On the latest installment of Insider Trading on TSN, the panel—which includes Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun—discussed several topics going into the last two weeks before the NHL Trade Deadline. While LeBrun relays that some front office members around the league believe that Colorado GM Joe Sakic will wait until the summer for any possible Matt Duchene move, Dreger reports that there are other names in play.
Both Mikhail Grigorenko and Patrick Wiercioch are mentioned by name, the first we’ve heard one these two directly. The two weren’t listed in Sakic’s “untouchables” recently, and come as little surprise as the team looks to rebuild from the disaster that has been this season.
Grigorenko especially will come with some interest, due to his young age—he turns 23 on May 16th—and former first-round pick status. Since going 12th overall in 2012 though, Grigorenko has failed to deliver on his promise of a big top-six center. Instead, he’s recorded just 18 goals and 59 points in 193 games.
Wiercioch signed a one-year deal with the Avalanche after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Ottawa Senators last summer, and has put up numbers similar to those he did in Ottawa between 2012-15. While he only plays 17 minutes a night, he does have 11 points in 43 games (all at even strength) and has a bit of upside for a team needing a depth defenseman for a playoff run. Both players are restricted free agents at the end of the season and eligible for arbitration.
McKenzie also mentioned that Duchene is seen as a winger by many teams around the league, who think he can perform better there than in the middle. It will be interesting to see if his market develops as a center or a winger as we get closer to the deadline, or if Sakic will have to wait until the summer to deal him to a team willing to slot him into the middle for 2017-18.