I always tell myself to approach the trade deadline with tempered expectations, just because the disappointment of not making a heralded move is so deflating, especially when a team has specific needs to address. However, with the Colorado Avalanche potentially conducting a fire sale and the Los Angeles Kings in need of a scoring forward, my imagination is running wild with the possibility that Matt Duchene could be sent to Los Angeles.
Joe McDonald of ESPN has an interesting article identifying Duchene as one of the big-name veterans that might be dealt before the trade deadline, with Los Angeles being a potential destination.
The Kings have also been rumored to be pursuing fellow Avalanche Jarome Iginla, and that might be the more realistic endeavor to put your faith in, especially given the tepid comments GM Dean Lombardi articulated recently regarding what the Kings will do at the deadline.
It’s fun to daydream about, though, because Duchene is extremely talented. He’s just a season removed from 30 goals, and would immensely help the Los Angeles offense with his speed and playmaking ability.
Of course, it’s probably going to cost a lot to get him. The Avalanche might see trading Duchene as the key to beginning their rebuilding process from the return package they get from him.
Then there’s the economic portion. Duchene represents a $6 million hit against the cap. The Kings currently have about $70.2 million in total cap allocations, leaving them slightly under $3 million below the salary cap.
It’s being speculated that Avalanche executive Joe Sakic could be asking for a package consisting of a high draft pick, a prospect, and maybe even a top defenseman.
Based on that criteria, the Avalanche would probably want either Alec Martinez or Jake Muzzin from the current roster, two talented defenseman at salary levels that are conceivable to being able to bring Duchene to Los Angeles under cap regulations.
It’s definitely a hefty price tag, and it seems shocking that the Kings would go through so much trouble after Lombardi’s recent comments suggesting otherwise.
With the Andrej Sekera and Milan Lucic trades in recent seasons, Lombardi has proven willing to part with first round picks.
However, the massive obstacles combined with Lombardi seeming to lower expectations of conducting a seismic trade to this extent probably makes this possibility dubious.
This time of year tends to bring about some fantastic hypotheticals, though. If the Avalanche do end up parting with Duchene, the receiving team will acquire a huge asset for a playoff push.