On the Colorado Avalanche, Matt Duchene and where he could fit …
Adam Vingan of the Tennessean: (mailbag) The Nashville Predators have no intention of breaking up their top-four defensemen in a trade for Matt Duchene. Any of their bottom defenseman – Matt Irwin, Yannick Weber, Alexei Emelin and Anthony Bitetto – plus a prospect and draft pick won’t be enough. The Predators would also have trouble fitting his $6 million salary in, especially after signing Nick Bonino.
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Elliotte Friendman on Sports 590 talking about the Colorado Avalanche and Matt Duchene. Friedman states again that the asking price is very high and they aren’t going to budge off it.
“I do think they want to trade Duchene. I think Duchene needs a fresh start and would like a fresh start. But the fact is they’re sitting there and they’ve set a very high bar for a guy who has been a 30-goal scorer.
“I think one of the biggest issues is that if you take a look at some of the real interesting offense-for-defense trades in the last couple of years – there’s Drouin for Sergachev, Montreal-Tampa. There’s Jones-Johansen, Columbus and Nashville. And there’s Hall for Larsson, Edmonton-New Jersey.
“The thing is all of those players were under team control for some time. You really knew that you had the option to keep those guys. Duchene is only under contract for this year and next, and then he’s an unrestricted free agent. I know that concerned Carolina. The price is high, so you’re looking there and you’re saying, ‘We’re going to give up a young, controllable player or two in return, and there’s no guarantee we’re going to be able to keep Duchene long term.’ I think some teams are skittish about that.”
Duchene has two years left on his deal at a $6 million cap hit and will be a UFA when it expires.
Some teams see Duchene as a No. 2. [Friedman] thinks that Duchene would be a perfect fit behind John Tavares.
[Friedman] isn’t sure if they are interested, but the Los Angeles Kings could be a fit. Duchene could be a No. 1 on Columbus.
“I think Pittsburgh is on the fringe of this. I think the Penguins have to do some other things in order to even have a chance, and I’m not really sure they have (the room to get there), but I think that Pittsburgh would be the kind of team… just like Kessel thrived there, I think a guy like Duchene would too.”