New York Islanders Daily Insight, 5/28/17: Is Duchene Out of the Picture?
Mar 31, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) skates with the puck during the second period against the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

While the Matt Duchene rumors have went away, the New York Islanders could still use a forward just like him.

This past February, as the rumor mill became abuzz with speculation of a Matt Duchene trade, Darren Dreger of TSN added fuel to the fire: “I know the Islanders have interest,” he said.

While Garth Snow (or Avalanche general manager Joe Sacic) didn’t pull the trigger on the deal, here’s something to ponder: Could the Isles pursue Duchene this summer?

Many pundits believe that with zero unrestricted free agents and the threat of losing a quality player in the expansion draft, the Isles are poised to deal somebody — we have no idea who — this offseason.

Duchene, who’s regarded as an elite talent, and Travis Hamonic, who’s also viewed as a budding skater, could be perfect trading partners… well, with maybe another couple of pieces sprinkled in.

The dark truth for the Isles is that with only so many protections allowed in the expansion draft, they’re bound to lose someone — maybe Hamonic, or Calvin de Haan, or Ryan Pulock — in the expansion draft.

Trading one, i.e. Hamonic, means that Snow will have one less player to protect and something in return. Duchene is a top talent who’s inked to a relatively modest deal. While the Islanders top-6 was much better last season, it’s still undoubtedly a need.

The Isles and Avs are obvious trading partners. It’s now only a matter of it actually happening.

NOTES

Well, this came … out of nowhere. The Islanders’ Kieffer Bellows is leaving Boston University for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, NHL.com’s Brian Compton reports. Bellows, the team’s first round pick from 2016, was never that great with BU, nothing only seven goals despite his promise as a “pure goal scorer.” He’ll have the opportunity to hone his talents in Oregon.

ICYMI: Mathew Barzal was eliminated from the Memorial Cup … Luke Richardson joined Doug Weight’s coaching staff and gave his defensemen a vote of confidence … Weight seeks to complete his staff with former NHL players … and the Isles are reportedly set to quarrel at Nassau Coliseum during the preseason.

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