Welcome back to NHL Rumours. It’s Friday and rumours are still abundant across the league. With the month changing to December, teams are starting to figure out if they should be buyers or sellers. The season has held some surprises thus far, and the playoff picture is starting to form. Today we’ll break down some rumours about the Colorado Avalanche, and Anaheim Ducks.
Rumour: In his most recent interview with Pierre LeBrun, Joe Sakic said that he is going to wait for the team to be healthy before making any major trades. Sakic will assess where the team is when that happens, and said he will not make trades just because they have the cap space.
Analysis: With the Avalanche sitting in second place in the Central Division and within reach of first, they seem to be a good bet to make the playoffs this season. As it sits, the Avalanche has a fantastic top line but can struggle with depth past that at forward. This past off-season they went out and got Nazem Kadri to help address this issue, which is a start.
If the Avalanche want to make a deep push for the upcoming playoffs, they still own their first-round draft pick and wouldn’t have to sell any of their current prospects or even trade-off cap space to acquire a rental. If the Avalanche are able to add depth to their current forward group there is no reason they wouldn’t be considered legitimate contenders for the playoffs.
Rumour: In an interview with Jordan Horrobin with Forbes, Nathan MacKinnon said, “On my next deal, I’ll take less again. Because I want to win with this group.” when discussing if they have he regretted his lower contract compared to other players of his calibre.
Analysis: MacKinnon is in just the fourth year of a seven-year contract, so this is still quite a ways away. However, the Avalanche have a strong top line in MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen, and if MacKinnon is willing to take less on his next deal in 2023, they might be able to keep this line together through the peaks of their careers. Because of MacKinnon signing for a lower amount, the Avalanche were able to re-sign Rantanen this off-season and still have plenty of free cap space.
While MacKinnon said he’d take less, that doesn’t mean he’d take an inexpensive contract to stay in 2023. With a player of his quality, he could fetch a high price on the open market. Instead, he could just shave off a million to stay in Colorado when the time comes. It’s tough to tell with it being a few years out.
Rumour: Eric Stephens recently talked about the Ducks possibilities on trading for Taylor Hall in his most recent article at The Athletic. The Ducks likely have the assets to acquire Hall but aren’t in the right state to go after an ageing left-winger.
Analysis: It makes sense that the Ducks are not likely to go after Hall. A trade would likely have to include their 2020 first-round pick, which will likely be high in a strong draft, and young players. With the Devils and Ducks seemingly in a similar state, it wouldn’t make sense for the Ducks to give up futures. It would be difficult for the Ducks to extend Hall as well, with Corey Perry‘s cap hit going up to $6,625,000 next season from the buyout and not a lot of money coming off the books.
Even if they were to acquire Hall and sign him to a long-term extension, the Ducks are still a couple of years from contending in their current state. With Hall at his peak now, it doesn’t make sense to take a run at the star forward.
That concludes the NHL rumours for today.
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