NHL Rumor Mill – September 30, 2017
Updates on Matt Duchene, Jaromir Jagr and Chris Neil in your NHL rumor mill.
THE DENVER POST: In a recent Q&A with his readers, Mike Chambers said it appears center Matt Duchene will open the season with the Colorado Avalanche. He adds there’s no rush to move him if management is happy with the defense to start the season. Chambers doubts Duchene’s presence will adversely affect his relationship with his teammates.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s appearance Friday on Edmonton’s 630 CHED discussing the latest on Duchene. He notes things have been quiet of late but doesn’t know if it’s because there’s no trade discussions at this time or merely the lull before the storm.
Friedman believes the Columbus Blue Jackets remain “very, very much in it.” He also thinks the Nashville Predators are “circling” while the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks have been “in and out.” With center Ryan Kesler sidelined, Friedman suggests the Ducks are a team that could make that deal.
THE ATHLETIC: Graeme Nichols recently examined the pros and cons of the Ottawa Senators making a move for Duchene. He feels the addition of Duchene would address the Sens’ long-term need for a top-six forward at left wing. He could also become a contingency plan if contract talks with center Kyle Turris go south. Among the cons are the high cost of taking on his $6 million annual salary and keeping him in the fold long-term, as well as the Avs’ high asking price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: What, did you really think we could get through an entire week without an update on Matt Duchene?
After weeks of non-stop speculation, things have grown quiet of late. Maybe it’s the calm before the storm but I think it’s because no one is willing to meet the Avs’ asking price. Teams are undoubtedly interested in Duchene but until the Avs seek a more reasonable return or someone gets desperate, he’s not going anywhere.
NBC SPORTS: Cam Tucker cites Andy Strickland reporting the agent for unrestricted free agent winger Jaromir Jagr said he’s currently in talks with three NHL teams. Tucker recalls there was speculation linking Jagr to the Calgary Flames earlier this summer, while St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong admitted there were internal discussions regarding the veteran forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames lack scoring depth at right wing while the Blues are looking to plug gaps in their injury-riddled forward lines. Either of them could be taking a serious look at the 45-year-old Jagr.
LA PRESSE: Guillaume Lefrancois reports agent Todd Reynolds said the Montreal Canadiens were among the teams that expressed interest in his client, former Ottawa Senators enforcer Chris Neil. Reynolds said the Habs offered up a professional tryout offer but Neil seeks a full-time NHL contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs appear to lack skilled blueline depth and have a longstanding need for a scoring center. Neil addresses none of those concerns. .