to wait until after opening day more for business/cap reasons than anything else.

    Zadarov, AA, Pastrnak, Foligno, Bennett, Wennberg, Horvat, Duclair, Anderson, Severson, etc. will al;most all be signed by opening day, again AA being a possible exception due to cap juggling Detroit will have to do if a trade isn’t made prior to opening day to resolve their cap issue.

  3. Sakic needs to step down. The first mistake was hiring Roy and it has gone downhill since then. Did they get anyone of consequence for Shattenkirk or O’Reilly.

    • Shattenkirk was traded in 2011 long before Sakic was hired.

      Sakic didn’t hire Roy, ownership put this 2 headed monster in place.

      Sakic got Zadorov, Grigorenko, Compher & the 31st pick in the 2015 draft from Buffalo for O’Reilly & McGinn, he flipped that pick to SJ for the 39th; Greer, pick in 2015 & the 40th; Morrison, pick in 2016.

      Zadorov is going to be at least a solid 2nd pairing Dman, just a kid, Compher just played his 1st 21 games in the NHL last season, Greer has 5 games of NHL experience & Morrison just had a solid rookie season at Notre Dame. We won’t know for at least 5 years what Colorado’s return was on O’Reilly, a player who had no intentions of signing in Colorado long term.

      Buffalo is winning this deal today but I see know way they can win this deal long term on Zadadov alone. In 3 years when Zadorov is a stud 2 way Dman, this trade swings in Colorado’s favor. If Compher, Greer & Morrison even play in the NHL as some form of regulars Buffalo seriously loses this deal.

      • Didn’t see this comment before I posted above.
        With Sakic not even paying him $2.5M it doesn’t look as if they view him as a top two potential guy. He may well be, I don’t watch many games but with all the facts in front of us I’m not seeing what you are seeing.
        Either he blew the trade and Zadarov isn’t that good or he is taking a ridiculous risk of holding back 500K and losing Zadarov. Take your pick, Sakic looks bad regardless.

      • I agree, the return cannot be judged fairly at this point. If I am not mistaken a lot of people felt that buffalo overpaid, including myself. Now In hindsight, people claim he got fleeced. Let me hear their quotes the moment the trade was made. Grigorenko onvioulslt didn’t pan out as expected to date and Zadorov has progressed as expected but is still forming into a top 4 d man. D men take time. Compher and Greer look good.

      • Taz.

        You can’t judge this trade as yet. As I have shown else where here most Dman drafted in 2013 with the exception of 2, Jones & Risto few have even made the NHL yet. The fact that Zadarov has even on a bad team speaks to his current abilities & to fully develop for the vast majority of Dman in the NHL in or around 80% take 400 games. The sooner you get on the development bandwagon the faster you will become what you should be.

        Time will tell who’s right. It may be you it may be me, nor do I care they are 500k apart. If that’s the gap it should get closed easily before training camp in 2 weeks if not certainly by opening night on Octb 4th.

      • ZADOROV couldn’t even play well in AHL, he’s not going to be a two way d man. The guy is a head case. So happy the Sabres traded him And floater sidekick.

  4. If Duchene is still in Colorado on opening night which appears likely he may well have to move to RW to accommodate, Jost & Compher as the 2nd & 3rd line C’s. Unless Jost plays RW. Duchene has played a ton of LW in his career & C but I don’t believe Colorado has deployed him as a RW prior, not that he can’t play RW but some interesting line up issues in Colorado with him still on the roster.

    He lead the league in Faceoff efficiency last season at 62.6% taking 1098 draws, putting him in the top 50 for draws taken. He could play RW & still take a ton of draws, similiar to what a team like SJ does with Thornton & Pavelski on the same line, bot take faceoffs to their string sides.

    I’m not certain you want to break up what finished off last season as a solid line for Colorado of Andrighetto at LW with McKinnon & Rantanen. That leaves Landeskog as the #2 LW & acquisition Collin Wilson as the #3LW.

    Mix & match anyway you like.

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

    I think Colorado is going to be the 2nd or 3rd worst team in the entire league next season but I see this roster scoring 40 to 50 more goals than last season.

  5. O’Reilly return was decent then now and in the future. They should have a similar expectation for Duchene. Murray, Jenner, #1, and a prospect. We can not post about this until the trade deadline. My last comment and official boycott on the subject.

    George were you around when the Ottawa Silver Seven won the cup 🙂

    • That is a large over payment. Jenner had a down year much like Duchene but had 30 goals or something the year before. He’s physical and you can play him anywhere, adding Murray, a first and a prospect to that is way too much

      • I agree that 4 pieces for a streaky at best #9 is not happening. You’d have to be desperate. I am all for Mr “Joe” but I can honestly say this is getting silly if Sakic can’t produce a solid trade. To me, there is not much time seeing he will just bolt in 2 years.

      • I have always maintained I don’t think Sakic should trade Duchene today or since these rumors 1st surfaced. He is a tradable commodity right up to the trade deadline of next season, 2019-20. Why trade him after a brutal year for both him & Colorado. That would be selling low. Ideally we buy low & sell high not the other way around.

        There is no reason for Colorado to have to move Duchene today with 2 years left & being only 26. He wouldn’t be the 1st nor will he be the last player stuck in the rumor mill for an extended period.

        This has as much to do with money as anything. Colorado’s internal budget has been carved to the bone, it’s D is beyond brutal & there are no quick fix’s to be had. Draft, develop & wait. It’s 5+ years for most teams.

        It took Edm a decade to rebuild. Winnipeg has been rebuilding for what seems like forever but I have it starting when they moved to Winnipeg 6 years ago so we are now at the start of year 7. Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs in 6 years, Carolina 8 years. Arizona & New Jersey 5 & counting.

      • It’s like you baited me! Well I’m a hooked! Number 9! Blah blah blah stepan. Blah blah value. Blah blah blah duschene easily better than stepan. Meaning duschene worth top ten pick and solid prospect +

      • Duchene also had 30 goals the year before, but let’s not kid ourselves here… if Duchene at least returns to form, he is worth more than O’Rielly for multiple reasons, not the least of which Duchene is the better player.

        And if the Avs think that Murray is only a 5-6 D now…
        Besides they supposedly said they don’t want Murray.

        Everyone cries foul at Sakic’s reported asking price for Dutchy, but if he gets that top, young Dman he wants, I think any pieces beyond that aren’t an issue.

        I think if he gets the D he wants, he would probably just want a 1st or a top prospect with him.

        And that is definitely reasonable if Duchene returns to form like he should.

    • Giving up two players, particulary Jenner, plus a number one and a prospect for Duchene? That is foolish in the extreme…….this is a player who is inconsistent unless on Team Canada, and he has not lived up to the billing..give up that much for MD and then discover he is wildly overrated??

  6. For Montreal, i’d rather go into the season trying either Drouin or Galchenyuk at center rather than overpaying for Duchene. Bergevin has 8,4 millions under the cap; he can wait and see. Its also true Mtl has not much to offer to the Avs. No go in my opinion.