NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2017
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace recently wondered if the loss of Lukas Sedlak to injury might force the Blue Jackets into the trade market to bolster their depth at center. He noted Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen was among several GMs who’ve made pitches in recent months to the Colorado Avalanche for center Matt Duchene. However, the Avs asking price is high, reportedly a current player , a draft pick and a blue-chip prospect.
Arace said Ryan Murray and Sonny Milano are rumored to be part of the Jackets’ offer. “Would you give up Murray, Milano and a first-rounder for Duchene?”
THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Aaron Portzline was asked if there’s a possibility the Jackets trade for Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk. he doesn’t rule it out of the realm of possibility though he doesn’t know if Galchenyuk is seen as a proven center or a more capable winger.
Portzline was also asked if investing in a return of Artem Anisimov would be worthwhile for the Jackets. Given Anisimov’s contract ($4.55 million annually through 2020-21), it’s not something that makes long-term sense for the Jackets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the teams linked to Duchene in his never-ending rumor mill, the Blue Jackets seem the best fit. The sticking point, as always, is the Avs asking price. If an offer of Murray, Milano and a first-round pick for Duchene was acceptable to Colorado GM Joe Sakic, Duchene would be skating with the Jackets today.
I don’t think Galchenyuk is a worthwhile gamble for the Jackets. He’s yet to prove himself as a center.
Anisimov would be a better fit skill-wise but, as Portzline points out, his contract doesn’t fit within the Jackets budget. Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson are eligible for free agent status next summer and Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin and Zach Werenski are up for new deals the following year.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports anyone expecting Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to swing a trade to help his struggling team will be disappointed. Bergevin said the answers to his club’s woes rest with the current roster. He adds they’re not giving up on forward Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been demoted to the fourth line.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen cites reports from TSN and Sportsnet indicating the agent for Vegas Golden Knights center Vadim Shipachyov was given permission to seek a trade. One reports claimed Vegas GM George McPhee contacted the Canadiens’ Marc Bergervin but the latter wasn’t interested.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Bergervin was looking for roster help via trade (and I think he was), there’s simply no offers he’ll get right now that can provide immediate help for the Canadiens. I’m sure his critics probably think Shipachyov would’ve been an affordable gamble, but he’s carrying a $4.5 million annual cap hit through 2018-19. That’s a lot of coin to invest in a 30-year-old center who’s struggling to adjust to the North American game after playing his entire career in Russia.
THE ATLANTIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported on the contract stalemate between the Ottawa Senators and center Kyle Turris. The 28-year-old Turris seeks an eight-year deal but the Senators don’t want to go that high. He wonders what Sens GM Pierre Dorion will do by the Feb. 26 trade deadline if his club is in playoff contention but Turris remains unsigned.
He doesn’t think Dorion wants to move his top-line center and the only acceptable return would be getting another first-line center in return. That deal won’t be easy to make. Should Turris hit the free-agent market this summer, LeBrun wonders if the New Westminster, BC native might be a fit for the Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were reportedly interested in Matt Duchene, so why not swap Turris for Duchene? Because, as we’ve heard ad nauseum for months, the Avalanche want a hefty return based on promising young players. The 28-year-old Turris is two years older than Duchene and believed seeking around $6 million annually on a long-term deal. I don’t think the Avs are interested.
As for Turris going to the Canucks, that depends upon the play of Bo Horvat and if they intend to bring the Sedins back for another year.
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford recently reported defenseman Troy Stecher joining Alex Edler on the injury list won’t force Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning into the trade market. Strecher will be sidelined weeks, not months. Benning said he’s called up Patrick Wiercioch and currently has seven defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 11 points in nine games, the Canucks are also off to a better-than-expected start. Benning isn’t under any pressure right now to swing a deal.