The New York Islanders looked into what it would cost to acquire Colorado center Matt Duchene, Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports in a reader mailbag. However, the Isles experienced some “sticker shock” with regards to how high the cost would be.
Duchene has three years remaining on his contract (including this season) and potentially could provide the team with a bit of insurance behind captain John Tavares, a potential unrestricted agent in the summer of 2018. However, as the two play the same position, he wouldn’t necessarily be a fit alongside Tavares, something the team has been searching for this season as newcomer Andrew Ladd has not been able to thrive in that role.
Staple also provided an update on injured center Mikhail Grabovski. The 32 year old has been dealing with a concussion all season long and is nowhere near close to returning to the lineup. Staple notes that the assumption in training camp was that Grabovski was never going to be cleared to play. He has another year left on his contract after this season with a cap hit of $5MM.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan Division:
- While defense and strong goaltending have been the hallmarks of the Devils for many years now, that hasn’t been the case lately, writes Chris Ryan of NJ Advance Media. New Jersey has allowed four or more goals in 14 of the last 19 games, a big step back after they allowed three or more just six times through the first 16 contests. As a result, they have seen their goals against average jump to 2.85 per game while goalie Cory Schneider is posting the worst numbers of his career. With the Devils also being one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, their margin for error is quite slim if they want to get out of the basement of the Eastern Conference.
- Rangers winger J.T. Miller was dropped to the fourth line during Tuesday’s victory against Ottawa and head coach Alain Vigneault has not been pleased with his play as of late, notes Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The bench boss believes Miller needs to be better in his decision making, particularly when it comes to not forcing things and just making the safer play. Not only has he been moved to the fourth line for now, the Rangers have also dropped him off their second power play unit. After a hot start to the season with 18 points in 20 games, Miller has been much quieter since then, recording just four points in his last 17 outings.
- Brett Cyrgalis, also of the New York Post, provided an update (Twitter link) on injured Rangers winger Rick Nash, who is out with a groin injury for the second time this month. He’s not yet ready to practice with the team but hopes to skate on his own on Friday. However, Nash told Cyrgalis that he is still “a while away” from being ready to return to the lineup. Nash is second on the team in goals with 13 this season, one behind team leader Michael Grabner.