NHL Rumor Mill – November 3, 2017

by | Nov 3, 2017 | Rumors | 30 comments

Updates on the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers in your NHL rumor mill. 

BSN DENVER: Adrian Dater reports if there’s been any trade talk between the Colorado Avalanche and any other NHL team regarding Avs center Matt Duchene, none of the offers were good enough to get a deal done. With Duchene eligible in 2019 for unrestricted free agency, Dater doesn’t expect the Avs to let him walk away for nothing. He believes general manager Joe Sakic wants either a young established defenseman or  “a really strong, blue-chip caliber prospect defenseman.”

Dater also notes Avs blueliner Nikita Zadorov, 22, was a healthy scratch in recent games. He wonders if packaging Zadorov with Duchene might land the type of defenseman they covet. Zadorov went through a summer-long contract impasse with the Avs before signing a two-year, $4.3 million deal. Dater said he’s not advocating this move and admits dealing away Zadorov, who still has plenty of potential, could be a risk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Zadorov’s recent scratches from the Avalanche lineup there’s no indication Sakic intends to trade him. With the Avs off to a better-than-expected start to this season, Sakic isn’t in any rush to move Duchene right now. I think he’ll remain patient in hopes a rival club gets desperate enough to meet his asking price before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports scouts from 20 NHL teams took in last night’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators in Ottawa. The Senators would like to add a forward and Garrioch claims Wings GM Ken Holland is working the phones in search of help for his struggling club. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: In a recent mailbag segment, Helene St. James was asked about the chances of the Detroit Red Wings trading goaltender Petr Mrazek for a top scorer or defenseman. She notes Mrazek’s low trade value, pointing out he went unclaimed in the expansion draft.  Perhaps a scenario could open up where a team gets desperate enough for goaltending help to dangle an above-average player or prospect but doesn’t believe he’ll fetch a top scorer or defenseman. 

St. James was also asked about the possibility of Andreas Athanasiou getting moved by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. While she acknowledges his “high-end skill” makes the Wings better, she can see a scenario whereby an underachieving contender might offer up a blue-chip prospect or a first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once considered the Wings’ future starter, Mrazek is now entrenched in the backup role behind Jimmy Howard. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next July and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wings part ways with him in the offseason. The Wings really want to keep Athanasiou, who’s also an RFA with arbitration rights next summer. Unless they get a irresistible offer, I don’t see him going anywhere this season. 

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion was scouting the Vegas Golden Knights during their recent games against the New York Rangers and New York Islanders. LeBrun believes Dorion offered up goaltender Andrew Hammond to the Golden Knights, whose goaltending depth has been hollowed out by injuries. The Knights, however, probably took a pass for now. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Knights assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon said his club is likely to wait for their injured goalies to return rather than swing a quick-fix trade. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford wonders what the future holds for Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who’s in a contract year and hasn’t delivered as expected. He notes Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon expressed interest in bringing back Gudbranson in September but thinks the blueliner’s struggles could affect his value. Botchford also notes Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic is in coach Bob Boughner’s doghouse and wonders if he could be a fit with the Canucks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tallon may have wanted Gudbranson back before but he might not be feeling the same way after watching the blueliner’s performance this season. But if the Panthers GM still wants him and if he’s willing to part with Petrovic, maybe that’s something the Canucks should consider. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall isn’t in panic mode despite the injuries decimating his defense corps. Andrew MacDonald, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Radko Gudas are currently sidelined, as Sam Morin and T.J. Brennan. Hextall said he has no plans to make a trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere could return to the lineup this weekend. In the meantime, the Flyers have 15 points and sit only three points out of first in the Metropolitan Division. Hextall can afford to be patient for now. 




    • I don’t see Duchene moved until the trade deadline if even then. Perhaps next summer as his cap hit limits the # of suitors today significantly.

      Duchene was playing as the #3 C before Compher, Wilson & Jost were injured, he has played as the # 2 spot due to these injures but his wingers last night were Grimaldi & Andrighetto. Andrighetto has hit the wall hard since losing his spot with McKinnon & Rantanen. Colorado doesn’t have the depth to overcome these injuries but are hanging in there.

      Duchene sits 6th in PP TOI/GP for forwards in Colorado. It’s like Bednar is playing those players he knows are staying, which I guess makes sense in some way over Duchene where possible.

      I have watched Colorado play quite often this season which is odd. It started with the 2 games against Boston early & it’s to bad they lost Compher. This kid has looked solid especially defensively, his 2 way game is solid & his skating abilities have really surprised me.

      • You obviously haven’t watched many Avs games Striker. Stats never give you the “feel” of what is actually going on. Andrighetto has not hit the wall. And it has only been 2 games off of Mackinnon’s line. Aren’t you the one always preaching patience? The only current concerns in Colorado are Yakapov and Zadorov, but they are only minor.

        The Comeau-Soderberg-Nieto line has become a staple and was dominant in last nights game. This line has finally come to fruition. And Duchene is not in the 3rd center position. He is 2nd center. I know you like to claim your own lines based on your marriage to stats. But the coaches, broadcasters, media, etc. Refer to this as our second line. Bednar is just giving lines the extra ice time who are playing well. Symmantics? Sure, if your just an outside observer. But, if your not trying to insult the fans, learn their team. It may be just a small slight, but insensitive is never welcome in any capacity.

        I get you Striker. Your way of communicating is very similar to mine. We don’t mean to be indifferent, opinionated, or arrogant, but sometimes we are taken that way when that is not our intention at all. We are just offering up things as we see them from our point of view, while having absolutely no intention to discredit or challenge other points of view. I assume that, like me, you are actually taking in and looking at others views. But, somehow we give the impression to others that our opinion is the only one that matters, when all we are trying to do is avoid a useless debate and offer an insight to the conversation.

        I may be off, but I think it is somewhere in the vicinity.

      • And, Striker… It is a pleasure to meet my other side. You base your insights on the hard points, like a scientist or mathematician.

        As I put more stock into insights based on emotion, feel, and intuition.

      • I have watched Colorado play 4 games in their entirety, portions of 2 & seen 1 live & enjoyed them. I didn’t see the Vgs thrashing.

        I have been defending Colorado, Duchene, Barrie & Sakic endlessly.

        I think part of the shuffle is the loss of Compher, Jost & Wilson. It has forced a shuffling of the deck.

        Andrighetto has 2 points both against Chicago in his last 7 games.

        I am officious by nature & it’s hard to be light hearted in text when expressing data & assumptions.

      • I agree stream. Striker I find you watch the game but only take the stats from and don’t get the game within the game very well, Duchene will be gone by the deadline or before if it goes to the summer Duchene will demand a trade and Sakic who has struggled as gm to say the least does not want a trade demand

      • I think it will be the draft or summer for a Duchene deal as Sakic will be pressured to make the deal as that will be his last best shot at a significant return. Teams will have more cap space and as of July 1 the team considering trading for him can negotiate an extension if they get permission. That removes a major stumbling block for teams like Columbus and Carolina who are not going to give up quality young assets for a player with less than 2 years left.

      • Yeah maybe right…….I just think with teams like Montreal struggling and other team inconsistencies early some team might step up and over pay a bit for Duchense

        i also think Sakic is tired of the whole thing…

    • I still think Ceci for Duchene (and maybe some other pieces on both sides) would work for both Ottawa and Colorado

      • I don’t see Ottawa giving up Ceci. Nor would I give him up for Dechene straight up. Business issue for me, Duchene being a UFA in under 2 years.

        Ceci is only 23 with 297 games on NHL regular season experience which means he’s still not where near fully developed for Dman at the NHL level. That’s 5 or 6 years or in or around 400 regular season games before you really know what that Dman will be for the vast majority.

        Ceci is an RFA this summer & will see a substantial raise but Ott should be able to lock him up for 5 to 8 years at 4.5 to 6 depending upon the term.

        Ceci has steadily moved up Ottawa’s D depth chart every year. He is now logging the 2nd most TOI/GP & taking the hardest assignments. He will make a great safety net & partner for Chabot in a couple of years. Finding this typoe of asset & developing 1 is very hard. You only let them go if confronted with little choice or a significant need but even then incredibly rare. See Johansen for Jones.

        Ottawa has Duchene. His name is Turris. Get him signed for 6 years at 6 to 6.5, if you have to take him for 8 to get him resigned then ideally cap hits drops nominally over the last 2 years.

        Ottawa has to do something & they are looking but trading Ceci doesn’t make Ottawa better. With out a solid D & Ottawa’s D is already adapting to life with out Methot moving Ceci would be devastating. Bad D’s make great goalies look bad to average. See NJ last season, MTl this season & both Edm this year losing Sekera & Win last season losing Myers hurts incredibly. Imagine Ottawa with out Ceci. It wouldn’t be pretty.

  2. Another 1 of Benning’s stellar trades. McCann & a 2nd & 4th for Gubranson. I hated that trade then & I hate it more now.

    Benning has compounded the issue by signing Gubranson to a 1 year deal this summer making him a UFA next summer. Hopefully Vancouver has something to show for moving McCann when the dust settles. McCann looks to have 2nd or 3rd line abilities in his young NHL career.

    Like Virtanen he should have been returned to Jr as opposed to spending his rookie season in the NHL barely playing then getting jettisoned for what is really a #5 Dman with no foot speed who’s only attributes are hitting & clearing the crease, well maybe he’s good in the room. These types of assets can be had as UFA’s in the summer & far cheaper than 3.5.

    If rumors are to be believed Florida moved Gubranson as he declined a 5 year 5 mil per deal. Being a Bruins fan I sure like K. Millers 4 years at 2.5 when I look at players like this.

  3. Matt is doing anything this year to help the matter he looks disinterested and not producing. Sakic needs to move soon or this mess will turn even worse. If he is looking for a young stud D-man with potential I’m not sure Matt is enough.

    • Duchene has 3 goals & 8 points in 12 games. He was scoring very well until injuries hit to Compher, Jost & Wilson altering line combinations. He has taken 183 faceoffs winning 56.3%, good for 12th in the NHL for players with 150 draws or more.

      I’d say he’s playing very well. He sits +2, not a great stat but I like to use the stat when comparing players on the same team. Rantanen is -6, McKinnon -5 & Andrighetto -8.

      When you factor in PP points of which Duchene has none, that means Duchene has been on the ice for 2 more goals for than against at ES, 10 goals scored at ES when he’s on the ice. Rantanen has been on for 10 goals against, McKinnon 10 & Andrighetto 13 at ES. That’s a swing of 18 goals at even strength from Rantane & McKinnon to Duchene. Duchen has played a key role in Colorado’s start.

      Duchene is right on his career norms for goals & points & what I projected him for this season 20 to 25 goals & 50 to 55 points. What’s interesting is he is maintaining these #’s even with a significant reduction in TOI/GP & PP TOI/GP.

      I have watched Colorado play 4 full games this season & parts of 2 others. I have only seen Colorado play live once this year a 3-1 loss to Dallas. Duchene played great scoring the only goal for Col & dominating the faceoff circle.

      • He’s making 6 million and is an UFA in 2 years for what Sakic is asking for I think 3 goals and 8 points is average at best.

      • In July of 2013 when this deal was signed 6 mil a year was chump change. Centers that can score 20 to 25 goals & 55 to 60 points dominating in the face off circle get paid.

        When Duchene’s next contract will be for at least what he is making today unless for 7 or 8 years.

    • Disinterested? Not producing? He has 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points and is a +2 – just 1 point back of these guys and with a game in hand: Eberle (-4), Drouin (-5), Thornton (-3), Toews (+7), Saad (+5), Tkachuk (E), and just 2 points back of these and with 2 games in hand: Toffoli (+4), MacKinnon (-5)_, Van Riemsdyk (-5), Oshie (E), Simmonds (+1) and Zetterberg (-5_.

    • It’s interesting that you think that because I’ve been watching every game and he absolutely looks into it to me. He has an extra jump in his step and he’s trying hard to win. Some of the plays I’ve seen him make were outstanding.

  4. Flyers defence is definitely holding together by a thread. But as mentioned ghost could be back on Saturday. On a positive note 2 young defenceman Robert Hagg and Travis Sanheim have been getting tons of important minutes. This will translate into dividends later. Hagg has been a strong defensively paired with ghost at the beginning of the year. But in the last week Sanheim has grown exponentially.
    One thing that has flown under the radar is Provorov. He is playing between 28 and 30 minutes a game, killing penalties and on the power play. His sophomore season has been exceptional. He has elevated him self to a legit #1defenseman. And has to be considered among the elite in the NHL.

    What is going to be interesting is what card Ron Hextall plays over the summer and over the next year or two. Philip Myers is projected as a top 4 defensemen. And Sam Morin will be looking for a place in the lineup as well. There has to be demand for a skilled young defenceman in the league and hextall will be able to translate into future assets.

    • Sanheim is a solid developing Dman. I watched the end of that game against Arizona the other night & felt bad for him in OT. Those experiences will help him grow. Even veterans have brain cramps like that.

      I own Provorov in 1 of my keeper leagues. Untouchable baring an offer I just can’t refuse. A stud 2 way Dman already, like watching a young Doughty but not getting the 1st unit PP deployment that Doughty received in his rookie year. Will be hard to dislodge the Ghost from that role but even with 2nd line duty double digit goals & 40 poiunts in a walk this year baring injury.

      You build successful teams from the net out. Hextall has certainly accumulated a fabulous treasure trove of Dman & he has several solid G prospects he just needs to find a short term fix for the next 2 to 3 years to buffer their development at the NHL level, unless Lyon is ready very soon. Ideally he would assume the back up role for at least 1 season & that doesn’t appear to be happening this year baring a serious injury to Elliott or Neuvirth.

      • @striker- good comparison with Doughty. I was thinking the same.
        Question-if u were running the the leafs would u offer up Marner for provorov?
        And if I was Hextall I would refuse the trade. Thought?

  5. Vegas, shouldn’t be looking for goaltending help, there is no need for this team to be in the playoffs. No need to give up a pick or prospect for someone you’ll have to deal away soon enough. Vegas goal should be play competitive and draft high.

    • Nothing wrong with that reasoning. Which of the 3 injured goalies is expected back soonest?

      • They can have Reto Berra off waivers if they wish.

    • It’s to bad they just didn’t send Pickard down to Chicago & bump a goalie to their ECHL affiliate. Giving him to Tor for nothing doesn’t make sense.

      Unless you feel Lindberg & a 6th are something?

      McPhee has made several odd choices so far as GM. That said I agree with you. Vgs has been built for the future as any expansion team should be. & they players that he will be able to retain are solid 2 way character players that will help mentor the kids coming.

      I may have done a few things differently but he’s put Vgs in s oldi long etrm position.

  6. Elliotte Friedman’s Nov 1 benchmark has come which purports to show that those teams 4 points or more out of the playoffs seldom climb back in. In fact, since the 2005-2006 season 46 of 52 teams – or a full 88% who find themselves that far out on Nov 1 wound up missing the playoffs. This year in the east that would be Buffalo, Florida, Montreal and Carolina while in the west it’s just Edmonton and Arizona. So, in total, 6 teams, and if the 88% holds true, just one of the six will make it. You have to think that that one would be Edmonton, with Las Vegas crumbling. In the east I guess the big question is whether Carey Price gets it together in time to save the Habs season, and if NJ can keep up their pace as the season wears on. Especially with games in Edmonton tonight, Calgary on Sunday and St. Louis on Monday.

    • I could see Ottawa dropping out the team is playing way above where it should be and I think they could drop out in a quick way

      • So, essentially the same team that was one goal away from the finals just a few months ago is playing above their heads? This is the 4th highest scoring team in the east with guys like Chabot, White, Harpur and Jaros on the horizon. And you accuse Striker of knot know the game within the game??? Jaysus.

      • I know george and I are sens fans but seriously Ottawa has solid depth, two good goal tenders, a coach the playets buy into. A perrenial norris calibre defensmen. Were 2nd in their sivision last year are currently 2nd this year. Went to the conference finals and took pittsburgh further than any of their other competition.

        Yet you claim they ate playing above themselves.

        Toronto has proven their vunerabiliry. Boston has 2 games in hand and csn easily knock T.O out of their spot.

        Florida, detroit, buffalo and montreal have ovvious holes easily seen. Montreals poor start may be a surprise to many but their finish last year wasnt good and the hole dug is likely too deep for a team who cant score to climb out of.

        Only Tampa who is killing it stands above the rest.

        Yet Ottawa should be worse when comoared to the divisional peers.

        It looks to me like the playoffs ate an almost certainty for my team.

        *knock kn wood*

      • Why does everyone give Ottawa such little respect! Who came within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals this year? Who hung in there while waiting for their best player to return this year? Ottawa! They always find a way. By the way I am a Leafs fan who is infuriated by the parade planning within media circles. We suck! The D is horrible and Ottawa made fools of us in that 6-3 game. Just being objective here. Ottawa has as good a chance as any other Canadian based team to go all the way. I hope Winnipeg keeps improving as they also infuriate me!

  7. Aves fans claim they won the O’Reilly trade but JT Compher 29 games 4 goals, Zadorov is a head case and Grigerenko is a bust.