NHL Rumor Mill – August 2, 2017
Updates on Matt Duchene, Leon Draisaitl, John Tavares and Jaromir Jagr in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Dave Poulin discussed the ongoing uncertainty over the status of Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, New York Islanders captain John Tavares and Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl. Now that the calendar has flipped to August, Poulin anticipates things could pick up.
Regarding Duchene, Poulin considers him a complimentary, very good player, but not a stand-alone offensive star. He believes Avalanche management must realize that as they currently cannot meet a price for him in the trade market. Poulin feels Duchene will get moved before training camp opens in September and the Avs must re-evaluate their asking price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After getting so little back from the Buffalo Sabres in the Ryan O’Reilly trade two years ago, Avalanche GM Joe Sakic must get a solid return for Duchene. He reportedly seeks a young, established top-four defenseman, a first-round pick, a top prospect and perhaps more. He’s not going to get that, and I think that’s the holdup in moving Duchene. There’s interest in the 26-year-old forward, but those suitors are content to wait for a more reasonable asking price.
Poulin doesn’t think it’s a pressing concern for the New York Islanders that they haven’t yet re-signed Tavares, noting Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos didn’t re-up with the Lightning until days before his eligibility for unrestricted free agency. Given Tavares’ value to the Isles, however, he believes they have to get this done. He wonders if they might try to add Duchene as a complimentary player for Tavares.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles’ reportedly dangled defenseman Travis Hamonic and a first-round pick in a failed effort to acquire Duchene at the 2017 NHL draft. They subsequently dealt Hamonic to the Calgary Flames. If the Avs insist on getting a good young blueliner as part of the return, the Isles won’t be able to get Duchene. However, if Sakic drops his price, the Isles have two picks in each of the first two rounds in the 2018 NHL draft to draw upon as trade bait.
As for Draisaitl, Poulin believes he’ll get a deal that’ll be in the $7 million range. He thinks this is more about the gap between Draisaitl and captain Connor McDavid and thinks it’s important to the Oilers structure that he’s at the right contract level.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl is coming off an entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. Despite his 77-point performance last season, he doesn’t have much leverage here. Don’t feel too badly for Draisaitl, as he’s likely to get a long-term deal between $7 million – $8 million annually.
NEW YORK POST: On Sunday, Larry Brooks reported he has it on good authority the Florida Panthers told free agent winger Jaromir Jagr they would have a new contract for him following the expansion draft in June. However, the offer never came. Brooks speculates the hiring of Bob Boughner as their new head coach may have had something to do with Panthers management changing its mind.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boughner could put more emphasis on speed, meaning there’s no room for the 45-year-old Jagr under that system.