NHL Injury Outlook Week 12: From Malkin to Kucherov
Fallout from the failed three-team trade involving Matt Duchene & Kyle Turris in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman broke down what the failed three-way trade involving the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators would’ve looked like. The Sens were to ship center Kyle Turris to the Preds, who would send a package of draft picks and prospects to the Avs, who would’ve dealt center Matt Duchene to Ottawa.
Friedman doesn’t believe this is over, citing the Avs’ motivation to trade Duchene and the Sens’ desire to acquire him, but he doesn’t know if the Predators will be involved. His colleague Chris Johnston said Duchene would be comfortable joining the Senators.
Friedman said the Preds and Avs have talked a long time going back to last season about Duchene. and at one point all four of Nashville’s top-four defensemen (Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm) were “kind of brought up” in those discussions. He thinks Ekholm was brought up but the Preds weren’t willing to do that and doesn’t think he was mentioned in this particular set of talks.
Regarding Turris, Nick Kypreos finds it highly unlikely that he remains with the Senators. Turris is a UFA at season’s end and seeks around $6-$6.5 million annually on a seven- or eight-year deal. Even if Senators GM Pierre Dorion was agreeable toward those numbers, he doesn’t have the support of team owner Eugene Melnyk on that type of deal.
FWIW, I don’t believe the Predators ever talked contract with the Kyle Turris camp. Never got that far is what I’m told.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 5, 2017
I’ve heard of 2 options Col was considering in 3 way trade. 1) 4 picks and a prospect (high picks). 2) two prospects and a 1st and 3rd.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 5, 2017
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch notes there’s nothing stopping Dorion and Avalanche GM Joe Sakic from sitting down face-to-face to discuss a Duchene deal while their two clubs are in Sweden for a back-to-back series in Stockholm at the end of this week. He also claims the Predators, Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes are among “seven or eight clubs” that have shown interest in Duchene. He points out the Avs seek a defenseman as part of their asking price for Duchene.
Garrioch believes the Senators willingness to include Turris in a three-way deal for Duchene indicates they’re willing to move on from their top center. It’s not known if Turris’ agent was given permission to speak with the Predators regarding a contract extension for his client. Garrioch adds the St. Louis Blues showed some preseason interest in Turris. While it’s still possible Turris and Sens management could still bridge the gap in contract talks the odds now appear slim. It doesn’t sound as though the Avs are interested in Turris, otherwise there’d be no reason to get a third team involved in moving Duchene to Ottawa.
THE ATHLETIC: James Gordon wonders what comes next after this deal fell through. He doubts the Turris camp leaked this story as it puts their client in a tough spot. Given that any deal with the Preds would involve Turris agreeing to sign with them means it would make little sense for Nashville or Ottawa to rock the boat. Despite Dorion’s claims this won’t be a distraction for his players, Gordon believes it will be until this gets resolved.
Gordon notes the Avs are willing to remain patient but the Sens don’t have that luxury with Turris, noting they can’t afford to lose him for nothing to free agency. He also wonders if the Senators and Predators might do a deal without the Avalanche involving Turris if he’s willing to sign with Nashville.
BSN DENVER: Adrian Dater reports being told this three-way trade wasn’t as close to being completed as some believe, at least from the Avs’ perspective. He said Sakic isn’t budging off his demand for “a TOP young D-man and/or TOP D-man prospect” and doesn’t expect he will.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty believes Turris would be a good fit down the middle for the Bruins, but admits it would be difficult for them to pull off a deal with a division rival.
TORONTO SUN: If the Nashville Predators are in any way considering trading away Ekholm, Steve Simmons believes the Toronto Maple Leafs should look into getting him. Simmons notes Predators GM David Poile dealt away defensemen before, such as Shea Weber and Seth Jones.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Predators are willing to send Ekholm or a good young defenseman to the Avs as part of the deal, I don’t think this three-way deal gets done. Maybe the Sens can contact another club with interest in Duchene or seeking depth at center (Hurricanes, perhaps?) and see if they might be interested in Turris. Perhaps the Senators and Avalanche can do a deal between themselves, but it’ll mean the Sens give up one of their promising young d-men (likely Thomas Chabot) as part of the return. To offset that, maybe they can then ship Turris to another club for a top blueline prospect.
Unless the Turris camp is willing to accept a shorter-term contract, I believe this is his final season with the Senators. With Dion Phaneuf and Bobby Ryan on big contracts and Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone due for big raises in the near future, they simply cannot afford to tie up a lot of money for a long time with Turris. Of course, they’ll face that problem with Duchene in 2019, but perhaps Dorion feels he can reach a more agreeable arrangement with him. It’s clear, however, that the Sens willingness to move Turris in a three-way deal for Duchene indicates he doesn’t have a long-term future in Ottawa.
I’ll be very surprised if the Bruins are able to land Turris via trade this season. If they’re interested in him, they’ll likely wait to pursue him via next summer’s free-agent market.
Predators GM Poile made it very clear this summer that he’s unwilling to move any of his top-four defensemen. I don’t believe he’s changed his mind. I think he’s willing to move some futures to bring in that center he seeks but I don’t see him dealing Ekholm. The Leafs will have to look elsewhere for blueline help.
SPORTSNET: Kypreos reports Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is believed to have suffered a minor knee injury but it’s not considered serious or long term. When asked if he felt the Habs might trade Price, he notes the goalie has a full no-move clause immediately and in his new deal. If the struggling Canadiens decide to rebuild, he wonders if there’s a place for a goalie earning $10.5 million annually in that plan or if Price wants to be part of a rebuild. If Price were available, Friedman believes health would be the biggest concern, given his history of knee problems.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kypreos and Friedman are just speculating out loud among themselves right now. There’s no indication the Canadiens want to trade Price, that they’re looking at blowing up their roster to rebuild or that Price wants out of Montreal. Sure, Price could be traded, but I don’t believe he or the Habs are anywhere close to that situation right now. If the Habs weren’t off to a poor start and if Price was playing at his usual stellar level, no one would be suggesting a trade scenario. Let’s see how this season shakes out for the Canadiens before we start lending any credence to any talk of trading their franchise player.
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.
Some suggested trade partners for the Leafs, more Matt Duchene speculation and a look at what’s next for the Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are carrying a glut of forwards, especially wingers. That could make it difficult for promising young players, such as Kasperi Kapanen, Josh Leivo and Nikita Soshnikov to crack the roster.
Fox proposes packaging a forward or two with a draft pick to bolster their blueline, which was only marginally improved by the signing of Ron Hainsey. He notes their recent rumored attempt to dangle winger (and pending UFA in 2018) James van Riemsdyk to the New York Islanders for defenseman Travis Hamonic, who was subsequently deal to the Calgary Flames.
Fox suggests the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, Caroilna Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks as potential trade destinations for van Riemsdyk, noting those four clubs have depth in blueliners. Less complicated options not involving van Riemsdyk include dealing with the Vegas Golden Knights or pursuing one of the remaining rearguards in the free-agent market.
He also suggests simply waiting out through next season, evaluate the current defense, perhaps load up at the trade deadline or pursue better free agents options next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We shouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the Leafs swinging a major trade at some point in the offseason to add a good top-four defenseman. However, I doubt the Ducks are willing to move any of their remaining blueliners after giving up Shea Theodore and Clayton Stoner in the expansion draft. Ditto the Wild, who last week shipped d-man Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres and could reluctant to part with Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba.
Hurricanes GM Ron Francis recently made it clear he’s not parting with assets for players who’ll depart in a couple of years. So unless JVR is willing to sign a contract extension, Francis won’t pursue him via trade. Fox suggests offering picks and prospect to the Canucks for Chris Tanev, but GM Jim Benning likely prefers getting a good young blueliner back as part of the return.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Elliotte Friedman discussing the trade situation of Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene with Edmonton’s 630 CHED. He notes the Columbus Blue Jackets offered up defenseman Ryan Murray as part of their pitch, but the Avs look at him as a fifth blueliner, not as one of the Jackets’ top d-men. Friedman also thinks the Avs asked for Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators but they’re unwilling to part with him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman took great pains to say he wasn’t trying to insult Murray, only pointing out what he thinks the Avs think of where he sits in the Jackets’ blueline pecking order. Murray still has terrific potential and would be a top-four defender on the Avalanche, but they want a a young guy who’s already established himself in that role.
Seth Jones and Zach Werenski have settled nicely into those roles on the Jackets and they’re obviously not going anywhere. They are likely the type of defenseman the Avs want as part of the return for Duchene.
Friedman also said Avs defenseman Tyson Barrie was definitely available. However, he was told it would have to be a hockey trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they want a good player in return, not draft picks and prospects.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported the addition of Kevin Shattenkirk creates a logjam on the New York Rangers’ blueline. He speculated Nick Holden, who’s a year away from UFA status with an affordable $1.65 million cap hit, could become a trade candidate as GM Jeff Gorten seeks a top-six center.
In today’s collection of notable NHL headlines, the Ducks fall to the Blackhawks, Evander Kane feels he didn’t get enough support from the Jets, six NHL teams could be doomed by slow stars and much more. (more…)