Lyle Richardson is a contributing writer to THN. His Rumor Roundup has been a regular feature since 2007. He also runs the website spectorshockey.net. A Canadiens fan married to a Leafs fan, Lyle's Saturday nights during hockey season can get quite entertaining at his home.
The trade rumors that arose last month over Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene have died down. Duchene, 24, was red hot through November, netting 20 points.
Duchene was linked to several clubs, notably the Ottawa Senators, but it appears nothing will come of it. A rumor blog had the Avs center being offered to the Philadelphia Flyers, but NJ.com’s Randy Miller wasted little time picking that one apart.
Miller cited Duchene’s $6-million annual cap hit as the biggest impediment, noting that’s a problem for a team like the Flyers with limited cap room. Parting with promising young prospects was another.
In an interview with the Edmonton Oilers website on Saturday, GM Peter Chiarelli downplayed the recent trade chatter swirling about his club. He expressed disappointment with his club’s performance and acknowledged several players are underachieving, though he refused to single any of them out.
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector believes forwards like Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are “soft skill” players Chiarelli will eventually ship out. The Edmonton Journal’s David Staple disagrees, suggesting wingers Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov or Benoit Pouliot as more likely trade candidates.
Heading into the American Thanksgiving long weekend, USA Today’s Kevin Allen listed six NHL players most likely to be traded this winter. The candidates are New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal, San Jose Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau, Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Trevor Daley and Calgary Flames rearguard Dennis Wideman.
Of this group, the closest to a certainty is Hamonic. The 25-year-old requested a trade during the off-season for family reasons and Isles GM Garth Snow is trying to accommodate him. A Manitoba native, Hamonic’s preference is Winnipeg or another Western Canadian NHL city. The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche are also possible destinations.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen is considered “softly in play” in the NHL trade market. Dreger claims Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen isn’t actively shopping the 23-year-old Johansen, but he is at least listening when teams call with offers.
Johansen’s name first surfaced in the rumor mill during the Jackets season-opening seven-game losing skid. That chatter died down after Todd Richards was replaced as head coach by John Tortorella.
Under Tortorella, the Jackets are 9-7-0 after 16 games. However, they remain mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. If they don’t start gaining ground against the clubs ahead of them soon, their post-season hopes will once again fade away by the New Year.
With New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic’s trade request dominating the rumor mill of late, several other recent rumors went overlooked. Here’s a look at some you may have missed.
The Winnipeg Jets remain a team of interest in this season’s NHL rumor mill. The status of pending UFAs Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd has many observers wondering if they’ll move or re-sign them. They’re also considered a destination of choice for Hamonic, a Manitoba native.
The future of forward Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward with the Carolina Hurricanes could be determined soon. Both are eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency, and their status remains fodder for the rumor mill.
During Saturday’s ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ telecast, Damien Cox reported Staal and Ward expect to hear from GM Ron Francis at the end of this month if they’ll try to negotiate new contracts. If the ownership situation proves so difficult that they cannot, Cox believes the duo will depart via trade or free agency next summer.
The New York Islanders’ efforts to honor defenseman Travis Hamonic’s trade request continues to dominate the NHL rumor mill. There’s growing consensus among the pundits that it could take time for GM Garth Snow to find a suitable deal.
While the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets are considered the likely destinations for Hamonic, finding the right return is another matter. Snow’s asking price is believed to be a comparable defenseman.
News of New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic requesting a trade to a Western Canadian NHL club is dominating the NHL rumor mill. A native of St. Malo, Man., Hamonic told reporters on Thursday a family matter is behind the request.
Islanders GM Garth Snow doesn’t intend to just give Hamonic away, as it’s believed he wants a comparable blueliner in return, not draft picks and prospects. Ken Campbell handicapped the 25-year-old’s preferred destinations of the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, suggesting the Oilers as the best fit.