NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2017

by | Oct 14, 2017 | Rumors | 24 comments

 Latest on John Tavares, Dustin Brown, the Lightning’s defense and yes, Matt Duchene in your NHL rumor mill. Enjoy!

THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle wonders if San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson will try to acquire New York Islanders center John Tavares via the Feb. 26 trade deadline or next summer’s free-agent market. The 27-year-old center could be the perfect fit to help the Sharks transition from an aging Joe Thornton.

Gackle acknowledges reports suggesting Tavares could prefer re-signing with the Islanders, but the center won’t commit to a long-term deal until the club finally locks down a permanent new home. He also notes the potential cost of adding Tavares could be a salary-cap headache for Wilson.

It’s unclear if Tavares will remain a dominant into his 30s, noting his production has declined over the last two years. Gackle suggests Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene might be a better option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Wilson is interested in landing Tavares, he’ll have plenty of company. Tavares will be the best player in next summer’s unrestricted free agent market. However, he might not be available by then. If the Isles win the bidding for a new arena at Belmont Park, I think Tavares re-signs soon afterward. He’s very loyal to that franchise but wants assurances that they’ll get their arena issue sorted out before committing to a long-term deal. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Speaking of Duchene, Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman appearing on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 discussing the Avs’ plans for the center. The club’s strong start to the season has reduced the noise over Duchene’s trade status and Friedman believes the club intends to hold onto him for a bit. He also believes the Avs will do some heavy scouting of team prospects, as rival clubs are reluctant to part with talent from their rosters. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene’s start to this season should improve his trade value but it could also give the Avs second thoughts about trading him. Mind you, the relationship between Duchene and Avs management needs some serious repair work. 

Friedman also discussed the strong start to this season of Los Angeles Kings winger and former captain Dustin Brown, who’s improved under new head coach John Stevens. He adds that Brown had grown frustrated under the stifling defensive system of former coach Darryl Sutter, but he’s now getting first-line minutes and is making the most of it. 

Friedman feels the Kings have moved from trying to trade Brown and his lengthy contract to trying to improve his play. He thinks Brown has a no-trade to Canada but thinks it’s possible his name came up in offseason trade discussions between the Kings and Ottawa Senators when they were discussing Dion Phaneuf. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brown’s contract and the decline in his production over the last several seasons made him impossible to trade. Even if he regains his former 20-goal, 50-point form this season, I don’t see the Kings finding any takers for his services. It’s in the Kings’ best interest to find a way to help him improve his game. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports something has to give with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s “eight-deep” blueline. Slater Koekkoek, who’s off to a good start to this season, needs more playing time to develop. Smith believes teams have inquired about Koekkoek’s availability. There’s also been rumblings Andrej Sustr is being shopped. 



  1. The club’s strong start to the season has reduced the noise over Duchene’s trade status and Friedman believes the club intends to hold onto him for a bit.
    That’s funny, in related news Av’ unable to get their asking price for Duchene.

    • Yes. It doea make sense if you think the player is better than what you can get on the trade market for him, to keep him.

      • Jeff, it’s funny because that’s what they been doing since it became public.

  2. if tavares really wantes to help isles…if they are out of the playoffs, allow a trade to another team for a solid return then resign with NY next year.

  3. Colorado has scored 10% as many goals as last season & has 20% as many points. Duchene has 2 goals & 5 points in 5 games, Barrie 2 goals & 4 points.

    It’s amazing what can happen when you can ice 20 players that meet the bare minimum of NHL skill sets & can roll 3 lines with the ability to generate some level of offense. Last season Colorado had 4 offensive players to start the season & 1 was a rookie.

    It’s early but this isn’t last seasons Colorado Avalanche. Who built this current roster?

    If you haven’t seen Compher play yet, treat yourself, this is 1 of those bums Sakic got in the O’Reilly trade. He is going to be a very solid NHL 2 way hockey player.

    • You tell em striker!

      • I will Chrisms. As Dobber says, I tell them when I’m right & I tell them when I’m wrong. It’s to bad more here don’t steps up & acknowledge when they are out to lunch. Rest assured I’ll be rubbing it in all season. I have had to listen to everyone but slick62 slag Sakic endlessly for well over a year now. Now he might win executive of the year. Ha-ha!

        More impressive is they haven’t had NJ’s or Vgs’s light easy schedules. They played 5 games in 8 days, the 1st 3 in 5 days on an east coast road trip. 4 of the 5 games were played against playoff teams from last season the 6th, 9th twice & 13th best teams in the league.

        Nor does it get any easier for them. They play 6 games in the next 8 days, @Dal, @Nas, vs Stl, vs Dal, @ Vgs vs Chi. Few teams are coming out of that schedule playing 500 hockey regardless of who they are.

        Compare that to Vegas who plays 3 games in the next 8 days vs Bos, vs Buf & vs StL. Vgs 1st 4 games of the season were @Dal, @Arz, vs Arz, vs Det. You could almost bus to those 2 road games.

      • I thought this was to early o judge, need 10g, then 15 an 25 or some kind of order.
        Mackinnon, Duchene, Landeskog, Barrie are all above average. Lets not forget Varlamov and his .945 sv% compare to ly .898 sv% and two of the wins came against Boston. Too early to say you were wrong Striker.

      • Easy now. That Dallas bus trip would have been a corker.

      • It’s OCTOBER hockey – don’t get too carried away. Does anyone really think Ottawa is that much better than Calgary (6-0 last night) or that Chicago is THAT much better than Pittsburgh (10-1).

        You MIGHT be “rubbing it in” as the season turns into December – then again you might not. I think they’ll come back to earth with a thud – only time will tell.

      • You tell em George!

      • How about those wild card Rangers… off to what looks like another deep run! Hahahahahaha

      • It is to early to tell but as I said you get snippets early. I assume you watched Colorado play Boston twice Caper being a Bruins fan & it was a Bruins team with out Krug, Backes & Bergeron in 1 & Bergeron & Backes in another but Colorado has far more depth than last year & several other Sakic’s draft picks, trade acquisition & UFA signings have played well early on.

        As for NYR outside of Zibanejad no 1 else is scoring. It’s extremely concerning even though early. As I have stated numerous time I have the standings between those that make the playoffs & those they don’t as extremely tight. These lost points could come back to bite NYR in the ass. The difference for a team like them finishing as the 1st wildcard team & 12th could be as little as 4 to 6 points.

        I stick to those markers, 6, 12 & 25 but again snippets of data can be garnered & as for players it’s obvious for many already even this early into the season, hell even before the season would have good years. I drafted Keller in every pool I went in, I took him early in all but 1 where he was actually protected.

        As always it’s the 80/20 rule. In or around 80% follow a pattern the others swing seriously the other way either positive or negavtive.

        For all of you that slagged Sakic you should be eating crow if not now as it’s early then very soon.

      • So it’s too early to tell where you may have been wrong, but enough time to say you were right in other cases?

      • Haven’t heard “slag” since I was in Ireland last…I’m not going to bash Sakic, I think Duchene situation goes back to Roy. But I still think he gets moved eventually, same way Drouin relationship never repaired in Tampa. As far as Rangers, they had terrible start same year they went to finals. Not worried. Still geling and power play looks great. They’re getting chances, but as mentioned here before, not scoring at same high %. If I’m Gorton, I would look to move Nash for pieces he can use for Duchene.

  4. Its a bit early to judge anything.

    Teams are still knocking ruat off.

    But i was wondering if your (striker) original final season prediction rankings has changed already.

    • No. I don’t start to even consider altering my predictions until the last team in the league has played it’s 12th game & even then unless totally obvious I sit on my hands until the last team in the league has played it’s 25th. By then everyone has played a brutal portion of there schedule, games played has balanced out significantly as a % of some playing more than others.

      As an example numerous teams have played 5 games already yet Carolina has only played 2. That’s 150% more games. By the time the last team in the league plays it’s 25th game those discrepancies will be in the 3 to 5% range.

      • Striker,

        Are you a Colorado fan? You are talking about it being too early to make any claims and yet are telling the rest of us to eat crow regarding our comments on Sakic. How do you explain the drastic fall from grace of the Avs after Roy’s first year coaching there? Is that a big enough sample size to suggest Colorado is a mess? It’s too early for anything just yet. Do you think Ovechkin will get 148 goals this year? That’s what is projected to happen? I am being facetious as you yourself provided the rest of us with benchmarks for determining the best possible prediction for the remainder of the season. So what’s with the parade planning for Colorado? I for one could never understand how a team as talented as them could be so bad in the first place. The knock on Joe is his continued stubbornness regarding his asking price for Duchene. Its ridiculous.

      • Yet Dallas only has 1 win and Detroit 1 loss

    • I have Colorado getting 70 to 75 points in the standings being 1 of the 3 worst teams in the west but scoring 40 to 50 more goals than last year. So still very bad but significantly better than last season & Sakic’s efforts to rebuild this team will start baring fruit this season, year 2 for me, year 3 max.

      I didn’t expect Col to start the season 4-1 to start the season considering their schedule & it’s far more impressive to me than anything NJ or Vgs have accomplished. That said I watched NJ the other night & what a transformation from what they looked like last season. Even though they have only played 4 games I may well be very wrong on where I projected them to finish but to early to really tell but they really played well, the team speed shocked me.

      • Sorry Striker I guess you aren’t planning a parade. So does a 70- 75 point season warrant people backing off of Sakic? If your projections are true there are deals he should have already made to improve defence to get more than 70-75 points. Great players don’t always make great managers.

  5. The Leafs have a forward or two that could land one or both of Sustr and Koekkoek.

  6. The Tavares will end up just as boring as the Stamkos sweepstakes did. He will re sign with NYI. Hockey players are boring that way.

  7. The Tavares saga sorry