Latest Blues & Predators Speculation – September 25, 2017

by | Sep 25, 2017 | Rumors | 38 comments

St. Louis Blues probably won’t get into the bidding for Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene.

A look at possible moves by the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators in your NHL rumor mill. 

STLTODAY.COM: Replying to questions from his readers, Jeff Gordon believes finding a No.1 center for the St. Louis Blues will be difficult this season. That’s why Blues general manager Doug Armstrong hopes Brayden Schenn can play at that position. If he can’t, Gordon thinks Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene would be a great fit but salary-cap space and the Avs asking price are two big obstacles.  Regarding Dmitrij Jaskin, Gordon suggests he could get dealt for a draft pick if he doesn’t find a higher gear soon. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues haven’t come up as a possible destination for Duchene, likely for the reasons cited by Gordon. With only $1.55 million in cap space entering this season, the Blues would have to move considerable salary to clear space for Duchene’s $6 million cap hit. If Schenn pans out as hopes and if Paul Stastny can stay healthy, they won’t have any need to pursue Duchene this season.

THE TENNESSEAN: In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan believes defenseman Alexei Emelin will be the odd man out when Ryan Ellis reclaims his top-four spot on the Nashville Predators’ blueline. Ellis is currently sidelined by a knee injury. His return will push Emelin to the third pairing and he could become a trade chip if the Predators need something else. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emelin is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. Depending on how this season shakes out, he could get shopped by the Feb. 26 trade deadline if there’s another short-term roster need to be addressed. Otherwise, the Preds will keep him for another shot at reaching the Stanley Cup Final



  1. Lyle, if I’m a St. Louis fan I’m starting to squirm a bit as a result of those “ifs” piled upon the loss of Steen (week to week), Sanford (indefinitely), Berglund (early Dec) and Bou\wmeester (wonky ankle)

    • You can now add Fabbri to the list as well! I’m not sure that Duchene is the solution however, but I also don’t think that all the young Blues prospects are quite ready for the long-term

    • Give stastny for duchesne, Stastny is way overpaid, not the Duchesne isnt

  2. Emelin should not be expected to be anything but a 7 or 8 depth defenseman on that roster.

    • #5 when Ellis is healthy, he will play ahead of Weber, Irwin & Bitetto.

      • Emelin would play ahead of Weber, and Irwin. I thought they looked solid in the playoff run as a third pairing. Nashville certainly are loaded defensively aren’t they Striker? Do you think Duchene fits there? Because, to me, they seem quite alright up front too. I know Rinne had a bounce back playoff performance, at least for the first three rounds, but I wonder if Nashville would be better served in pursuing a goalie? Your thoughts? Or anybody else’s as well.

      • The Preds have at least a couple of good years left in Rinne and Saros is quite the under study.
        He looked better than Rinne for stretches of the season, I think the preds are covered in goal for the forseeable future.

      • Saros appears to be a stud in the making. Nashville’s pipeline for D & G is unmatched in the NHL.

        I don’t like Bonino or Jarnkrok as the #2 C & Nashville is a legitmate cup contender but the #2C position is a concern. Jarnkrok has far more offense than he’s shown but rarely been deployed in that role, to good defensively so see’s defensive assignments.

      • Steven.

        Irwin & Weber played under 12 mins a game in the playoffs getting easy deployments.

        I don’t know what people have against Emelin. Yes he has warts everyone does some more than others but he played with Markov on Mtl 2nd pairing last season seeing nominally less TOI/GP than Markov or Petry, he is an elite level NHL hitter having finished 5th for Dman in the NHL last season, a willing shot blocker, he clears the crease & is a solid penalty killer although Julien removed him from that role when he took over.

        As a #5 in Nashville he provides something them were missing. Standing in front of the crease won’t be very pleasant in Nasville now. Emelin had more hits than their top 4 combined. Not really but very close, Emelin 241, Subban, Ellis, Josi & Ekholm combined 257.

  3. Anyone prefer Duchene over Schenn or Stasny

    • Hockey Canada does.

      Schenn has really played LW; only took at little over 400 draws last season winning 46.96%, 45% on his career, most of his career & Duchene is significantly better in the face off circle, lead the league last year for players with a thousand draws or more. 52.7 on his career.

      Duchene has out scored both Schenn & Statsny significantly over the last 5 years. Statsny is 5 years older than both & has struggled with injuried 4 years running & is a UFA next summer.

      Few players have relied more on the PP to generate points than Schenn, playing on 1 of the best power plays in the NHL for most of his caeer has helped.

      Depends on what criteria you wish to use. For me it’s Duchene nominally ahead of Schenn, due to he plays more C, is far superior on the draw & doesn’t rely so heavily on PP icetime to prodcuce. Stastny well behind due to age, injury issues & contract status.

      You can’t judge a player on 1 bad season playing on 1 of the worst teams in ever in the NHL.

      • Sorry typing on my phone. The travel season has started.

        All kinds of spelling & gramatical errors. I’m having a site issue where it keeps refreshing mid stream, there is a wierd lag when typing & sometimes the cursory just vanishes meaning you afe no longer getting text on the post.

        Add in these small buttons & old eyes & it’s a mess but it’s semi legable.

      • I put my foot in mouth after adding Stasney in there.. He breaks down 4x a season. But Duchene’s production is on par with Stasney at same age. Duchene has broke 60 points twice… and declining for 3 seasons now at a young age

        It can’t just be the water in Colorado.
        I cannot wait for Sakic to move him

      • Yes, Hockey Canada does prefer Duchene. That’s the one ace in the hole Sakic seems to be using in inflating his value as well. Which is smart on Sakic’s part.

      • Until he runs out of time and potential trade partners.

      • Schenn has been far more effective as a wing than center in the NHL. I’m not even sure he’s #2 center material. If he can’t up his consistency at even strength, he’s going to be very unpopular in St. Louis.

      • All 3 of these players are similiar except for age. Solid NHL players who have had above average careers. Really all that separates them from their offensive abilities is age. Apples & oranges in styles of play in numerous areas but in their ability to point up points per game almost identical.

    • Emelin is one the best hitters in the league, players on the other teams have to be aware when he’s on the ice-you’ll love him in Nashville

  4. Stasny is a band aid. Can’t count on him unless he happens to be healthy at playoff time.
    Schenn plays a lot bigger and tougher than people give him credit for. I would be reluctant to trade him straight up for Duchene.
    Blues might be in trouble out of the gate. 2 points in October is just as valuable as 2 in March.

    • Good point. Schenn plays a far more physical game. For me he & Duchene are almost a wash. I have Schenn in 1 of my fantasy leagues. Those PPg’s pay huge.

  5. I would really like to see Duchene in Carolina. Not that I see it happening & not for any of the current NHL dman. Ideally it would all be futures. Fleury, 1 of the really good forward prospects & a pick. I also take Francis at his word that the 2 years don’t appeal to him.

    That said adding Duchene to that squad at C pushing Lindholm back to RW would really help. A C of Duchene, Rask, Staal & Kruger would be awesome.

    I have Carolina as a playoff team now.

    My next choice would be NYI just can’t see the deal followed by Anaheim. They make the most sense to me. You could also make a solid argument fo nashville but really only Anaheim has what Sakic appears to want & could potentially afford to trade it. Would sakic take an injured Vatanen? Would anaheim be willing to give him up?

  6. One thing is certain…
    Few players would waive their NTC for Colorado right now

    • Agreed but the asset they want won’t have those rights regardless. Very few young established top 4 Dman have NTC’ s that kick in before them reach the age they would have achieved UFA status.

      Duchene will eventually be moved it may not be until the trade deadline or even next summer unless a serious injury hist someone. Taking on a 6 mil salary at this point of the season seriously limits trade options.

      • If sakic doesn’t move him before the new yr he should be fired. You can’t have that distraction around a team especially a rebuilding team

      • Could happen that way Striker. May even happen after the draft as you can’t get permission to negotiate with him on an extension until after July 1 which is a roadblock for teams like Carolina. Which I understand.
        Duchene needs to play better first and if it takes a year, then it takes a year.
        It won’t be a distraction if they don’t let it become one. Simply tell the media you won’t comment on it and then don’t. They will move on eventually.

      • I agree Raybark. This is a business, take the high road play your best help your cause. Duchene is neither the 1st nor the last player to find himself in an unds=esirable position.


        How does this differ from say Drouin’s situation? Other than Duchene is being honorable not a whining sniveling pouting premadona. Duchene is willing to play until a solution can be found.

        Colorado isn’t going any where with Duchene nor with out him this season so no rush this season to move him really.

      • “How does this differ from say Drouin’s situation? ”

        Well Drouin wanted out due to lack of playing time. Duchene has been the scapegoat for the Avs falling to the bottom of the league

      • Apples and oranges there striker, drouin wasn’t one of the already core guys. And any dumb coach that doesn’t put an offensive guy like drouin on the top 2 lines, most players would want out! Sakic shouldn’t be a gm it’s pretty easy to see he isn’t a ” stud” gm

      • “easy to see he isn’t a ‘stud’ gm” – LOL

      • Bigbear, Drouin’s lack of responsibility away from the puck and not battling hard enough was the reason he wasn’t getting prime ice time on the top 2 lines. Same message sent to many players on any given night in the NHL. Ice time is the main tool a coach has to influence behavior. Especially young guys still learning.
        You earn your ice time. At least on the good teams that’s the way it is and that is why good coaches do it.

      • Ray (striker) bark with a lineup like Tampa had last yr in a weak Atlantic division does a good coach miss the playoffs ?

      • Duchene wont be a distraction because colorado sucks. They expect another long hard season. Drouin was a distraction because he distracted a good team from play to their capabilities.

  7. Striker,
    Thanks for the info on Emelin. I forget who but one of the commentators on TSN was really low on his opinion of Emelin. I think it might have been Craig Button? Maybe Duchene does make sense there if Jarnkrok sees more defensive deployments at center? At any rate, I agree in general with everybody that Nashville could very well be the team to watch again this year in the West. Edmonton will improve but not sure they bounce Nashville out, just yet, in a 7 game slobberknocker?

    • The top teams in the West by # of teams are greater than in the east & harder to get to the cup than the east. Getting to the cup final is hard in either conference, Edm, Cal, Chi, Nas, Min & StL, Anh who have injury concerns in the short team are all solid cup contenders coming out of the west.

      A teams health entering the playoffs plays a huge factor. No harder trophy to win in pro sports. A 2 month month physical grind.

    • Emelin a hockey sense is very low and if he isn’t hitting he isn’t doing much productive, he is a bottom pairing guy at best

      • & he will be in Nashville when Ellis returns. Althougfh Nashville has 1 of the best top 4 D’s in the NHL. Top 5 if not top 3.

        The facts as usual don’t agree with you Bigbear. You should take the time to go & look. Those facts also play out live when watching those games.

        He hasn’t played that role in MTL in the last 4 years. He has played top 4 in TOI/GP the last 4 seasons on the 2nd pairing seeing nominally less minutes than Petry or Markov, same on the PK. By ES icetime he slots in at #2 as he see’s no PP time which Weber, Markov & Petry do.

        If a 3rd pairing Dman why was Mtl playing him as much as they did at ES & on the penalty kill? Surely that wasn’t solely as he hit people.

        On most teams in the NHL he slots in as a #4 with a few exceptions.

      • Maybe you need to delve a bit more into stats or the eye test cause you sure aren’t hitting the 80% mark like you say

      • Emelin couldn’t make Ottawa’s 5/6 pairing.