From the sound of things, the trade that wasn’t involving Matt Duchene, Kyle Turris, picks, prospects, the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, and maybe the Nashville Predators, might some day mutate into an actual transaction.
For more on that unusual situation, check out Adam Gretz’s post, which includes an interesting comparison between Turris and Duchene.
If you’re looking for some concrete updates on what needs to happen and/or what didn’t happen, a few things cropped up since then.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports that things didn’t progress with Turris and the Predators to the point that extension talks happened. That’s highly relevant, after all, with Turris in a contract year and his value somewhat difficult to gauge.
Now, if you’re a fan of Duchene, the Avalanche, and/or trades, you might want an idea of what’s holding things up. It’s no secret that GM Joe Sakic seeks a considerable haul in return for Duchene, with TSN’s Darren Dreger providing more meat to chew on:
If nothing else, you have to credit Joe for shooting high (and knowing Sakic, while keeping his head up and not looking down).
Whether Turris sticks with the Senators for a while and the Duchene pain continues in Colorado or one/both get a change of address, the bottom line is that both forwards were asked to perform on Saturday, less than 24 hours after word broke of the near-trade.
Give each player some credit for taking a “business as usual” approach.
Turris plays reasonably well, Sens say the right things
The Athletic’s James Gordon reports (subscription required), the Senators more or less said all the right things about Turris’ attitude and handling the situation.
Well, they mostly said all the right things, as some might be a little beaten down by seeing the phrase “fake news” break into the escapist world of sports. Either way, Alex Burrows made a reference to “the fake news world” while ultimately concluding that scuttlebutt doesn’t matter.
You could probably give Turris a little bit of extra credit, as he didn’t just play a day later, his (for now?) Senators fell 5-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights in an tilt that began in the afternoon. Turris collected one assist, fired three shots on goal, and won 65 percent of his draws.
The only Senators forwards who logged more ice time were Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman, as Turris played just under 20 minutes. It doesn’t really seem like Guy Boucher was gluing him to the bench.
Duchene has a nice game
The Avalanche are now on a three-game winning streak after edging the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 via a shootout.
Duchene scored a timely goal in this one, making it 1-0 with about two seconds remaining in the first period. He also produced the lone assist on Nail Yakupov‘s fourth goal of the season, the Avs’ last tally of the contest beyond the skills competition.
Duchene wasn’t able to connect on a shootout attempt. Like Turris, he ranked third among his team’s forwards in ice time. He didn’t get a ton of reps on the power play, but that might have had something to do with Colorado going 2-for-3.
If nothing else, Duchene might be used to all that trade talk by now, even if he probably doesn’t enjoy it.
So, if there are any performance issues that stem from such distractions, they weren’t immediately obvious in either Duchene or Turris. We’ll see how many games they end up playing for their respective teams, assuming they get traded at all.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.