The Colorado Avalanche have traded Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators. A three-way trade between the Avalanche, Senators and Nashville Predators was reported to be in the works earlier in the week and as Elliotte Friedman mentioned Sunday, that deal appeared to be back in place.
The final details of the trade are as follows: the Senators acquire Duchene, the Predators acquire Kyle Turris and the Avalanche acquire Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick from the Predators as well as Shane Bowers, Andrew Hammond, a first-round pick and a third-round pick from the Senators.
Matt Duchene has been one of the biggest names on the market for years. He’s still only 26-years-old and has one year remaining on a $30 million contract after this season that carries a $6 million cap hit. With the Avalanche entering the trade deadline at the very bottom of the league with a 14-41-3 record last season, it seemed like it time to make a change. The Avalanche ultimately never moved their star center at the deadline, nor the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Instead, they waited to find the right deal – one that they felt comfortable with in the end.
Duchene is one of the most skilled players in the league, and though he’s a legitimate top center in the NHL, the drawn-out saga between Duchene and the team was ultimately too much for either side to come back from – not that there was ever an indication that either side wanted to.
Matt Duchene is Still a Star
Last season, Duchene has scored 18 goals and 41 points this season in 77 games. It was an off-year for the 5-foot-11, 200-pound center, but that was the story in Colorado last season with every player seeming to struggle. His minus-34 might stand out to some, but with the state of the Avalanche, it wasn’t entirely surprising. This season, Duchene was able to find his stride and prove that he’s still a dynamic star on the ice. With four goals and 10 points in 13 games, Duchene now gives the Senators the bonafide top center they’ve been seeking out for years.
After being selected with the third overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Duchene made the jump to the NHL immediately. He scored 24 goals and 55 points in 81 games in his rookie season and capped it off with three assists in six postseason games. He’s played in eight seasons in the NHL already and has scored 172 goals and 413 points in 551 games. His best season came during the 2013-14 campaign when he scored 23 goals and 70 points in just 71 games. Duchene has scored 30 goals once in his career, last season, along with 59 points in 76 games.
Senators Adding Dynamic Offense
Duchene brings the Senators a tremendous amount of offensive potential. He will immediately slot into their top line and help them push for the playoffs in a wide-open Atlantic Division. Despite making the playoffs in his first season, Duchene has only made the playoffs once since coming in 2013-14. Eight playoff games in eight years hasn’t given Duchene a chance to showcase his ability in the postseason the way he or many fans would have liked. With the Senators, however, that could all change.
With one of the best hockey players in the world (regardless of position) in Erik Karlsson set to feed the puck to a star in Duchene, the Senators may finally have the offensive threat they’ve needed on the forecheck to totally change their dynamic for the better.
Predators Bolstering Top-6
While Turris is a good hockey player, he’s never been a legitimate No. 1. For the Predators, he should complement Ryan Johansen nicely in the team’s top-six, giving them a solid one-two punch. With 27 goals (a new career-high) and 55 points in 78 games last season with the Senators, Turris proved that he can make an impact offensively. He’s continued to do so this season with a strong start of three goals and nine points in the Senators first 11 games, but with an expiring contract, the Senators were wise to capitalize on his value and trade him for what is undoubtedly an upgrade.
Starting the season 7-5-2, the Predators occupy the second-to-last spot in the Central Division – one of the most difficult divisions in the entire league. Making this move to try and gain ground early and make a push for another Stanley Cup Final opportunity, the Predators took their shot and should be a better team than they were before.
A former third-overall pick in his own right, Turris has scored 136 goals and 320 points in 544 career games as well as 13 goals and 27 points in 46 postseason contests. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center should fit right in with the Predators who have one of the best blue lines in hockey – a blue line that excels at moving the puck to generate offense.
Kyle Turris Signs Extension With Predators
As mentioned by Friedman, it didn’t take the Predators and Turris long to finalize a deal to keep him in Nashville for the long-haul. Just minutes after the trade was originally announced, Turris agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension worth $36 million with Nashville – a deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $6 million per season.
While the $6 million cap hit is identical to that of Duchene’s, it’s clear that the Senators saw the potential to upgrade their offense and create separation in the Atlantic Division with a bonafide star like Duchene who also happens to be a year and a half younger than the Senators former top center in Turris.
In the end, the Predators got a huge piece to move all-in for the 2018 season. The Senators got an upgrade at center and the Avalanche will now continue to push their rebuild forward with a lot of added assets in place to help in the process.
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