NHL Rumor Mill – November 4, 2017
A potential three-way trade involving Matt Duchene fell through. Details and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports a potential three-way trade involving the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators that would’ve sent Avs center Matt Duchene to the Senators has fallen through. Dreger cites sources saying Senators general manager Pierre Dorion aggressively pursued the 26-year-old Duchene since mid-September with talks heating up in recent weeks. He said it now appears those trade discussions are “dead in the water.” Dreger adds it’s believed Dorion initiated the idea of a three-way deal involving the Predators and those talks went on for the past several days.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman shed a little more light on some of the proposed trade details. In addition to Duchene going to Ottawa, the Senators would’ve sent center Kyle Turris to the Predators. He’s not sure what the Avs would’ve received in return from the Predators. Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm came up in discussions but Friedman said there’s no certainty he was part of the final deal. He followed up saying the Avs would’ve received “a haul of picks and maybe a prospect or two, but no Ekholm.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators and Predators were among the clubs with the most interest in Duchene. Given the Avs high asking price, more than one pundit suggested it could take a three-way deal to move him.
What’s interesting is the Sens reportedly offering Turris to the Preds in order to land Duchene. There was recent speculation over Turris’ future with the Senators following reports he was seeking an eight-year contract extension, something the Sens are apparently unwilling to do. This news indicates the Sens appear willing to move Turris if they can’t get him under contract on their terms provided they can get a comparable center in return. Expect his name to feature prominently in the rumor mill in the coming weeks.
As for the Preds, it’s no surprise they wouldn’t part with Ekholm. GM David Poile said last summer he had no intention of moving any of this top-four blueliners. He appears unwilling to budge from this stance, which explains why this deal fell through.
Could the Sens revisit their interest in Duchene? I wouldn’t rule it out but it could prove difficult without getting a third party involved. It’s obvious Dorion doesn’t want to part with too many futures to get him, hence his willingness to send Turris to the Preds. I also wonder if Poile might try to swing a three-way deal with another club to bring Duchene to Nashville.
THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance speculates Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist might garner interest once activity starts picking up in the NHL trade market. He points out Nyquist’s performance has improved compared to this time last season, putting him on pace for a 20-goal campaign.
Custance cites one Eastern Conference executive suggesting Nyquist’s offensive skills could attract some interest. Others, however, cite his inconsistency as an issue. While his $4.75-million salary-cap hit is reasonable, his actual salary for next season is $5.5 million, which could be a problem for small-market teams. The Wings could seek a younger defenseman in return, but the going rate for that type of player could be a winger with a higher end than Nyquist, such as Andreas Athanasiou.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist also has a full no-trade clause for this season and next. If the Wings decide to shop him near the Feb. 26 trade deadline I believe he will attract some interest, but I don’t see them getting a good young player back. His salary and inconsistent play hurt his trade value.
SPORTNET: Hockey Central at Noon panelist Doug MacLean believes Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett might be better off being traded. He feels there are teams in the league who really wants him. He feels Bennett could benefit from a change of scenery, adding he’s spoken with teams this summer that would like to get him. Fellow panelist John Shannon, however, said the Flames aren’t down on Bennett and are giving him ample opportunity to succeed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLean isn’t the only person suggesting Bennett might be better off playing elsewhere. Sometimes a trade to another team can help a struggling young player find his mojo and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think the Flames are keen to part with Bennett right now, though if someone makes a serious pitch I think they’ll listen. They’ll likely want to evaluate his performance over this season and decide by next summer if he still fits into their plans.