NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets and Avalanche

NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets and Avalanche

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The Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche talked about Matt Duchene, but talks faded in recent weeks

On the Toronto Maple Leafs …

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: The Maple Leafs could use a defenseman with a heavy shot.

If the Nashville Predators are considering the trading defenseman Mattias Ekholm, Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello should start camping outside Predators GM David Poile’s door.

On the Columbus Blue Jackets …

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: The Columbus Blue Jackets could use some help down the middle, and now two top-six centers are off the market after Kyle Turris and Matt Duchene were traded.

The Blue Jackets had been talking with the Avalanche about Duchene but weren’t willing to give up the assets Sakic wanted.

A Source said that the Blue Jackets and Avs held frequent talks in the offseason, but they faded recently.

GM Jarmo Kekalainen:

“The market is never settled,” Kekalainen said. “Some stuff will always come up, new stuff will come up … something might pop that we never expected. That’s the way it goes in pro sports.”

On the Colorado Avalanche …

Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Bob McKenzie was on TSN 1260 and was talking about the big three-way trade involving the Colorado Avalanche. They’ve acquired a lot of ‘future assets’ and may consider moving some them for more immediate help.

“I would assume that they want to get better as quickly as possible, that they’re not looking at this like, ‘Oh, you know what, we’re into another rebuilding phase here.’ No, I don’t think that at all. I think they’ll definitely be open to taking some of these picks and their own picks and potentially flipping them to get more immediate help, if it’s available. I mean, you can’t force it. But yeah, I think that’s certainly the plan.

“Now, having said that too, there may be certain players on their roster as time goes on here and you get closer to the trade deadline where you recognize we’re not a Cup-contending team yet and you could still sell them off for future assets, again to stockpile the cupboards and give yourself the flexibility to do deals for immediate NHL help.”