McKenzie surveys post-Duchene NHL trade market

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on from the bench during the first period of game 3 of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers on May 02, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire)

The Matt Duchene trade may have satiated a need for fans of the three teams involved, but there is still a league full of both clubs and fans starved for potential transactions.

Bob McKenzie appeared on Toronto’s TSN 1050 on Wednesday evening, and was asked if the market has intensified now that the three-team swap has somewhat chummed the waters.

“I think even before the Duchene trade there was a lot of talk,” indicated McKenzie. “Because when you had the Canadiens and the Rangers and a whole bunch of teams that stumbled out of the gate and were almost falling on their face and it was like crisis time, those general managers I think were really working the phones hard much earlier than they normally would.

“But both of those teams, for example, have gotten it back up to if not at .500, close to .500, so at least the GMs aren’t running around anymore like their hair is on fire and they can kind of deal from more of – not a position of strength, because .500 is a pretty low bar – but nevertheless it’s not as much of a crisis environment as it was.

“So I think the teams are talking, but that Duchene one percolated for a long time and took a lot of hard work to get the three-team thing done. I don’t know that there’s anything imminent out there, but I did talk to a lot of teams over the course of the last day or two and yeah, they’re all talking.

“I’m in studio tonight doing a Boston Bruin-New York Ranger game and do the Rangers need a center? Yeah, they need a center as much now as when they weren’t .500. And they were in on Duchene. They wanted Duchene badly, but not enough to give up defenseman Brady Skjei, which was what Colorado was insisting he be part of the package.

“The Bruins, they’ve been decimated with injuries. Krejci is out. Marchand is out. Backes is out. They missed Bergeron for the first five games of the season. Both Rask and Khudobin have been injured, although they’re both back playing now. So I think Don Sweeney wants to make a trade. He wants to upgrade his forward group. He wants to upgrade his defense. But he hasn’t really even seen what his team is like healthy.

“So as I said, there’s a whole bunch of teams that yeah, they’re interested in making a move. I just don’t get the overwhelming sense that that they’re ready to make it at any cost, and we’ll get something here in the next day or two.”

Source: TSN 1050