NHL Rumor Mill – August 2, 2017

by | Aug 2, 2017 | Rumors | 43 comments

Will the Colorado Avalanche trade Matt Duchene before the start of training camp in September?

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. 



  1. Striker ,
    I’m curious as to why you would bridge all players , Leon included … but you were on the other side of the fence with zaitsev deal ? I think Leon has proved / earned a longterm deal a lot more than zaitzsev . No ? Both carry risk due to smaller sample sizes , but its craziness to be ok with zaitsev on 7 year extension at the same time as saying the bridge is the way to go on Leon . Shoukd the Bruins be looking to bridge pastranak ?

    • It’s an age issue for me with Zaitsev. He will be 26 in October, his 7 year deal will carry him to 32. The age of significant decline for me for most players.

      I as stated I want to own a players rights into around age 29 to 32. Draisaitl will be 22 in October, 4 years younger than Zaitsev, a 2 year bridge deal, then an 8 year long term deal, carrying him to 32.

      Yes I bridge Pastrnak as well, same story as Draisaitl & most players cpoming out of their ELC’s.

      I think Zaitsev’s contract of 4.5 in a few years will be solid value for a Dman that can log 1st or 2nd pairing minutes playing a solid 2 way game.

      I don’t want to be confronted with having to sign a 27 to 30 year old players for 5 to 8 year deals taking them into their mid to late 30’s but allowing players to see UFA status at this age leads to those brutal long term deals for players that are to old for that term.

      • Solid two way game ? I’m not sure that will ever happen . What would you have to pay Leon in 3 years after bridge if he develops like they hope ? A lot more than 7.5-8.5 range .. You have been arguing the 12.5 to Mcdavid as too high , how would they be better served going bridge at lower rate for 3 years , followed by a massive number ? In 4 years if the cap crunch is what ppl tend to talk about how do they then afford that number ? Going 8 now gets him to age 30 with Mcdavid for 7 years and each year as the cap climbs they have more room to support them as they get better as well . I do understand your age arguement on Zaitsev , we just differ on what this player is and will be.

      • Subban signed a 2 year bridge then got huge money on an 8, average price for 10 years a little over 7 mil. I want the extra 2 years & I play the leverage those terms allow. Kucherov will get a huge 8 year deal at the same types of monies we are talking about & TB will have locked him up for 11 more years instead of just 8. I like that better for these stud players, again I don’t want to be confronted with letting them walk or paying them Vlasic, Oshie; 31 in Dec, or Burns type monies at 30, 31 or 32 respectively for 8 years.

        Toronto iced 1 of the worst D’s in the NHL last season & Zaitsev played huge minutes as a rookie. Did he make mistakes, absolutely, will he get better? He still has to develop to the NHL game, being older getting to the NHL may allow it to happen nominally faster but he’s still 3 to 4 years from being fully developed, he will get better, significantly so.

      • Agree to disagree I guess, valid points , but as an oiler fan I hope 100% it goes 8 . Another 4 years to be developed , when does the value come in on that contract ? He was force fed minutes due to zero other reasonable options , and he struggled , terribly in his own end . Was even worse in the playoffs . Yes he did put up some points with one of the best offences in the league in front of him .. What other potentially solid two way d man 4 years from fully developed with a very small and mixed sample have received a 7 x 4.5 deal ?

      • Hahaha zaitsev 7 years. What a joke, the guy played a few games, useless but typical Lou deal. Plug!

      • Almost all, go look at almost any Dman coming out of his ELC with a pulse, they all got significant raises into this range unless bridged. 4 to 7 years deals.

        I’ll just start with Anh. Fowler, came out of his ELC getting 5 years at 4 & that was in Sept of 2012. Lindholm came out of his ELC got 5+ for 6 years. Vatanen was bridged. Next Arz. OEL got 5.5 for 6 coming out of his ELC. Goligoski, 4 years at 4.6, Connor Murphy before being traded 6 years at 3.85. Next Boston, Krug bridged. Buffalo, Ristolainen 5.4 for 6, Bogo bridged. Calgary Hamilton 5.75 for 6, Brodie bridged, Giordano 5 years at 4. Carolina, Faulk 6 years at 4.83, Pesce 6 years at 4, Slavin 7 years at 5.3.

        The worst for me was Ekblad, got 7.5 for 8 years coming out of his ELC & will now be a UFA at 28 demanding a ridiculous last contract.

        Would you like me to continue team by team?

        The difference here is Zaitsev’s ELC due to age coming out of the KHL wasn’t required to be 3 years just 1. Numerous kids coming out of 4 years of college can be signed to 2 year ELC’s, this all ties into leverage issues, the business side of hockey.

      • Striker ,
        You name guys like fowler , slavin , Faulk , OEL , Hamilton , giordano , Brodie , basically your entire list were not coming off a 1 year contract in the organization , a playoff in which they looked lost , were force fed minutes(why does this count for so much , what options were available) , was drastically worse statistically compared to the team and again , yes put up some points on one of the top offences. Those players came off 3 years on different development paths , none were 26 years old and needing 4 more years to be fully developed at age 30 and at the end of the deal stuck in the spot you hated ? 32 as a ufa ?

      • I file both ekblad and zaitsev contracts as terrible .

      • Craig I agree about zaitsev that contract is absolutely terrible just not a very good defender at all

      • All came out of their ELC’s including Zaitsev. Offense has value as well. Zaitsev will need 3 to 5 years to fully dvelop at the NHL level. Tor bought UFA years. This contract will seem like a steal in 3 years. Today for a rookie dman 2nd in rookie scoring for Dman coming out of his ELC is good value.

      • Is it possible we mention zaitsev contract as a steal in now maybe 5 years ? Yes it’s possible , is it probable ? Absolutely not ! 2nd in rookie scoring with a top offence , and still -21 on a playoff team .. his underlying stats are just as terrible , making every player he stepped on the ice with worse. Yes they came off ELC contracts but no one on your list is really close to zaitsev . Age , future potential , zaitsev may develop in to a top 4 d man , that’s his ceiling IMO , Faulk slavin fowler giordano etc were not 26 , and had much higher ceilings . Offence is important but I would argue all day that with torontos offence a d man who can play D , at least to some extent is much more valuable especially when factoring in Reilly and gardiner and there styles of play . Was terrible signing, I don’t see it changing .

  2. I am curious about Sam Bennett and his pending deal. This might be a bridge situation as in show me. Pastranak and Draisaitl have shown them.

    • I would agree Draisaitl has & I have no doubts about Pastrnak’s abilities but Pastrnak has essentially had 1 good season. Is he any different than Arvidsson who just signed with Nas after 1 good season? He signed for chump change, 7 years at 4.25.

      I would far prefer to have Draisailtl & Pastrnak locked up for 10 years than 8. 2 year bridge followed by 8 year max.

  3. Duchene I think lands in NYR, NYI, MTL, ANA, or LA.

    Tavares won’t resign until Dec / Jan, if it goes past this date I expect to see him moved at the deadline. It will be tough as Isles should be still in mix for wild card spot but just can’t risk losing him for nothing.

    Draisaitl will get over $8M. What if a team put an offer sheet on the table for 3 years at 9.8M? Would he sign it to force Oilers hand or stay the course and negotiate an 8 year extension?

    Would Oilers match? Compensation would be 2 first, a second, and third. I think they would but it would obviously make it difficult to fill out roster in next few years. Plus in 3 years he would still be RFA with arbitration rights and a difficult extension for Oilers at that time. What if offer sheet was structured 8.5, 9.5, 11.5M…. makes it even tougher on Oilers.

    • Who is offering 3 x 9.8 and giving up the compensation ? I don’t think the teams offering that deal would interest him if he values winning . IMO he would use it as leverage but signing a deal like that would be really be putting it to the oilers , by reports Leon wants to stay long term so signing a sheet like that would not make much sense . IF he did sign and with the salary as outlined I don’t know how chiarelli matches but I doubt we see that play out .

    • 3yrs and you still have one more year of rfa to negotiate a new long term contract. I agree the 2 1st rnd picks aren’t much to pay, as long as the team doesn’t fall to the bottom and win the lottery. Personally I would like to see that play out.
      I was thinking 4yrs at $7.8 known the Oilers would match, just driving up their salary cap and Leon would be a ufa when the 4yrs r up. I know one would do it, but it would be fun to watch.

      • Caper: Draisaitl would still be a RFA after 4 years because he played under 40 games his rookie year. Similar to Nylander on Toronto. Both are still 5 years away from UFA status.

      • I meant Nylander will be 5 years from UFA status after his ELC expires after 2017/2018.

      • Thanks Van, I thought it was 35 but you are correct. Then I could add another year to my offer.

    • I think he lands on one of the 31 teams too

  4. If Leon was RFA this time next year the Rangers would probably throw an offer sheet with Nash off the books.

    Which teams have the cap space to add 8-10million?

    • Car, Mtl, Arz, SJ

      • If those are the options , there is a good reason chilly doesn’t fear the offer sheet or Leon signing one .

      • Florida could swing it

      • Florida was told to pair their salaries to 65 mil by ownership. No team losses more money. What an unfortunate situation for Florida. Out are Jagr, Smith, Jokinen & Marsseault. That’s a ton of offense lost, replaced by Dadanov & Vrbata. Flo is at almost 68 in real salary now. They tried to trade Demers but he vetoed it.

        This team is a mess & things looked so positive before going off the rails last summer. If this isn’t the worst team in the east now then it’s the 2nd worst at least based on what they have today.

      • An owner that keeps meddling in hockey operations & doesn’t have sufficient knowledge of the game is a terrible thing.

        His management restructuring last season & pulling back monies has set Florida back 3 years min.

      • Don’t forget about Vancouver, which will have $14 million coming off the books after this season….

      • The Sedin’s will be resigned for at least 1 year, I wager 2 but they could be 2 1 year deals. Salaries should drop to about 5 mil per.

  5. Dreisatlfor Galchenyuk and 2 2nd rounders would be fair

    • Haha . Good one Paul .

  6. Draisaitl stays. I am sure he is well aware of the situation he is in via his agent. There is no reason to go anywhere because he has the potential to win and be paid; something all players are seeking. It’s really that simple.

    As for Duchene Lyle hit the nail on the head; Sakic has to seriously reconsider his asking price. This saga has grown akin to watching paint dry, or grass grow, etc. YAWN!

  7. Habs have the cap space but are unlikely to produce an offer sheet for Draisaitl.
    However, I would suggest that Montreal has possibly discussed trading Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Lindgren and a 1st for Tavares.

  8. Don’t we need to wait & see what Zadorov, Compher, Greer & Morrison all become before we determine who won the O’Reilly trade? Zadarov has 1 full season in the NHL, the other 3 have yet to play their rookie seasons. They still own Grigorenko’s rights for what ever that’s worth.

    I’ll give Buffalo the win today but in 5 years when 4 of these 5 players acquired for O’Reilly are fully developed lets review this deal. If Zadorov becomes a 1st pairing Dman or even a 2nd, Compher a decent #2 or solid #3 C & the other 2 all play in the NHL this trade swings.

    There was also bad blood with O’Reilly, I’m not sure if that’s on Sakic, Roy or both & he was 1 year from UFA status & didn’t appear to have any interest in signing in Colorado nor did they appear willing to meet his asking price. Col did far better than Benning trading Kesler to Anaheim, an even better version of O’Reilly.

    • Kesler had a full NTC and would only accept a trade to a California team. The other two had clear #1 and #2 centers in the system.
      I agree that the ROR trade result is up in the air but its a clear win for Buffalo right now, then again Sakic was pushed in a corner and did ok on that one.

      • I would have told Kesler no you have 2 years left on your deal, you agree to other trade destinations or you cn play here. I certainly wouldn’t have accepted the garbage Benning took from anh later componding the problem trading bonino & the 1st McCann for virtually nothing.

    • AJ Greer really shouldn’t effect the end result of the trade. It’s a 2nd round pick, through a subsequent trade, and shouldn’t be looked at as any more than that when grading the trade.

      Even if all the pieces added up in the end, we can’t forget the amount of risk in each piece. I think the trade deserves criticism, regardless of how it plays out.

  9. Jagr to pens still makes sense and not just in the storybook ending way. Jagr to play middle six and second pp minutes and you can move rust or horny for your third line center and actually get a good quality third line center. rust would return a decent young center while horny would give you more cap space to get a center being paid more bucks.

    • Jagr isn’t good enough to play in the Penguins top 9 let alone top 6…he burned his bridge back in 2012 when he had a chance to return to Pittsburgh and bolted last minute to hated rival Philadelphia Flyers..Mario will never let him comeback and GM Jim Rutherford said nope not interested….. he burned too many bridges.. hope he signs somewhere…

    • Definitely don’t need Jagr. Pens have too many wingers as it is and Archibald, Dominic Simon, Sprong and ZAR all should be permanently NHL players by the end of this coming season. We don’t have any use for Reeves, Kuhnhackle, Wilson or even Hagelen at that point and all but Reeves are decent players.

      • Deee. i think Ryan Reaves will surprise you as a 4th line winger who can fore check, provide energy, can hit well and hard, and provide protection… something we haven’t had in a while.. stopping teams like Columbus Washington take unnecessary liberties.

        you are right about the in flux coming of more young talented wingers

  10. DS,
    You have to keep in mind, teams making offer sheets, must have all their own draft picks in the compensation part of the offered deal.
    Yes, there are teams that have room to fit Leon on an offer sheet, but they also must have the corresponding picks.
    As for next year , if Leon is a RFA, NYR could possibly make a offer sheet for him, but even with Nash coming off the books, they will have 4-5 guys getting major raises, that will cut into the available money. Just something to keep in mind.

  11. Rangers send DeAngelo, Holden, 1st rd pick and Huska to AVs for Duchene