Updates on the Avalanche & Golden Knights – August 14, 2017

by | Aug 14, 2017 | Rumors | 34 comments

Should the Colorado Avalanche consider shopping defenseman Erik Johnson?

Possible trade candidates for the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights are examined in your NHL rumor mill. 

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien looked at some of the burning questions facing the Colorado Avalanche approaching this season.

While noting the trade rumors regarding forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, he suggests moving the contract of defenseman Erik Johnson ($6 million annual average value through 2022-23) if the club fails to show signs of improvement.

If Duchene and/or Landeskog are to be traded, O’Brien suggests hanging onto them in hopes of driving up their trade value, rather than deal for a position of weakness. 

With Calvin Pickard lost to expansion and with Semyon Varlamov having only two years left on his contract and backup Jonathan Bernier on a one-year deal, the Avs must decide how they’ll handle their goaltending for the long term.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Three years after their promising 2013-14 season in which they finished second in the Western Conference standings, the Avalanche are a mess. Changes are necessary but general manager Joe Sakic faces a daunting challenge.

For all the chatter that Sakic “must” trade Duchene before training camp, the Avs GM doesn’t appear keen to slash his asking price for the 26-year-old forward. If he sticks by it, Duchene could open the season in Colorado. 

We haven’t heard much about Landeskog in the rumor mill since the March trade deadline. That doesn’t mean teams aren’t interested in him but I daresay his 33-point performance last season adversely affected his trade value.

If no one meets Sakic’s price for Duchene or Landeskog, I expect he’ll retain them both. Sure, it could be difficult for both guys and pose an unnecessary distraction for the coming season. But better that than making a bad trade. Both players could also be motivated to improve this season. That could not only bolster their profiles in the trade market, but it could also improve the Avs this season.

Moving Johnson’s contract is easier said than done. When healthy, he’s a good all-around blueliner but he’s been hampered by injuries throughout his career. He’ll turn 30 in March and that could also make him a tough sell. If Sakic decides to move Johnson, he could be forced to pick up part of that $6 million annual cap hit.

Losing Pickard to the expansion draft significantly hurts the Avs long-term goaltending plans. I doubt they’ll re-sign Varlamov and Bernier is simply a stop-gap measure. Addressing that issue should be a priority for Sakic, either through the draft or via trade. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: With defenseman Nate Schmidt now under contract, Jared Clinton recently suggested the Vegas Golden Knights must get busy clearing their logjam on the blueline. They now have 11 rearguards under one-way NHL contracts. Only one, Shea Theodore, is exempt from waivers. Jon Merrill, Griffin Reinhart and Brad Hunt could hit the waiver wire. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Golden Knights GM George McPhee is waiting until training camp/preseason in hopes a rival club or two becomes desperate for blueline help. Merrill, Reinhart or Hunt could be trade candidates. McPhee could also peddle Clayton Stoner or Luca Sbisa.

I don’t think Jason Garrison will be shopped, in part because McPhee could look to him to provide some leadership and puck-moving skills to his defense corps. Schmidt and Theodore aren’t available and I can also see McPhee sticking with Colin Miller and Brayden McNabb. 



  1. McPhee could be hoping for training camp or preseason injuries to deal D. IMo he will be squeezed.

    As for the Wings they r screwed IMO

    As for the Av’s Landeskog would be easier to shop with Boston or Anaheim or the Canes being good trading partners. Duchene if he moves off his stance & accepts reality.

    • Why are the Wings “screwed”?

      • Its painfully obvious…

  2. VGK have to move two defence in addition to Theodore down short term and Hunt waived.

  3. God I’m sick & tired of seeing COL & Duchene in the rumor mill. Can this be put to rest & move on!

    • Just ignore them.

    • Greg…totally agree with you move on trade Duchense already start the season fresh..

  4. the Oilers should trade a 1st for Reinhart

    • Edmonton would probably need to add a 2nd rounder to make this deal happen

    • As he was picked up from Edmonton in the expansion draft he cannot return to them until the calendar year.

  5. Any name calling today?
    I’ll check back later.

    • *#%@ *&$

  6. When push comes to shove I think Vegas will waive D in the following order.

    Hunt, Stoner, Engelland. I’d be surprised if any would be selected by another team regardless.

    That would leave Vegas with 8 Dman on their 23 man roster. The standard contingent most teams carry.

    It’s possible they could send Theodore down temporarily for business reasons but unlikely. I think the younger D like Reinhart & Merrill will be kept as if waived someone will select them.

    Mcphee made several very poor selections choosing many of these D over other players he could have selected. This team is going to be bad, like Colorado bad last season. Dead last with 45 to 50 points in the standings.

    • I agree pretty much other than he stockpiled a ton of picks but still some questionable selections.

    • Bad is good. Mcphee is setting up a farm… early round pick from being bad, moving vets at deadline. they will be top 5 in future watch real quick. Definitely made an overestimation on value of bottom pairing d men though. its odd though because several of the guys would be helpful to col, mont, jersey.

    • If trade partners can be found for Sbisa, Garrison or McNabb all UFA’s following next season I assume all will be traded by next seasons trade deadline.

      Taking McNabb over Clifford & Engelland over Brouwer were mistakes. Especially Clifford who has 3 years remaining at a great cap hit & he can take a regular shift on a 3rd or 4th line.

    • Anybody here of anything regarding a supposed blockbuster coming..involving the Kings. Pasternak of the Bruins and the avalanche either Landescog or possibly Duchense

      • I think I might have heard something… on another site… which one was it…?

      • I sure hope not. Pastrnak is a stud in the making if not 1 already.

      • The other site? The National Enquirer?

  7. What do the Leafs have to part with to get Miller from VGK or Johnson from COL?

    • I think it’s unlikely either are moved. Miller is the only RH D with a pulse in Vegas.

      Col can’t afford to move Johnson.

      The D market has returned to it’s usual graveyard status. You want a decent to solid dman it’s going to cost you.

      Still shocked that Methot was moved so cheaply.

      • methot was an anchor on any d man on ott not named Karlson. he did really well with karlson and there is something to be said for a d man who can help superstar d men play to their max potential (I wuldnt mind seeing methot play next to tanger). But really he is a #4 guy or bottom pairing d man. he got a 2nd and a prospect. What was he worth… a 1st?

    • Gordie…it was acrually hockeybuzz.com

    • Hey Gordie..you of national Enquirer jokes told you something is a brewing in Boston.
      Pasternak wants $7 million for $ 7 years bruins don’t want to pay him more than marchand or bergeron. He may get dealt…hockeybuzz.com and now they are talkng about it on here so we will see.

  8. A 2nd rounder in 2020 & a goalie prospect drafted in the 7th round this year. Just doesn’t seem like enough to me although agree with your basic valuation. He should make a great safety net with Klingberg on the #1 pairing in Dallas.

    • Again with the whole 2020 stuff… that doesnt make sense to me. I dont have a grasp on why mcphee is looking that far ahead… a second rounder even if they make it, in 2020, is looking at 2022 at the super earliest. I think Mcphee has done an over good job so far but the years of these picks is confusing… maybe he is concerned about overloading the barn after he trades half the team at the deadline this coming year? I’ve read some nice things about that goalie they got too… sure its a long shot but still another can in the cupboards.

      • Why wouldn’t he be looking that far ahead? It’s only 3 years and he’s not winning anything in the meantime. 3 years is the earliest they won’t be the worst team in the league and even that is debatable.

      • I git looking ahead. His strategy so far has reflected that. But looking ahead 5+ years seems excessive.

      • This is the 17-18 season. 2020 is 2 and a half years away. Time flies. It’s really not that far ahead.

      • But 2nd round picks rarely pan out right away… look at our own sprong. Hence the 5 + year away remark.

  9. Leafs should look at Miller because he has a different upside then Carrick. Then if Jets are really interested in JVR they could add Carrick or Miller to get Trouba. Might have to add a pick but would be a realistic deal. Same kind of deal without the pick would also be realistic for Dumba.

    Col should also talk to Vegas for Sbisa, Reinhart and Merrill. Get two of them then offer Johnson to the Wings. At the deadline they could be turned into assets. Add that to whatever you get for Duchene and Landeskog and you have a major rebuild with lots of assets and prospects coming back.

    • JVR and Carrick is not getting you Trouba or Dumba. Maybe Nylander and Carrick. JVR is UFA in 11 months. Trouba and Dumba are top pairing dmen and those are hard to come by.

  10. Is it possible the ‘Hawks pick up one as they got ‘future considerations’ from the Kruger trade?