Isles Talk Rumor Roundup: Matt Duchene & Gabriel Landeskog

From the Score.com

New York Islanders

For the sake of his job and any hopes the New York Islanders might have of making the playoffs, Garth Snow should be inquiring about Duchene or Landeskog.

The club currently sits with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, a year after reaching the second round of the playoffs. This past year the Islanders watched as last season’s second- and third-highest scorers – Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen – elected to go elsewhere.

Given that Andrew Ladd has also disappointed since signing as a free agent, the team could use more offensive help. As collateral, this past summer Travis Hamonic made headlines after reportedly requesting a trade.

Hamonic has since rescinded the request, but should talks between the two clubs take place, he could be a part of a package going back to Colorado.

My Take: There’s three issues with Duchene/Landeskog coming to the Islanders now. First, the demand isn’t going to get a deal done. From Joe Pack of SportsNet

“Now, if you’re asking about Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog, from what I understand, teams have been told they’re not giving these guys because they’re panicking,” said Friedman. “If you want to come at [the Avalanche] with good, young defencemen or prospects, [they] are prepared to listen. But the packages are going to have to be big because they look at both [players] and see good players signed to good contracts.”

Forget about who’s involved or who you would trade, this is a deal that may in fact take longer to complete and there may not be enough time before the trade deadline to make such a big decision for the Avalanche. Unless you’re a desperate team, say a team like the Canadiens, who are in a playoff hunt but will purge players/prospects just to nab someone like Duchene.

Second, Duchene is a salary cap hit of 6 million, while Landeskog is around 5.5 million. These higher cap contracts are usually traded during the off-season as the cap plays a bigger part than most want to admit.

Third, there’s more going on with the Avalanche than just trade rumors. From The Fourth Period.com

I’m not sold on the Colorado Avalanche moving Matt Duchene or Gabe Landeskog during the season, nor am I fully sold that Joe Sakic ends up being the guy to pull the trigger. Whispers have been picking up that Sakic could move up to another position and bring in another person to take over the General Manager duties in Denver. If that happens, it’ll happen in the off-season. If it happens. Sakic could find a dance partner for Duchene and/or Landeskog, right the ship, and remain at the GM role. Heck, if the right deal presented itself for Semyon Varlamov or even Tyson Barrie, the Avs will consider it if it meant they’d improve. Their season is basically over, and the focus should be on next season.

I’m not trying to emphasize a trade may not happen, but these types of deals that involve trying to improve the organization does not usually occur in January or February. Look for the possibility of Duchene/Landeskog being traded around the draft. Could they still come to the Isles? Sure, but this is all on the Colorado Avalanche and at this moment, they’re just listening.

And then there’s Newsday and Islanders beat writer, Art Staple, putting on the finishing touches in his mailbag:

Staple:‏ If there was a trade out there to be made, I bet Garth Snow would have pulled the trigger already. The lack of trades around the league has been pretty consistent this season, even with the occasional rumor popping up. So many teams are near the cap, so few want to give up on their good young players or surrender futures, it’s a logjam. Matt Duchene could certainly be had but the price would be enormous; I believe the Isles already investigated that one a few weeks ago and got some sticker shock at the cost.

Perhaps if the Isles win more and can legitimately contend for a wild-card spot, then Snow might be willing to gamble on an upgrade. But that’s six or seven wins away.

PK

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