NHL Rumor Mill – October 3, 2017
Latest on Matt Duchene and Andreas Athanasiou plus updates on the Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports there was something close regarding a trade of Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as early as a couple of weeks ago. He feels the best scenario for the Duchene camp is a poor start to this season by a team could elevate interest in the center. A bad start by the Avs could put more pressure on general manager Joe Sakic to swing a deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Sakic moves Duchene before the season opens tomorrow. At this stage, it appears the Avs GM will continue playing the waiting game in hopes a rival club gets desperate enough to meet his asking price.
As Dreger points out, Sakic will face increased pressure if the Avs have a poor start. If they’re at least playing .500 hockey, he can afford to be patient.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are believed most interested in Duchene. I wonder if they were the club that was involved in that possible move Dreger alluded to.
Bob McKenzie reports the stalemate continues between the Detroit Red Wings and restricted free agent forward Andreas Athanasiou. The Wings are budging from their two-year offer of $1.9 million per year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKenzie also noted the impasse between the Columbus Blue Jackets and winger Josh Anderson but that was resolved overnight with Anderson accepting a three-year deal worth $1.8 million annually. Perhaps that spurs Athanasiou to accept the Wings’ offer.
Pierre LeBrun speculates the Edmonton Oilers might have to add some blueline depth with veteran Andrej Sekera still recovering from a torn ACL suffered during last spring’s playoffs. He feels the bottom half of their defense could be an area of scrutiny. They’ll start the year with their internal options but over the course of time GM Peter Chiarelli could take a look at the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vegas Golden Knights could be a prime trade target for Chiarelli. They’re still carrying a lot of defensemen and GM George McPhee last week said he’s been getting back to clubs expressing interest in a blueliner.