Now that the Matt Duchene sweepstakes have started up after it was announced Saturday night that the Senators have decided to trade their star center after they have failed to negotiate an extension. While the report suggested that the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets were the two teams that have been in on acquiring the 26-year-old, The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reports that the New York Islanders and general manager Lou Lamoriello are also very interested in bringing Duchene over to Long Island.
While no one is ever sure what Lamoriello plans to do, he is also well known for making an impact at the trade deadline and even though the Islanders are in first place in the Metropolitan Division, the team is still looking for an identity and has plenty of cap room and prospects to work out a potential blockbuster package if Lamoriello wants to do it. The team is still looking for a replacement for the loss of star John Tavares, who left for Toronto during the offseason. Duchene might be a solid No. 2 center for New York and could be viewed as a long-term piece in New York.
- The New York Rangers got some good news after defenseman Neal Pionk sat out the third period of Sunday’s game after taking a stick to the eye from Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, which many felt was a sign that the injury was severe. However, Rangers’ head coach David Quinn said that Pionk was held out for precautionary reasons and is expected to play Tuesday against Carolina.
- Despite being acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers won’t have goaltender Cam Talbot available for their Sunday game against Detroit. The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor (subscription required) writes that while no reason was given, it’s likely because Talbot is moving from Canada to the U.S. and with his primary employment being moved between countries, he likely will be dealing with visa issues for a little while.
- Sam Carchidi of Philly.com writes that the earliest Talbot could be ready will be Thursday, but the team could get back Brian Elliott even sooner. Depending on how he feels after his game Sunday, Elliott could be available to join Philadelphia on Tuesday and serve as a backup. Elliott has been out of the lineup since Nov. 15 with a lower-body injury. However, with Mike McKenna on the roster and Talbot soon to follow, the team will have four goaltenders and will be forced to make a move, most likely waiving McKenna.