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Rumor: Duchene could be traded for 20-year-old former first round draft pick.

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There are a ton of rumors surrounding Colorado Avalanche star forward Matt Duchene as training camp draws near, but one National Hockey League insider seems to believe that one team is the front-runner due to one of their young talents.

In his recent '30 Thoughts' piece Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman stated that he feels Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic may already know what player he wants in exchange for Duchene.

From Friedman:

This is my opinion, but the kind of player Colorado covets is Carolina’s Noah Hanifin. Hurricanes GM Ron Francis has made it clear he doesn’t like the idea of trading for two years of Duchene if Hanifin is the price, but there comes a time a GM must gamble.

The Hurricanes are doing the right things — building, trending in a good direction. You see it coming. Their window to chase a playoff berth is opening. They are deep on the blue line, but need scoring.

Hanifin, a 20-year-old defenseman, is exactly the kind of building block that Sakic was looking for in return for Duchene when the trade rumors surrounding him first became public. The question now is whether or not Ron Francis would be prepared to give up his fifth overall pick in 2015 in exchange for a guy with only a few short years left on his deal, even if he is Matt Duchene. 

Friedman hinted at the fact that the time to strike may be now as far as Francis is concerned, and furthermore that Sakic may be very aware of this. Again from Friedman:

In hockey’s toughest division, your flaws are even more exposed. Would it surprise you if Sakic is looking at his fellow Hall of Famer, thinking Francis is ready to play the final card for a big pot?

If this trade were to happen, who do you think would win the deal?


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