Kyle Turris

Avalanche (finally) move Matt Duchene in blockbuster 3-team trade

AP Images

Avalanche (finally) move Matt Duchene in blockbuster 3-team trade

Joe Sakic told Matt Duchene to be patient, that the trade he asked for would come at some point.

It finally did as the Colorado Avalanche traded Duchene to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night in a pair of deals that also included Kyle Turris going to the Nashville Predators. With the Duchene saga over, he joins the Senators as their new No. 1 center, Turris gives the Predators more depth down the middle and the Avalanche push forward with their rebuilding youth movement.

"It's bittersweet for sure, but I'm excited for a new opportunity in Ottawa," Duchene said as he left Barclays Center in Brooklyn. "(The Senators) have a team that can win a Stanley Cup. I'm really excited to go there and just nothing but a pleasure to have played here for Colorado."

Colorado gets top prospects Samuel Girardi and Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second-round pick from Nashville, and prospect Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond and a 2018 first- and 2019 third-round picks from Ottawa. Sakic said the Senators first-round pick was top-10 protected.

Duchene is signed through 2018-19 at a salary-cap hit of $6 million. But Sakic said Duchene requested a trade last Christmas, and he has been talking to teams about moving him ever since.

"It's been a while, but we wanted to make sure we had the right deal," Colorado's general manager said. "I think it worked for all three teams. Ottawa wanted Matt really bad, and Kyle Turris was the perfect fit for what Nashville's trying to do and we're trying to build this up and get younger and have our kids grow together."

After the deals were completed, Turris signed a $36 million, six-year extension with Nashville that keeps him under contract through 2023-24. Nashville, which went to the Stanley Cup Final last season, lost winger James Neal to Vegas in the expansion draft but could afford to sign Turris because of that cap space.

Predators GM David Poile called Turris, 28, one of the best two-way centers in the NHL.

"He should be a great fit in our locker room and will bolster our lineup and give us the depth that's necessary during the regular season and the playoffs," Poile said. "He is someone who can play in all situations and will help us tremendously on both ends of the ice. He will give our coaching staff a number of options in terms of offensive production and defensive responsibilities."

Duchene has four goals and six assists in 13 games this season and 178 goals and 250 assists in 585 NHL games, all with Colorado. He'll play his first game with the Senators on Friday against the Avalanche in Stockholm, which could be a weird meeting after Duchene spent so much time in limbo.

"We're going to still focus on winning hockey games and focus on doing that with the guys that want to be here," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said after a 6-4 loss to the Islanders. "Obviously, Matt had his opinions and reasons for whatever happened, but I think for the guys that are here, we want to try to win and we want to change this thing around with this team."

Duchene had a good idea in recent days something was coming, and coach Jared Bednar was prepared with different lineups in case a trade went down. Sakic said he, Poile and Senators GM Pierre Dorion had been talking for a long time, so it was hard to find anyone surprised that Duchene is no longer with the Avalanche.

But Duchene's exit came in unique fashion as he found out on the bench during the game and left the ice with injured Colorado forward Blake Comeau 9:21 into the first period.

"I kind of knew before they told me," Duchene said. "I saw them talking on the bench. It's very strange, but I kind of half-expected it to be the weirdest way possible. It's one of those things -- it's a business and I'll have good story for people one day."

Flyers fail to close game out in shootout loss to Senators

Flyers fail to close game out in shootout loss to Senators


When you’re 1:59 away from a pretty strong victory over the Ottawa Senators, you can’t give up a tying goal.

Especially on a wraparound.

That’s what transpired Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers blew a one-goal lead when they allowed Kyle Turris to send the game into overtime before Ottawa won in a shootout, 3-2 (see Instant Replay).

“We have to do a little better job of extending the lead in the third period,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “We played a pretty good hockey game. Whether it’s extending that lead five-on-five or one of the power-play opportunities, we've got to do a better job to extend that lead.”

Tough part is, goalie Steve Mason, who is going to get the brunt of the workload over the next month or so while Michal Neuvirth recovers from a knee injury, was impressive with 24 saves.

Even in the shootout, he took the Flyers to the fifth shooter before Erik Karlsson won it. Yet Mason’s nemesis as a Flyer has been wraparound goals.

Turris took a pass from Karlsson at full speed and came at the net from the right side, being angled to the outside by Brandon Manning. 

Turris curled behind the net, but Mason inexplicably froze and was slow to get over to the far post. Turris buried it well before he got there.

It was a terrible way for the Flyers to have a victory snatched from their hands, especially when their goalie had made so many impressive saves earlier in the game.

“We played very well and had a big chance to win this hockey game,” said Michael Raffl, whose second goal of the season gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead going into the third period. “Very disappointing … very disappointed with the loss.”

It had to be even worse for Mason. He declined to address the media after the game. His name had been erased from the board and it wasn’t done by any of the Flyers' PR staff, either.

“He expects a lot of himself,” Manning said. “With the majority of the workload going forward, he’s a guy who wants to step up and help us out. Like most guys, when you have a game you should win … ”

Manning said the Flyers were caught in a line change on the rush.

“A broken play,” he said. “Karlsson was carrying [the puck] with a bit of speed. He hit Turris outside. We tried to protect the middle and keep him outside. He wrapped it around.”

The good? The Flyers did earn a point and did some things very well.

For only the sixth time in 17 games, they scored first.

A neutral ice turnover by Derick Brassard gave Nick Cousins a breakaway on Craig Anderson five minutes into play and Cousins scored his second goal of the season.

Give Manning an assist for legally blocking off Brassard’s route back to Cousins.

“I was at the blue line and I figured [Brassard] was going to try and make a play across the blue line,” Cousins said. “He's a pretty skilled player, so I just thought I'd sort of cheat and it worked out for me.”

Mason had to make four saves in less than five minutes to start the game as it was pond hockey. He also had a fine post stop on Ryan Dzingel late in the period after the defense was split on a near end-to-end rush.

Shayne Gostisbehere, who has had his own issues this season with turnovers, made one a few minutes later, which forced Mason to make his eighth save of the period on Chris Wideman. 

A turnover by Mark Streit at his blue line early in the second period led to Sean Couturier’s line being caught on the ice far too long and gassed. Tired legs didn’t allow for a clean clear attempt and Mark Stone picked up a loose puck and fired between the circles to tie the game. Mason was screened.

Mason had a point-blank stop on Mike Hoffman after a Senators' power play expired later that period and it was important because it gave Raffl a chance to break the 1-1 tie at 13:18 on a rebound of Dale Weise.

“It was a great faceoff [win] by Belly (Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) and I was able to beat my guy to the front of the net and was able to get the rebound,” Raffl said.

And while he didn’t figure in the scoring, rookie Travis Konecny was simply a beast the entire night, fighting for loose pucks, creating chances, causing Ottawa to turn the puck over. 

His effort alone should have enabled the Flyers to get one more goal in the third period. He had four shots on net but the truth is, the Flyers wasted two power plays.

“Games can go either way in the first period,” Konecny said. “Sometimes it's really tight out there and there is no space or, like tonight, there's a lot of space out there and teams have kind of opened up.

“Tonight it felt like a lot of open space out there. We got opportunities right out of the hop … overall, I thought we played a pretty good game. Mase stood on his head. He made a number of saves and did incredible in the shootout. That’s all we can ask of him.”