While many expected the Avalanche to deal Matt Duchene by now, he remains in Colorado with no trade on the immediate horizon. BSN Denver’s Adrian Dater notes that the holdup stems from GM Joe Sakic’s insistence on getting a proven defenseman and more in any return. The fact that Duchene is coming off just a 41 point season (the second lowest of his career) is causing other general managers some concern and questions as to whether or not he’s still a legitimate top line forward. Teams aren’t likely going to willingly part with a top defender for someone they have doubts about being a top forward. Sakic has remained firm on his asking price dating back towards the trade deadline so it will be interesting to see if he sticks to his guns or lowers his ask as the offseason progresses.
Elsewhere in the West:
- While the Jets made a couple of signings in free agency (notably goaltender Steve Mason and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov), they were moves that signalled the team isn’t ready to go all in, suggests Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press. He argues that their time to go for it is now considering the fact that several core players will need new contracts next summer. Among those are defenseman Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey, winger Nikolaj Ehlers (all restricted free agents) as well as center Bryan Little, who’s slated to be an unrestricted free agent. Keeping all of those players in the fold will create quite the cap crunch next summer and as a result, this may be Winnipeg’s deepest roster for the next little while.
- After joining the Kings midseason on a player development internship, long-time NHL center Jarret Stoll will remain with Los Angeles in a part-time consulting role, reports Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider. Stoll suggested as recently as January that he still hadn’t ruled out returning to playing and the part-time aspect of this position suggests that he still hasn’t completely given up hope on returning to the ice as a player. Stoll will continue to work primarily with the center prospects throughout the organization.