NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2018
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.
DOES DUCHENE HAVE A FUTURE IN OTTAWA?
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.
OILERS’ WAIVER-WIRE OPTIONS
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.
One NHL GM watching Hlinka Gretzky: “Nobody’s trading their first-round draft picks for 2019.” So many fantastic kids. Hughes will go No. 1. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) August 12, 2018