NHL Rumor Mill – August 9, 2017
Latest on the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins in your NHL rumor mill.
CBS SPORTS: Cody Benjamin recently listed reasons why the Colorado Avalanche should and shouldn’t trade forward Matt Duchene.
The frequency of the trade speculation, its possible distraction carrying over into 2017-18 and the Avs’ struggles with Duchene in the lineup are among the reasons why he should be dealt.
On the other hand, the Avs inability to find a suitable return and an opportunity to rebuild around a refocused Duchene could make retaining him a worthwhile option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic remains unwilling to reduce his asking price, Duchene won’t be moving anytime soon. While it’s possible the 26-year-old could be dealt before the start of 2017-18, it’s looking likely that he’ll be starting the season with the Avs.
If that happen, Duchene and Sakic must discuss his role and the club’s direction for the upcoming season. A solid bounce-back effort from Duchene, who’s signed through 2018-19, could improve the Avs but also bolster his trade value, making it tempting for Sakic to move him.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland anticipates having to make a move to clear some salary-cap space if everyone is healthy to start the upcoming season. The Wings currently sit at around $77.5 million. They’ll get around $3.95 million in cap relief by placing Johan Franzen on LTIR, but they still have to re-sign restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland’s adopting a wait-and-see approach, meaning he probably won’t make a move until sometime in September. He could trade a salaried player or perhaps demote a waiver-exempt player. Much will depend upon how much it costs to re-sign Athanasiou and the status of those recovering from offseason surgeries.
CSNNE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty said the Boston Bruins remain in contact with unrestricted free agent winger Drew Stafford, who they acquired at last season’s trade deadline. Haggerty thinks Stafford could be a good insurance policy if some prospects fail to pan out at training camp. However, he thinks the Bruins should invite him to training camp on a tryout basis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Stafford remains unsigned as training camp approaches, accepting a professional tryout offer from the Bruins or another club could be his only option for remaining in the NHL.