NHL Rumor Mill – September 6, 2017
Updates on Matt Duchene, David Pastrnak, Andreas Athanasiou and Cody Franson in your NHL rumor mill.
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers reports Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene was absent from captain Gabe Landeskog’s pre-training camp practice yesterday. Nathan MacKinnon and Nikita Zadorov also missed the practice. MacKinnon was in New York on an NHL media tour while Zadorov is still without a contract.
Duchene, the subject of trade rumors since last season, was in Vail, Colorado on Saturday attending a wedding. Veterans are expected to report to training camp on Sept. 14. “I talked a little bit with Dutchy. He’s not here; that’s not a secret,” said Landeskog. “As of right now, he’s a part of the Avalanche organization and we all expect him to be here when training camp starts.”
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic recently acknowledged fielding trade offers for Duchene. Chambers feels a trade “appears inevitable and the return could fetch a much-needed defenseman or two.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Attending a pre-training camp practice isn’t mandatory for veterans such as Duchene. His absence doesn’t mean he intends to skip training camp, but it certainly stokes the trade speculation.
A trade might seem inevitable but nothing appears imminent. That could change if Sakic can find someone willing to pay his steep asking price (reportedly a young, proven top-four defenseman, an established NHL player, a first-round draft pick and a top prospect) or if he’s willing to reduce it. Media trade chatter linked Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports agent J.P. Barry, who represents winger David Pastrnak, said he and the Bruins recently discussed a new eight-year contract for his client. The Bruins had offered the Pastrnak camp a choice of six- or seven-year contracts worth $6 million annually. If Bruins GM Don Sweeney is willing to offer eight years, Dupont speculates that “perhaps middle ground between $6 million and the recent $8.5 million a year the Oilers recently gave Leon Draisaitl, who is also a 21-year-old forward/center.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Bruins going as high as Draisaitl’s annual average value. I think they’ll look at something close to $7 million. Pastrnak was briefly the subject of trade speculation last month but Sweeney wasted little time dismissing that idea.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports it appears increasingly likely that Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou could sign with a KHL team. Athanasiou’s agent Darren Ferris said it’s becoming more of a possibility his client will head to the KHL because of the wide disparity in negotiations with the Wings.
The cap-strapped Wings are offering the restricted free agent a two-year deal worth just under $2 million per season. However, he’s getting offers from multiple KHL teams of one-year deals worth around $3 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Wings had sufficient salary-cap space, I don’t think they’d be keen to match or exceed those KHL offers. They could let Athanasiou head to Russia for the upcoming season and revisit contract talks with the restricted free agent next summer.
Been told UFA Cody Franson is down to Edmonton or Chicago. Vancouver never called.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) September 5, 2017