It’s often said that NHL GMs are liable to throw an anvil to a struggling NHL team instead of a life preserver.
Joe Sakic probably knows that better than anyone. The Colorado Avalanche GM is taking calls on several key players on his team, including Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Barrie, and Jarome Iginla.
TSN Insider Darren Dreger appeared on Montreal radio on Tuesday morning, and offered some insight on what he believes Sakic is thinking. Many insiders have suggested that Sakic will only make a trade if it’s clear why.
Dreger wondered if “they’re better off to just hold tight and see where they’re at on March 1 or around March 1. If they’re still a 30th-place team at that point, then I think it becomes abundantly obvious… that they’re playing for the draft.”
However, Dreger suggests that if a team offers “what [the Avalanche] might need in a collection of draft picks or young prospects, why wouldn’t you consider trading Duchene?”
The two players who have keyed in the most trade discussions are Duchene and Landeskog. Dreger mentioned that there was a potential deal involving Landeskog for a defenseman around the draft lottery in April, but that talk died down. It was widely believed that said defenseman was Jacob Trouba. Now, Dreger believes that Sakic is “more inclined” to trade Duchene instead of Landeskog, saying he doesn’t “believe that Sakic really wants to move him.”
Duchene will likely have more value than Landeskog, as a speedy first-line center who is a proven point-producer. He’s also appeared on Team Canada at the last two best-on-best tournaments. In addition, the Avalanche have 2013 first-overall-pick Nathan MacKinnon as a built-in replacement for Duchene. That’s not to say Landeskog doesn’t have characteristics (big, tough, point-producing winger) that would be popular among NHL GMs, but Duchene would definitely fetch a pretty price for the Avalanche, who clearly need to make some serious changes.