NHL Rumor Mill – August 9, 2017

by | Aug 9, 2017 | Rumors | 26 comments

Will the Avalanche trade or retain Matt Duchene?

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.  



  1. This might be Stafford’s ONLY chance at playing in the Olympics.

      • Wonder how many of these still unsigned UFAs harbor any hope of being offered a chance to go?

        Iginla, Jagr, Dwight King, McClement, Parenteau, Kelly, Neil, Vanek, Franson, Polak, Beauchemin

        Are any of them worse than those that will be culled from Europe or the minors?

      • You also have to wonder what it could do for some of those players careers. Some of them more of a legacy thing (Iginla, Doan, Beauchemin), but some could use it as an opportunity to show they are undervalued, or even gamble on not signing an undervalue 1 year deal or PTO to go to the olympics in hopes of striking a better payday. Guys like Parenteau, Franson, Vanek, Stafford, Despres, Chiasson might be better off not taking a low ball one year deal and try and showcase themeselves on a bigger stage. Not only could it be their only chance of playing in the Olympics, but it could actually work out to be more lucrative in future deals.

        Guys like Franson and Vanek have been underrated for what they do because they either no longer live up to what they used to be capable of, or just get buried in the line up. Neither player is top tier, but both are far better than fringe NHLers, so some exposure on a big stage could make them attractive to teams on longer than 1 year deals for more than complete bargain basement prices.

      • Good point.

      • The world cup worked for Dennis Seidenberg, after Boston buying him out, he showcase himself well enough to land with the Islanders. However I would think most would like to get paid at the start of the season. You have to think there is a ream that wants Stafford services, maybe the asking price from him and others is just to high right now. On the other hand there are teams with RFA to sign and they just don’t know how much cap space is left until they get them players signed. As is the case with Stafford resigning with Boston until the Pastrnak deal is done.

      • You also have to think that, after pulling in millions in recent years – and unless they were complete idiots – most if not all have sufficiently fat bank accounts/investments that a few months of no income won’t be too hard to bear. And a good showing at the Olympics and its timing of mid-to-late February could, as Danny points out, lead to a fatter deal from teams seeking help following injuries (which WILL happen) than they would have got by being low-balled now.

      • Any player signed after Dec 31st meaning after the Olympics has to clear waivers if signed so that reduces the motivation for the team trying to sign them as they may not get the player regardless.

        Not saying it won’t happen just stating there is a wrinkle.

      • I’m sure they could care less at that stage. I mean, if someone does put in a waiver claim wouldn’t they either have to pay them at the same rate they were earning before or, at the very least, make them an offer they can’t refuse?

      • Jeez Chris Neil in the olympics….why even bother watching it at this point? Also we’ll more than likely be at war with North Korea so they’ll probably be cancelled anyway.

      • Team signs player for X $ then player needs to clear waivers. Team putting in waiver claim assumes the contract.

        May reduce the motivation of a team to bother even trying. Not saying it would but it might. No 1 wants to waste their time helping another team potentially for nothing.

  2. The only waiver exempt player currently shown on Capfriendly for Detroit is Rasmussen & they don’t show Coreau or Frk on the roster currently who both have to clear waivers this year.

    Sending a waiver exempt player down to solve their cap issue isn’t an option. I assume Witowski will be sent down as Detroit won’t be carrying 9 D. Nor is it likely he’s selected, purely depth fodder.

    • Witkowski would be the #13 or #14 forward he wont be playing D in Detroit unless we’ve an injury to our blueline Blashill wanted Witkowski on our 4th line because of his ruggedness. And Rasmussen will be going to the Tri-City Americans any ways Holland has us in cap hell so we will probably have to waive Witkowski depending Sproul he could be waived or put on LTIR.

  3. Holland sure has created a cap mess in Detroit by locking up all those average NHL players to long term / over priced contracts. Helm, Abdelkader, Nielsen, Ericsson… That would be a ton of cap space freed up if he had signed them to appropriate contracts. Predict another bad year for the Red Wings, least they have a new arena!

    • They may now be the worst team in the east. A little early for predictions but it doesn’t look good.

  4. Does anyone care about the hockey portion of the Olympics now? Of no interest to me what so ever. Not the best in the world so I’ll watch NHL hockey instead.

    The IOC is going to lose millions on hockey now, it will be curious to see if they give back what they took away for China. The other interesting dynamic is the league maybe in a lockout when the Olympics are in China.

    • I don’t plan on watching Olympic hockey at some ungodly hour. It may all be moot anyway if push comes to shove in the recent war of words between Washington and Pyongyang!

    • For me, the Olympics have never been about star power. It’s about the competition. As a natural fan of games and sport all my life, I naturally enjoy the competition. On any pure stage of competition I can get into almost anything. Although I can’t stand the NBA at all, I have found a love for college hoops. I like watching the NFL, but I love watching college football. I enjoy MLB, but I have found a recent new love the past couple of years in watching the Little League World Series. On the other hand I love and much prefer World Cup and Olympic soccer to the pro version, as well as NHL hockey to any other form.

      For me, I love the purest form of sport. Where athletes of any kind can achieve the highest level of thier sport. It brings out the best competition and the highest emotion a viewer can have. This pureness and extremeness of the complete inner champion to achieve outstanding glory, among other things (like the people, good character, and the overall aura and purity surrounding the game, etc.) is what brought me to fall head over heels in love with hockey. The purest glory is the best feeling a spectator can have. And it is what I have always craved. And the NHL is the epitome of ballerina warriors.
      Such finess and grace with a perfect blend of distruction and indeterible will and the highest level of competion in all of sports, and set on stage the saga of the longest season and the most epic triumph of glory to be achieved in all the world of games and sports. Olympic hockey is great with all the stars, but the competition pales to that of the NHL. It isn’t quite the same. And even though I know what Olympic hockey will be lacking this time, I will much more enjoy the purity of competition of the amatuers battling for their once in a lifetime ultimate glory, and perhaps their once in a lifetime chance to shine. As an American, I never liked the arrogance of Teams USA in most international sports, other than the women’s side. In hockey I always liked Canada, Sweden, and Finland better. At least Canada can back up any arrogance they’re entitled to. But, now that Olympic hockey is mostly amateur this time I can watch every team with interest and enjoyment instead of cherry picking the better games to watch. I have the pleasure of taking in the whole saga of the Olympic hockey story with avid attention this time, which makes for a much better, more complete game lover’s experience.

      And as it stands now, I have yet to pick my hopeful, likely, underdog, villian, and feel good story teams. And for this American, USA and Canada could be any of those yet.

      For the first time I get to experience Olympic hockey with a fresh new slate. And as an open and unbiased enjoyer of all nationalities of hockey on the world’s stage.

    • Ki watch any hockey. Be it nhl, ahl, qmjhl, world cup, juniour championshio, olympics, womens.

      So yes i will likely watch the olympics regardless.

  5. With new ownership in AZ willing to be bolder and willing to spend a bit of $ would a deal between DET and themselves work?

    Bolland (2yr/5.5m place on IR), Connauton (1yr/1mthen UFA)and a 2nd to DET
    Green (1yr/6m then UFA) & Nyquist (2yr/4.75m) to ARI

    That would reduce DET cap by around 10million. Then have a bottom pairing Dman coming back to replace Green and have more $ to resign their important young talent. Bolland is then place again on IR.

    ARIZONA gets another scoring winger to add more scoring depth to their top 9. They get another OFF Dman to pair on the bottom with Schenn and fit in their TOP 4 while Chychrun is out.

    Balanced enough trade?

    • So, in reality, the Wings get a 2nd round draft pick for BOTH Nyquist and Green, both solid players? Nyquist is a top 6 forward and Green is a top 4 defenseman who can quarterback the power play.

      I don’t have an issue with taking back a LTIR player in Bolland, I don’t know what they would do with Connauton.

      IF the Wings were to take the dead LTIR of Bolland they would have to get something else of value for sure. They would have to get a GOOD prospect or some good draft picks as well. Maybe a 1st and another mid pick or prospect. Or keep the 2nd rounder in there and send a good prospect.

      Yes, it would certainly cut a great amount of salary from the Wings and that would be valuable but given the skills of the players, either one by themselves would be worth at least a 2nd round pick plus something.

  6. I know that you don’t trade someone just for the sake of making a trade, but Sakic needs to make a sacrifice and lower his asking/demanding price for Duchene. This will benefit Duchene, and in turn show to the rest of the League that he can make respectable GM decisions. Lastly, this whole dilemma is bad for players wanting to go to Colorado, which used to be THE TEAM TO GO TO (Bourque, Kariya, Selanne, etc.).

    • I disagree. Sakic needs to do what’s best for Colorado. I have maitained Colorado shouldn’t trade Duchene now with 2 years remaining unless they get an offer that meets their needs.

      They can always trade him at some point leading up to the trade deadline in the final season of his contract.

      I see no real reason to m$ove him now well his value is tainted due to a horific year by Colorado. They weren’t just bad but historicly bad. 1 of the worst teof all time.

      At 26 Duchene should fit with the rebuild clorado is in.

      • While on paper this makes sense, I cannot see a situation where Duchene resigns with the AVs as a pending UFA.
        Its one thing to be rumored to move, it’s another when you are obviously available.

  7. Holland and the previous GMs kept the Wings in the playoffs for 25 years. Late draft picks and aging players eventually catch up with a team. Give him a couple of years to sort things out. He earned the chance.

  8. Carolina doesn’t need to acquire a C. Rask, Lindholm, Staal & Kruger are their top 4. Staal actually logs the most TOI/GP even though he plays as the #3 5 on 5.

    Ryan, Teravainen & Jooris can all play C if required. I like Lindholm more as a RW so if a solid #2 or 1B if you prefer could be found that move could be made.

    Carolina isn’t moving any of those D for the players being discussed? To what gain. They also have 1 of the best prospect pools in the NHL.

    This is a playoff team in the east as constructed now & Francis has the D, picks, prospects & cap space to do anything he wants. That said few teams function on a tighter budget. Only Florida loses more money than Carolina & they have a sweetheart lease deal or they would lose more money than Florida.