NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2017

by | Aug 18, 2017 | Rumors | 21 comments

Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene remains on the trade block.

Updates on Matt Duchene, Nikita Zadorov and Will Butcher in your NHL rumor mill.

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers yesterday spoke about the status of center Matt Duchene, contract talks with defenseman Nikita Zadorov and losing the exclusive negotiation rights to prospect defenseman Will Butcher.

Duchene remains on the trade block but Sakic expects the 26-year-old forward to attend training camp next month. He said he’s willing to listen to all offers but so far the trade market remains quiet. “I’ll never name names but I’ll sit there and if something makes sense for the way we want to go, with our team, we’ll really look at that,” said Sakic.

The Avs GM also said he and the Zadorov camp agreed to a two-year contract and the two sides are trying to figure out the dollars. It’ll be up to the young blueliner to figure out what he’ll do. Zadorov had threatened to return to Russia if an agreement on a new deal with the Avs wasn’t worked out by the end of July. The pull of playing in the 2018 Olympics could also be a factor.

As for Butcher, Sakic didn’t fault the 23-year-old for wanting to test the free-agent market. “He’ll see what’s out there for him and see where that goes.”

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline recently reported the Columbus Blue Jackets have an offer on the table for Duchene, “one that almost certainly includes defenseman Ryan Murray.” However, Sakic’s asking price remains very steep. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t directly address the Duchene rumors but said it’s never too late to make a move. Portzline believes the Avs and Jackets are perfect trade partners. The Jackets covet Duchene and they carry depth in young defensemen which the Avs desperately need.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: With New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac sidelined four-to-six months recovering from surgery on a torn left pectoral muscle, Andrew Gross wonders if Devils GM Ray Shero might contact Sakic regarding Duchene. Gross notes the Avs interest in acquiring a defenseman would leave Shero hard-pressed to make that deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite how quiet it’s been in the trade market, there is interest in Duchene. The Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators are just two clubs to reportedly explore trade options for the Avs forward. I doubt the Devils can come up with a suitable offer to tempt Sakic.

As long as Sakic keeps the asking price high, Duchene won’t  be moving anytime soon.  Barring a sudden development during training camp next month, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Duchene start the season with the Avs.  

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Brian Bartlett, the agent for Will Butcher, had a good conversation Thursday with Vegas Golden Knights management, who “painted an impressive picture” of their plans and where his client would fit.






  1. If Butcher was Swedish, the Blackhawks would be first on line.
    they have Roszival ready anyway, so who needs a good young defense prospect.

    • So would Detroit considering all the Swedish D men that they’ve had over the years. With Lidstrom and Kronwall and Ericsson and others.

  2. “Gross notes the Avs interest in acquiring a defenseman would leave Shero hard-pressed to make that deal.”

    Mr. Gross can file that under “no s^*t Sherlock!

  3. Murray, a first, and Anderson could facilitate a deal. He was a second overall selection but a “band aid” over his young career. Reasonable salary projection.

    • Savard would be a better get for COL from CBJ. Murray hasn’t proven that he is going to justify his high draft selection. His earlier injuries have impacted his game

    • Murray’s career has been a disaster so far. He goes from one injury to the next. He may be more fragile than Lupul. Sakic would be a fool to give up Duchene for a package centered around a 2nd – 3rd pairing defenseman.

  4. A couple of other injury notes floating around say LV D Nate Schmidt hurt his ankle training and according to team sources they’ll know more about its extent sometime next week. The Wild’s Mikael Granlund is also apparently walking arund with crutches after rolling his ankle while running in Finland, by the’s expected to be back training in a couple of weeks.

  5. Why does Colorado only have 3 defensemen under contract if the number one off season priority is to improve the defense? I would think that if Sakic didnt have a trade for a defenseman in his back pocket he would have brought in another solid defenseman by now.

    • Acquiring solid dman isn’t easy. It took Edm a decade to fix their D.

      Zadrov will be signed. Beauchemin was bought out to allow youth to advance. I assume that means Bigras is coming up for sure & that Mirinov has a job to lose.

      Colorado is in year 2 or 3 of a rebuild depending upon when you feel it started. For me it didn’t really start till Roy left.

      The 2 headed management structure was a disaster.

      I’ll reserve judgement on Sakic’s efforts for 3 more years. Only 1 of his draft picks has graduated to the NHL, Rantanen, numerous others will this season. His 1 meaningful trade which Roy was part of was for futures & we won’t know what those assets are for almost 5 years.

      Colorado may have the worst D in the NHL if not them then NJ.

    • Butcher isn’t NHL ready. Only 2 teams in the NHL might currently have a roster spot on D that would allow Butcher decnet minutes on a 3rd pairing. Colorado & possibly NJ.

      If Butcher is waiting to sign with someone based on playing opportunity it’s going to be a long wait.

      If he signs in vegas he’s heading to chicago of the AHL their farm team. Vegas will be waiving & sending down at least 2 dman come Oct 3rd at the latest. I assume Hunt & Engelland.

      • Sorry posted to the wrong thread. Was a response to Sam on butcher possibly signing in Vegas.

        I sure hope the NHL alters the UFA status for players that choose the amateur route thru university. NHL teams should retain their rights until 2 years after they leave university.

      • Under your proposal Butcher would be 24 before Colorado lost their rights. I don’t agree with that, especially if they had no interest in signing him until this year.

        I do agree that the players in the US, Canada and the rest of the world should be under the same rules.

    • seems like a nice match between vegas and col.. couple d men for a couple of mid round picks… one in 19 one in 20 as thats how mcphee likes it!

  6. Sakic’s ability as a GM are non existent in comparison to his abilities as a player.

  7. Have to believe Butcher signing in Vegas would mean a quick move of another deal. Can’t imagine he goes there without promise of starting and they are already deep on D

  8. This nonsense with Butcher needs to stop. Developing as a player and earning your ranks from prospect to free agent is almost a rite of passage. Sitting on your hands for over a year just so you don’t have to play on the team that spent a draft pick to give you the opportunity to play in the NHL is cowardice and selfish. These youngsters want the same privilege that UFAs earn after playing in the league for years. This has to change in the new CBA and I think it will be addressed.

    • I was thinking the same thing about this punk. I hope he fails if another team snags him from the Avs lmao Yeah, this Sakic era I am starting to get a tiny bit restless . But I do not personally know what he as actually been offered . I was hoping for the Canes or Bruins to make a deal . He’s going to walk in 2years unless they trade him soon, or agree to keep him an Av for good which does not seem to be the case as # 9 as pretty much implied he wants a fresh start

      • I don’t get this frustration at all. I’ve seen it many times written – Butcher doesn’t owe Avs anything. I think it’s a strange system overall that you’re not always a UFA when not under cobtract. RFA? In what universe are you a “free agent” under those rules? Should say RUP – restricted unemployed player. The whole draft thing is also strange, but I get the idea – it’s just strange too me. 🙂

    • Your right. Younger players need to have the same right as butch. I hope it’s addressed in the new cba

  9. They do seem to have an edge in this department considering how early they are into their careers. Expect more to use this leverage while they can.

  10. butcher can go to the leafs for kadri