NHL Rumour Roundup: Matt Duchene contract talks, NHL to Seattle and Dougie Hamilton trade speculation

Updated: January 14, 2019 at 12:43 am by Brady Trettenero

Welcome to the first edition of the NHL Rumour Roundup for NHL Numbers.

This segment takes a look at the top stories and rumours making waves in the hockey world and their potential impact.

The debut edition of the Roundup looks at the future of Matt Duchene in Ottawa, the NHL arriving to Seattle and Dougie Hamilton trade speculation.

Matt Duchene and the Ottawa Senators

It’s been another forgettable season in Ottawa, but not for top forward Matt Duchene. The 27-year-old is on a torrid pace, racking up 18 goals and 42 points through the first 37 games of the season.

Duchene will be a UFA at the end of 2018-19 and it doesn’t look like a contract extension is in the works — as of yet.

Chris Johnson of Sportsnet provided an update on Duchene’s situation recently:

“It’s quite interesting that the talks between the Ottawa Senators and Matt Duchene – their pending unrestricted free agent – have appeared to have cooled off,” Johnston said on the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada Saturday. “There doesn’t appear to have been anything of substance here in recent times and no talks immediately scheduled in the weeks ahead.

“Pierre Dorion, the general manager, doesn’t want to place any sort of deadline on when he needs an answer on Matt Duchene’s intentions – whether will he sign an extension – but clearly, as this slides along here, we are looking at him as a potential target in that trade deadline period and someone that the Senators are going to have to make a decision on because I don’t get the sense from Duchene’s side that there’s any rush for them to make that kind of decision.”

Duchene’s case is definitely an interesting one. Prior to being traded from the Colorado Avalanche, he stated he wanted to play for a “playoff team.” The Senators are dwelling in the Eastern Conference basement and could look to move Duchene while he’s still in the prime of his career. He would certainly  be a key addition to any team looking to make a serious playoff push this season.

NHL coming to Seattle

As you probably heard, the NHL is coming to Seattle. The new expansion team will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

The hype for the NHL’s newest franchise reached a new high Wednesday when Gary Bettman promised Seattle will host the All-Star Game within its first seven seasons. He also said Seattle will host the NHL draft, and that event will likely be awarded before the All-Star Game arrives.

It’s a nice reward for Seattle, who the NHL clearly appreciates for its investment into bringing the hockey team into their city.

It will be interesting to see how the expansion draft plays out and how Seattle performs in it’s opening few seasons. Every NHL team has the benefit of learning and taking what happened with the Vegas Golden Knights expansion process in 2017 and applying it to Seattle.

At some point this year, Seattle will unveil a name and logo, a fully-staffed front office for talent acquisition and information on ticket prices for games.

Seattle Hockey Partners President Tod Leiwicke said that a portal for choosing a team name will be rolled out in 60 days. A detailed timeline on that process will be unveiled at that time.

“We’re going to be deliberate, and we’re going to take our time,” he said, emphasizing the importance of a strong brand for the team.

Given how popular Vegas was in its inaugural season and the overwhelming positive reaction to the Seattle news, we can only speculate how much this addition will mean for the league and growing the game of hockey.

Dougie Hamilton on the move?

Will blueliner Dougie Hamilton be traded again?

Hamilton has been the subject of trade talks, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. 

“[A] name I’m curious about is Dougie Hamilton,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada Saturday. “They have four right-shot defensemen, they’ve been asked about Hamilton. If you’re willing to come back to them with a score I think that they would consider doing it.”

Hamilton hasn’t exactly impressed since arriving in Carolina, putting up six goals and eight assists in 46 games this season. A 25-year-old right-shot defenseman who is under contract until the 2021-22 season would surely fetch a nice return on the trade market.

While it might be nuts to imagine a high-calibre blueliner being traded three times in a four-year period, the Hurricanes may be looking to boost their offense after losing top forwards Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner in trades with Calgary and Buffalo prior to 2017-18.

Hamilton is coming off four consecutive 40-plus point seasons and can be a lethal power-play quarterback. He can’t seem to find a permanent home in the NHL, but you’d have to think he’ll get moved if he can’t figure out in Carolina. There’s simply too much talent there.

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