NHL Trade Rumors: Top Buzz on Matt Duchene and More as 2017 Deadline Approaches

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2017

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 11:  Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 11, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Avalanche defeated the Maple Leafs 3-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

General managers are rapidly running out of time to finalize any deals ahead of Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.

Sunday saw a pair of relatively significant moves. The Los Angeles Kings confirmed the acquisition of goaltender Ben Bishop, one of the top players in the trade market, while TSN's Bob McKenzie reported the Minnesota Wild added Martin Hanzal, which was more significant for what the Arizona Coyotes received in the deal—more on that in a little bit.

Below are some of the top stories floating around the rumor mill.


Matt Duchene

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche keeps his eyes on the play during the first period against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on February 12, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche may thank or curse the Wild depending on whether they can move Matt Duchene before the deadline.

McKenzie provided the price Minnesota paid to pry Hanzal from Arizona:

Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie

MIN sends 2017 1st rder, 2018 2nd rder, 2019 conditional 4th rder (conditions to follow) and minor leaguer Grayson Downing to ARI.

Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie

Conditional pick: If MIN wins one playoff round this year, it becomes 3rd round pick; if MIN wins two rounds, it becomes 2nd round pick.

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Hockey writer Adam Proteau tweeted how the Avalanche's already high asking price for Duchene soared after the Hanzal trade:

Adam Proteau @Proteautype

After today's deals, cost of Duchene or Landeskog is 9 1st-round picks, 8 Hamilton tickets, & a second-born child that may turn into a first

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Colorado isn't afraid to hold off on a Duchene trade until the offseason: "They're telling everyone they're not changing what they want. Three or four pieces, depending on the age. A young defenceman or a goaltender. And they have told everybody, if they don't get what they want, they'll take it to the end of the season."

The Hanzal trade likely increases the chances Duchene finishes the 2016-17 season with the Avalanche. The team was already taking a hard line in trade negotiations, and now general manager Joe Sakic will demand even more if Hanzal, who is a free agent at the end of the year, can return a first-round pick.

Any teams tracking Duchene may prefer to make a move when the trade market has cooled off a bit more.

Kevin Shattenkirk

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 25: Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the St. Louis Blues skates with the puck against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on May 25, 2016 in San Jose, Californi
Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images

On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford confirmed Kevin Shattenkirk sunk a possible trade between the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning when he declined a seven-year, $42 million contract contingent upon the move.

Rutherford provided an update on Shattenkirk's status Sunday:

The Blues, who return from their bye with a game in Chicago on Sunday, have just four days to make a move before the NHL trade deadline Wednesday. The belief is they have shifted their focus to either dealing Shattenkirk as a "rental," which would likely yield a first-round draft pick and a prospect, or hold onto him. But that didn't stop speculation Saturday that Toronto is interested in a long-term with the defenseman.

Shattenkirk is unquestionably the best defenseman available. He has already eclipsed 40-plus points for the fifth time in six years—with the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign the exception.

His contract, however, diminishes his value since he may only be a three-month rental. And if he turned down $42 million—in a state with no personal income tax, no less—then he'll almost certainly wait to see his value on the open market before he signs a new contract.

The Blues have a strong incentive to trade Shattenkirk before Wednesday since they'll have a hard time paying what it will take to re-sign him this summer. They shouldn't accept a lowball offer for the 28-year-old, but receiving something of value in return is better than losing him for nothing.

Brian Boyle

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 19: Brian Boyle #11 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on January 19, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images

In addition to Duchene, the Hanzal trade may have a knock-on effect for any trade negotiations involving Brian Boyle.

NHL Network's Brian Lawton reported interest in Boyle's services could climb with Hanzal off the market:

Brian Lawton @brianlawton9

If Brian Boyle @TBLightning is not resigned hearing his name as a team several teams covet especially now that Hanzal is gone! @NHLNetwork

Boyle has eclipsed 20 points for the third straight season, having notched 13 goals and nine assists in 54 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The 32-year-old isn't the kind of player who puts a team over the top in pursuit of the Stanley Cup. The experience he gained from playing in the playoffs in the last six years would, on the other hand, be a nice luxury for a team with postseason aspirations.

Boyle is another impending free agent, so Tampa Bay will be motivated to sell. For any suitors wanting to bolster their attacking depth, the 10-year veteran would be a cost-effective option.

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