NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2017
Latest on Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene plus updates on the Canadiens, Oilers and Blackhawks in your NHL rumor mill.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports an Eastern Conference source claims the Boston Bruins are currently focused on getting left wing Gabriel Landeskog from the Colorado Avalanche. Haggerty acknowledges the 24-year-old Landeskog would be a big, skilled winger who could produce with Bruins center David Krejci. He also brings cost certainty as he’s signed for four more seasons at an annual salary-cap hit of $5.57 million. Haggerty cautions the Bruins not to part with big defenseman (and Colorado Springs native) Brandon Carlo.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion yesterday confirmed on TSN 1200 that he’s held trade discussions with the Avalanche but said a deal wasn’t possible because of the asking price. Dorion wouldn’t say if he spoke with the Avs about Matt Duchene, but it’s thought the cost of acquiring him is very high.
Garrioch believes the asking price from the Senators is “defenceman Cody Ceci, a first-round pick in 2017, along with one of the club’s two blue-chip prospects — Saint John blueliner Thomas Chabot or Boston College centre Colin White — plus a couple of other parts in return for Duchene or Landeskog.” Dorion said he can’t see mortgaging his club’s future and giving up a lot of assets for one or two players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlo was linked to the Avalanche last month as it was rumored Sakic wanted him as part of a return for Landeskog or Duchene. The Bruins’ recent coaching change suggests other moves could be afoot. They do need more scoring depth at left wing and Landeskog could be a good fit, but I wonder if Sweeney might take a “wait-and-see” approach over the next couple of weeks.
The Bruins have won three straight now under interim bench boss Bruce Cassidy, so maybe a significant trade isn’t necessary at this point. Of course, Carlo would only be part of the package, as the Avs will apparently also want a top prospect and a first-round pick. Maybe that price comes down if Carlo’s part of the deal.
As for the Senators, I think Dorion was interested in Duchene but he’s not going to sell the farm to get him. Maybe if that asking price drops, the Sens GM could reconsider.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Montreal Canadiens remain “all-in” this season and have to make an impact move between now and the March 1 trade deadline to snap out of their current tailspin. He notes the Canadiens are among several teams believed to be following Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal.
Frank Seravalli, meanwhile, believes a coaching change is in order. He feels Habs coach Michel Therien has no excuses left now that the roster is healthy, pointing out the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues reversed their fortunes with recent coaching changes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquiring Hanzal won’t significantly improve the Canadiens. I agree with Seravalli, it’s time for a coaching change. With Claude Julien available, why not contact the Bruins and seek permission to speak with him? Hey, Bergevin brought back Therrien, so why not Julien?
EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson reports Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli was recently spotted in Minnesota scouting a recent game between the Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning. Matheson claims Chiarelli’s in the market for a third-line center and was looking at Brian Boyle of the Lightning. He’ll also have an opportunity to check out Arizona’s Martin Hanzal when the Coyotes play the Oilers on Tuesday. Matheson said the Chicago Blackhawks are also apparently interested in Boyle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time in 11 years, the Oilers are in position to reach the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chiarelli is a buyer at the deadline. Chasing a sensible rental depth option like Boyle could give the Oilers a nice little boost at center for the playoffs.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman isn’t “big-game hunting” at this year’s NHL trade deadline. While Bowman admitted that could change between now and March 1, he said that’s not where his club’s focus is right now. Limited salary-cap space and an unwillingness on Bowman’s part to move a roster player are among the reasons why the Hawks GM might not make a big splash at the trade deadline. Still, LeBrun speculates Bowman might be interested in a “medium to low-end forward” (such as Dallas’ Patrick Eaves) for the right price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like LeBrun, I expect Bowman could make a move by the deadline, but it’ll likely be a minor, affordable one.