It was believed by many that Matt Duchene would have been traded away from the Colorado Avalanche by now. With each passing day, more and more people have started to believe that he is going to be returning to the Avs next season. This morning, Hockey Night in Canada insider Elliotte Friedman suggests that the door likely isn’t closed on a deal this offseason.
Remember this: Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland was with Scott Howson in Columbus when Howson waited until July 20, 2012, to trade Rick Nash. Sometimes the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and MacFarland could be following that blueprint. I wouldn’t be surprised if interested parties (Boston, Columbus, Nashville, Pittsburgh, maybe Calgary) try again to see if anything shakes loose.
Friedman specifically names five teams that he suggests could circle back on Duchene. It’s looking more and more like the Avs just want to get the trade right - and don’t want to re-live the debacle that was the Ryan O’Reilly trade.
Friedman goes on to list some specific names that he believes are the kind of return the Avs would need for Duchene:
They are looking for young players with term, and I think the guys they’ve targeted include Mathew Barzal and Ilya Sorokin from the Islanders; Brandon Carlo or Charlie McEvoy from the Bruins; Mattias Ekholm from the Predators.
Though most of these teams are ones we’ve heard before, Calgary is an interesting name that hasn’t been brought up much in the Duchene talks. Having just acquired Travis Hamonic from New York Islanders, would the Flames be willing to part with a high-end defender to bolster their forward group?
Would Dougie Hamilton be a possibility?
The 24-year old right-handed defender has been the subject of trade rumours for almost a year now, and with the acquisition of Hamonic and Michael Stone, the Flames are a little heavy on the right side. Hamilton is an elite young defender, and if the Flames are serious about Duchene you’d assume his name has been brought up.
It might be wishful thinking, but if the Avs are hell bent on hitting a home run with a Duchene trade, Hamilton is exactly the kind or return you’d expect.