Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

Report: Bruins among 5 teams shooting for Matt Duchene trade

Ty Anderson
July 13, 2017 - 6:33 pm

The Bruins are among the five teams still believed to be in pursuit of a trade for Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

“It sounds like everyone is realizing the possibility [Duchene] could start next season in Colorado. But remember this: Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland was with Scott Howson in Columbus when Howson waited until July 20, 2012, to trade Rick Nash,” Friedman wrote in his final 30 Thoughts of the summer. “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.”

But as everybody involved in this process has learned, dealing with Avalanche front office boss Joe Sakic has been like pulling an entire set of teeth out of your head.

One source told WEEI.com that the Avalanche are asking for a ‘ridiculous’ return, with asks centering around Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy (something Friedman later noted in his column), and that teams are basically going to try and call Sakic’s bluff at this point. Both Carlo and McAvoy, who are under team control and on affordable entry-level deals, are believed to be non-starters in a trade with Colorado, according to a source.

Still, you can’t fault the impossibly bad Avalanche for shooting for the moon.

The 26-year-old Duchene, who is under contract at $6 million for another two seasons, scored 18 goals and totaled 41 points campaign for the Avs last year, and is just a couple of seasons removed from the first and only 30-goal season of his NHL career.

A forward capable of playing left wing and center, the left-shot Duchene has recorded 174 goals and 418 points in 572 regular-season games with the Avalanche.

And even without Carlo or McAvoy, there's seemingly enough bullets in Bruins general manager Don Sweeney's chamber to pull the trigger on a deal for Duchene.

The Avalanche need help across the board, and specifically on defense, and the Black and Gold could help them out in that regard in the now and down the road, with a deep prospect pool along with capable NHLers under contract for present-day fillers for the Avalanche. The Bruins, who have admitted that they expect to begin the season with 'less' than $3-to-5 million in cap space (they currently have over $12.9 million in available space), would also likely need to move a forward off their seemingly crowded roster to make it work from a financial and roster flexibility standpoint. 

Sweeney, meanwhile, has confirmed that he remains in trade talks with teams, but has alluded to addressing their RFA situations -- David Pastrnak is still in need of a new contract and the B’s are set for a July 26 arbitration hearing with Ryan Spooner -- first.

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