NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2018

by | Aug 14, 2018 | Rumors | 54 comments

Update on the Senators’ Matt Duchene, some potential waiver-wire opportunities for the Oilers and an observation about the 2019 NHL Draft in your NHL rumor mill.

Unlike last summer, Matt Duchene’s name has popped up much in trade speculation (Photo via NHL Images)


NHL.COM: During a recent mailbag segment, Dan Rosen was asked about where center Matt Duchene fits into the Ottawa Senators’ plans. He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July. The Senators owe the Colorado Avalanche an unprotected first-round pick in next year’s draft, as that was part of the cost of acquiring him last fall. As a result, that pick could become first overall. 

Rosen doubts Duchene will be moved anytime soon. “There is simply no way the Senators will be able to get back the value they gave up to get Duchene if they trade him now,” he said. Rosen also feels it’s too early to know what the center thinks of the Senators right now. That’s because we don’t know what kind of team they’ll be this season and what they might get in return from a possible Erik Karlsson trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Karlsson trade speculation and Mark Stone’s contract status has overshadowed Duchene’s situation. Unlike like summer, there’s been no conjecture over possible trade scenarios involving the 27-year-old center. Unless he requests a trade, the Senators have no reason to shop him right now.

Duchene and Senators management could wait and see how the first half of the season unfolds before opening any contract dialogue. If the Senators are once again floundering near the bottom of the standings in the new year, Duchene should once again surface in the rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently examined several waiver-wire possibilities for the Edmonton Oilers to address general manager Peter Chiarelli’s intent to bring in a 14th forward. His suggested options include Toronto’s Josh Leivo, Tampa Bay’s Adam Erne, Buffalo’s Nicholas Baptiste and Montreal’s Michael McCarron. Mitchell also pitched Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect Lucas Wallmark and Florida Panthers winger Frank Vatrano as possible trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mitchell noted Chiarelli’s recent comments about perhaps bringing in a free agent via professional tryout offer. With the Oilers carrying a projected $4.9-million in cap space for 2018-19 (stick tap to Cap Friendly) and defenseman Darnell Nurse to re-sign, Chiarelli appears to be seeking affordable depth options up front. In other words, we can probably rule out the Oilers swinging a major deal to add a forward before the start of the season. 




  1. Who in the world trades an unprotected first rounder these days??? Oh that’s right, the inept Pierre Dorian does … what a mess

    • It was protected it was a 2018 or 2019 1st rounder. Ott protected their 2018 pick in this deal & choose to use it as opposed to giving it up.

      • I still do not agree with the sens taking Tkachuk at 4 and giving up next year’s pick.

      • I sure hope it doesn’t come back to bite them in the ass. If & that’s a big if it becomes Jack Hughes this may well go down as 1 of the worst trades in the NHL ever.

        If Duchene can’t be extended at some point even if it doesn’t become Hughes the player Col acquires with this pick may well make it 1 regardless. Much will depend on what Ott turns Duchene into if traded & not extended.

      • Time will tell if that was a wise decision or not.

      • I don’t like the idea of evaluating a trade based on what a pick turns into. I think you have to look at it on the basis of the information known at the time.

        Not saying that the pick ending up as #1 overall doesn’t hurt more, just that a trade is needs to be based on the information available.

        The problem with the trade from the get go was that Ottawa paid a big premium to essentially turn Turris into Duchene. Also, with Karlsson just coming back from a major injury, and his contract as well as Duchene’s expiring in 2019, it makes the timing of the pick very poor if things don’t go well.

        To me, this was an insane risk for a very marginal talent upgrade, for a team that was never as good as their conference final made them look. If things didn’t go well, they have to go into the 18-19 season with their two most talented players as pending UFA’s with no first round pick.

        Since having a poor season they have doubled down on this by selecting with the pick, taking Tkachuk over Zadina, and now signing Stone to a year making him a UFA next year, it’s just a mess.

        There is stuff out of their control, but the realitiy is they are going into a season where it looks like their 3 most talented players might walk for nothing, or get traded for less than fair value, and they don’t have a 1st. That’s bad, no matter what the pick turns out to be.

      • A bird in the hand etc etc. even if ott bombs and if col wins the lottery they made the right move.

      • Wouldn’t Turris & Zibanejad who both signed for decent monies & term, 5.35 mil for 5 years & 6 mil for 6 years respectively have been a better option than what Ott is facing now?

        I agree somewhat you can’t look at what a pick becomes for later rounds but when Ott moved their 1st for me it was obvious it was going to be a high lottery pick.

      • Striker: It was an insane overpayment, but how did Ottawa know they were trading a high lottery pick when they made the Duchene trade? They had a good start last year and the wheels didn’t come off until they returned from Sweden after the Duchene trade. I’ve said repeatedly that they either got next to nothing for Turris OR the Bowers/1st/3rd combo, but they couldn’t have expected both 2018 and 2019 to have high lottery pick results after coming within a goal of the Stanley Cup final.

        We’ll see if they made the wrong choice taking Tkachuk at 4th overall vs. keeping the 2019 pick soon enough. Jack Hughes would be a disaster, but Tkachuk could be as good or better than basically everyone else picked 4th or later in the 2019 draft. Even if Ottawa finishes last this year, they are still most likely to pick 4th by a significant percentage. I don’t expect them to make the playoffs, but who knows. No one had NJ and Colorado being as good as they were last year and Ottawa has a lot of young players that could surprise (Brown, White, Batherson, Formenton, Tkachuk, Chabot, Wolanin, etc.).

        If Anderson and/or Condon play like they did two years ago, they could challenge for a playoff spot. Ottawa’s defence wasn’t great last year, but I completely disagree with you on the defence hurting the goaltending more that it just being bad goaltending. I watched nearly every game last year and Anderson/Condon cost the team a ton of games letting in demorilizingly bad goals.

      • Van I agree. Striker that was one of the most absurd statements I’ve ever read on this site. And that’s saying something

      • Let’s not get crazy here. Ottawa could be better than a lot of people here are projecting but they are not in playoff contention. The Metro will own both wild card spots and the only team after Tampa, Boston, and Toronto in that division that has a chance at a wild card spot is the Panthers. Ottawa is not sneaking in. There are 3 teams that are contenders and the Metro is the best division in the NHL and will almost certainly have 5 teams represented in the 2019 playoffs. If Ottawa traded the pick that became Jack Hughes for Matt Duchene that would hard to recover from unless they trade Karlsson, Stone, and Duchene for first round picks and good prospects and then win the Lafreniere sweepstakes that will accelerate their rebuild. If that happens losing that high pick in 2019 will be less of a disaster. Both Hughes boys are great players but Lafreniere is the next big thing. He’s big now but he’s still growing. Anyways my point is Ottawa has about a 2% chance of making the playoffs and a lot of bad things have to happen to a lot of teams for them to have any hope.

      • Deee: Who had Ottawa making the Conference Finals and TB missing the playoffs in 2017? I know I didn’t. I agree it’s unlikely Ottawa makes the playoffs, but you play the games for a reason. I thought NJ would suck last year, but Hall carried them to the playoffs and won the Hart. Vegas made the Cup finals! Every year, 2 or 3 teams come out of nowhere and surprise.

      • If Ottawa kept turris perhaps their season doesn’t fall apart and they would not be even thought of as being in the Hughes sweep stakes.

        Those who do t like this trade talk as though they new the team would bottom out.

      • Yeah I did say that a lot of things have to go wrong for a lot of teams for Ottawa to make the playoffs. It’s possible but not very probable.

    • That said I agree with you. Dorion with solid help from Melnyk has created an incredible mess in the short term.

      • As someone mentioned, looking at trades at the time they’re made… Zibenijad was a good move for Rangers at time, but let’s not forget Ottawa went to conf finals with Brassard instrumental in knocking off Rangers in 2nd round

      • For me 1 of the worst things to happen to Ott was getting to the conf finals in 2016-17 it gave people false hope. I had Ottawa as a playoff team that season just based on the previous season & being able to ice a decent to solid top 4 D but no division was easier to get out of than the Atlantic. There route to the Conf final or any team coming out of that bracket was easier than any other.

        I have the same feelings about Edm but I like this roster far better today. The worst thing to happen to them the same season was exceeding expectations.

        Neither team was as good as they showed in 2016-17 when almost everything went right nor were either as bad as the showed last season where almost the opposite happened.

        I had Edm competing for the Div in the Pacific last season due to injuries in Anh but I had Ott missing even though they had been to the conf final as they did nothing to address the loss of Methot Karlsson partner on the 1st pairing & their D simply wasn’t good enough to get them back in the playoffs.

      • Slick62: I agree and think that that trade worked out well for both teams. Zibanejad is an elite 2nd line/soft 1st line center for many years for the Rangers and Ottawa wouldn’t have made it to the Conference Finals last year without Brassard. Zibanejad was a bad fit with Bobby Ryan and Ryan was fantastic in the playoffs a year ago.

        The playoff run alone made the trade worth it for Ottawa. Given they flipped Brassard for the package they got, the Zibanejad trade looks pretty good now.

        Rangers get:

        2nd Round Pick (flipped to Detroit in the Brendan Smith trade – that’s not so good now with the horrid contract extension)

        Ottawa gets:

        Brassard for playoff run
        1st round pick (Bernard-Docker thanks to second NYR trade at 2018 draft)
        2nd round pick (Tychonick thanks to second NYR trade at 2018 draft)
        3rd round pick (for Ian Cole in the Pittsburgh trade)
        7th round pick (Luke Loheit)
        Filip Gustavsson
        Swap of Ottawa 2018 3rd round pick for Pittsburgh 2019 3rd round pick

        That’s a very nice haul for Ottawa, especially when added to the 2017 playoffs. Dorion has screwed up a couple times (namely the Duchene and Burrows trades), but did a great job with both Brassard moves.

      • Van, not sure what you mean by 2nd Rangers trade? 1st rd pick to Ottowa

      • Slick62: Ottawa traded the 2018 1st round pick (22nd) they got from Pittsburgh in the Brassard trade to the Rangers for a 2018 1st Round pick (26th, originally Boston from the Nash trade) and a 2018 2nd Round pick (48th, originally NJ from the Grabner trade). The Rangers moved up to take K’Andre Miller and Ottawa took Bernard-Docker and Tychonick with the picks they got from the Rangers.

      • You’re great back seat driver’s. We’re all forgetting that none of us are GM in the NHL for a reason. I read a lot of stuff here and ppl have percentages of teams making it and those not. Where do these numbers come from. Ottawa have three players who may be free agents but I can assure you their not walking for nothing. The Ek rumours are simply rumours. They’re obviously looking at options. Ppl have this mentality that Tampa, Boston, and Toronto are strong. I do see how tampa is strong but the other two teams have terrible D. Anything can happen folks. That’s the beauty of this game. Ottawa had a bad season and it’s not duchene or the deal. Turris struggle in Nashville. Duchene is an elite centre and has speed and skill is a clear 1st liner. They traded a first and a prospect big deal. They have the prospects to be good for long and have a cheaper team than Tampa, Toronto and Boston who spend ridiculous money and get no results.

        Take a step back and think about it.

  2. For what it’s worth they *did* have top-10 protection and they used it to hold onto their 2018 #4 overall pick, which is why the 2019 pick doesn’t have protection.

  3. Edm has 13 forwards on their roster now according to CapFriendly. I had assumed Yamamoto would be given a very good shot at making Edm’s roster but certainly not as a black ace if he did he would make 14.

    Few teams carry 14 forwards for any length of time. The standard format is 13 F’s, 8 D & 2 G’s with variations sometimes made due to injuries, waiver issues or teams allowing 9 game trials early in the season to rookies headed back to Jr. once they have.

  4. Yamamoto has a shot just for financial reasons. He did not look out of place of what I saw of him last year

    Duchene already ? Bury Stone and Karlsson first and then move on to the next one
    I just hope the Avs don’t get Jack Hughes. We will never hear the end of it

    • but Sackic was supposedly the dumbest gm
      in the league……

      • Exactly. The flack I took defending him for well over a year was harsh, venomous & personal.

        Now that the wingnut Roy is gone things are looking pretty rosy moving forward in Col. Very curious to see if they can retain their playoff spot next season leaning to no at the moment as StL & Cal are 2 of the most improved teams in the NHL this summer with Buf in my top 3, + Dallas will be a far better team with Hitchcock gone.

      • Sakic had patience – a quality not always accepted in today’s sports world

      • While I never thought he was the dumbest GM, I really did think he had missed his window to maximize his return when he didn’t trade him prior to the beginning of the season, and he certainly proved me wrong. I understood where Colorado fans were coming from, and thought they really needed a win after the O’Reilly trade, and was convinced they weren’t getting it after it went on “too long”.

        I should have known better as I was a staunch defender of Cheveldayoffs patience and even Maurice as a coach, but then wasn’t giving Sakic the same benefit of the doubt.

        Looking back it was a pretty silly thought process as I was essentially saying Chiarelli was trying to do too much by rushing the oilers simply because he inherited some good talent, while implying sakic did need to do more since he acquired a team with some very good picks in the system.

        I am sure more will say they said that type of thing all along, but I definitely remember striker being one of the only consistent Sakic defenders during this time, and while I was never venomous (at least I never meant any of it to be), I definitely disagreed with your thoughts on the situation a couple of times.

        Patience is easily the most underrated skill of being a good GM, and for some reason I wasn’t giving Sakic credit for having it.

  5. “There is simply no way the Senators will be able to get back the value they gave up to get Duchene if they trade him now,” he said.

    The word now doesn’t belong in that sentence. Remove it for a more accurate analysis of reality.

    Dorion’s Duchene trade will likely go down in NHL history as the worst trade ever.

    He gave up a near Lindros like haul for 18 months of a dog second line center. And like the Lindros deal (which was for 7-8 years of Lindros not 18 months, BTW) he traded a better player than him.

    • I see no way Ott gets back what they paid to acquire Duchene, that ship sailed as soon as they paid that price & I like Duchene but I also believe the return for Duchene, if moved now, will be better than at the trade deadline. Why would Ott pay so much to acquire a player so close to UFA status?

      The problem is Ott has to try to save face & do whatever possible to make sure that the pick Sakic holds doesn’t become Jack Hughes. That means keeping Duchene as long as possible & finishing as high in the standings as able.

      That said even with Duchene what team or teams are Ott finishing above in the East? Det, Mon, maybe but for me unlikely, they will be right there with them but I think Det & Mon just edge them out. Those teams have better rosters & depth even with Weber on LTIR in Mon.

      In fairness though until we find out what Ott acquires for Karlsson if moved we can’t yet fully determine Ott’s fate next season. The haul for Karlsson could seriously improve Ott’s depth & as crazy as it sounds potentially make them better today.

      With Karlsson last season they were the 2nd worst team in the NHL so his presence with the loss of Phaneuf, Brassard, Turris, Hoffman, Oduya & Claesson is being offset by Duchene, Gaborik, Boedker & who?

      I don’t mind Ott’s forward group that much, it’s not great but serviceable & solid youth is coming but I have serious concerns about the D with Karlsson without him I can’t see how it can possibly get better. This D couldn’t contain a beach ball last season. People like to blame Anderson but his #’s are a reflection of the squad especially the D in front of him.

    • im not sure avs make playoffs either but if jost, kerfoot and compher get better they just might…..but a bunch of talent is on the way!

      • I agree and made that very point. I said at the start of last season that Col would score 50 to 60 more goals in 2017-18 than in 2016-17 well chopping off 25 to 30 against, they scored 90 more & allowed 40 less being a significantly better team. I didn’t have them making the playoffs though.

        I also told people to watch Compher defending the ROR trade, this player is going to be a solid 2-way hockey player. This is a very smart player with slightly above average skating ability. He played a ton of C last season for Colorado as a rookie but he may well be destined for the wing as Kerfoot & or Jost appear better suited to a scoring C role long term.

      • Compher may be destined as a replacement to Soderberg when he’s moved out in the #3 C spot playing as a solid 2 way #3 C seeing 2nd line PP time.

      • I thought a lot of Compher as a Sabres’ prospect. O’Reilly trade does not so bad for the Avs anymore. Leave it to Tim to always give up too much. Jets still send him a holiday card every year.

  6. Striker, I was curious to your answer that Chrism asked you yesterday but you didn’t reply. What would you pay Torey Krug in dollars and term on a contract extension. BTW he made in the top 20 dman on NHL as well Charlie Mac, for me neither one is presently top 20.
    For Me 5yrs for $30m

    • Caper. Like you it’s hard for me to get back in the afternoons, evenings virtually impossible. I strive to check back in but have to work at some point. I post in the morning’s well-doing emails & computer work.

      It depends when the contract is being signed & whether he extends in Bos next summer of hits the UFA market.

      Assuming it’s an extension next season in Bos & not to the highest bidder the summer following trying to factor in inflation, what other Dman sign for between now & then? Trying to find comparables.

      OEL just signed his extension kicking in for 2019-20 at 8 years for a cap hit of 8.25 & Krug; 398 NHL reg season games, is younger than OEL; 576 NHL reg season games, with far less NHL experience 178 less games played other 2 years less experience. These 2 Dman are similar but OEL is & has been Arz’s #1 something Krug will never be but OEL isn’t exactly good defensively either.

      It will depend on term, the longer the term the higher the cap hit. If at 5 years I would say in or around 6.5 factoring in inflation & if 8 years ad a mil & change.

      • Ellis just signed an 8 year extension at 6.25 starting in 2019-20. He & Krug are almost identical in NHL development 2 games played separating them in the regular season & are virtually the same age.

        I like Ellis total game more than Krug’s but Ellis has scored 55 goals & 176 pts in 396 NHL reg season games & Krug, 52 goals & 235 pts in 398.

        As I mentioned the other day I felt Ellis was due to be reimbursed slightly for his last contract & players seem to happily take discounts to play in Nas. Did Ellis get monies for past efforts or take a discount on this deal? Looks like fair market value for a player 1 year from UFA status but a solid comparable for what Krug will be looking for.

      • I think the Ellis signing will be a bit of a boon for teams like Boston and Toronto negotiating contracts for Krug and Gardiner.

        The Carlson and OEL contracts seemed to raise the bar more than most expected, but the truth is that OEL is viewed by most as a near Norris type elite #1, and Carlson lead the NHL in D scoring and came off a great playoff culminating in a cup win. It’s relatively easy to say that other players don’t necessarily compare to them.

        I think Ellis is actually a better D than Carlson, and it makes it easier to use his number as an anchoring point for guys like Krug and Gardiner. While he hasn’t had the offensive impact, it’s not hard to argue that has more to do with PP opportunity than anything else, as his five-on-five rates are actually better than either Gardiner or Krug. He also splits more of the defensive heavy lifting than Krug, and overall has performed better than either defensively.

        The hardest part will be valuing the years you are buying. With Ellis’ age the extra years on the end likely brought down his AAV, so it will depend on if either Toronto or Boston are willing to go as long on their D. If not, they could try and push their number up a little.

        Realistically, I would think that the numbers should be somewhat similar, but for both teams I think it’s good news that there is now a recent comparable whose AAV doesn’t start with an 8.

      • I have seen Arizona play a ton since OEL arrived. A combination of living in the west & spending at least 2 weeks a year in Phoenix during hockey season as well as being a season ticket holder to several teams in the west 3 that play in the same division.

        I have never considered OEL a Norris candidate. I love his game but he isn’t exactly proficient defensively nor do I want him to be, not a train wreck defensively but not paid to be a shut down guy but drive offence.

        He has never put up enough points like a Karlsson or a Subban to offset his defensive deficiencies. Granted he has played for a terrible team in Arz the last 5 of his 8 NHL seasons.

  7. i believe that dorion/melnyk is as bad a combo as chiarelli/katz. all 4 are not astute hockey men

    • I’ll give Chiarelli at least 2 more years in Edm before grading his work in there.

      I have no love for Katz & his loyalty to Kevin Lowe put Edm in its 10 years of misery.

      • Lowe, McTavish and any other Oiler crony needing a job.

        How McTavish even got an NHL job anywhere after killing that woman in Boston while drving drunk baffles me.

      • Ron. I was quite surprised at the time & didn’t mind him as a coach but what message are teams sending to their youth. It was involuntary manslaughter & the courts do allow so degree of tolerance even accepting temporary insanity pleas under the influence but that doesn’t wash for me. He choose to drink & drive & should have served far more time.

    • Molson/Bergevin are upset they’re not invited to the party, they’ve worked so hard over the years to earn their spot amongst the worst.

      • Ha-ha! Yes, they have but don’t worry they may win yet. Not everything Bergevin has done is bad just much of it. I like the Domi trade I know I’m in the minority & getting Armia for taking on Manson’s cap hit was a solid free acquisition

        Armia has untapped offensive upside & being 6’3″ or above that development path for me takes significantly longer to fill out that frame. Armia has 180 games of NHL regular season experience & with each passing year gets closer to his breakout full development stage which for me is in or around 400 games. He’s still 220 away or almost 3 full seasons.

      • The amount of time people on boards like this spend whining about the ownership/gm/coach of other teams is amazing. Really, who cares how Ottawa or Montreal is run. That’s their business and their problem and no one else’s.

      • I watched Armia play for Amerks live, he was lazy and lacking in heart! He somehow turned it around and became a solid bottom 6 player, I don’t think he will ever be a scorer in NHL. Waste of a first round pick(Buffalo)

      • Especially in Montreal, the media kills players. Armia will cry himself to sleep at night

  8. Guess the Bruins team that was taken to game 7 by a no D Leafs team and a Bruins D that was beaten up by a TB team suggest they didn’t need to improve this offseason, B’s FO must be enjoying the weather in the Cape

    • Bruins will be just fine Carlo will be back 8 solid D man the number one line in hockey. Another year of growth for all the young guns and Rask should have another solid year. Boston will add again at the deadline if they believe they are close. Solid team front to back should be another good year.

  9. LMacdonald, this is a discussion board, naturally some people are going to have some criticism.

    Furthermore, the state of an organization’s front office is an important factor in a free agent’s decision making.

    • Lanny was salivating for someone to respond to his click bait post.

  10. Sekera is out for most if not all of the upcoming season with an achilles injury.
    Another tough break on the blue line for the Oil.
    They will be in tough and if they suffer another one, they have a huge problem if it isn’t already.

  11. You can’t look at todays DD laws and say that should have appllied to Mctavish. Rules were more lax at the time. Not stiff enough In that era . I would not want to do that today. Especially as a repeat offender .

    Sekera is toast . No time line but sounds like Xmas , Oilers need Nurse and one other . This type of news will start to loosen the trade market