The Matt Duchene saga is (mercifully) over. According to multiple reports, Duchene is on his way to the Ottawa Senators as part of a three-team deal that sends Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators. Colorado receives prospects Samuel Girardi and Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second-round pick from Nashville and prospect Shane Bowers, goalie Andrew Hammond and a 2018 first-round pick and 2019 third-round pick from Ottawa.
The trade is a boost to the future of the Avalanche and adds some offense to a Nashville team that already boasts an incredible blue line. The most interesting aspect of this trade is the headliner.
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Duchene, 26, provides some offensive punch to a team known primarily for it defensive acumen. Head coach Guy Boucher brought the trap to Ottawa which makes for some ugly, but effective hockey. The Senators finished the 2016-17 season with an offense ranked 22nd in the league in goals per game at 2.51, the lowest among all 16 playoff teams. Yet, Ottawa came within one goal of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final as they lost in Game 7 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The loss of Turris is significant. He scored 55 points last season, the third most on the Senators, but he was in the final year of his contract and it seemed unlikely that Ottawa would be able to retain him. At worst, losing Turris and adding Duchene should prevent the Senators from regressing offensively. At best, the ceiling may be a bit higher for Duchene which should help Ottawa become a bit more balanced.
Is Duchene enough for Ottawa to compete with the resurgent powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning? Perhaps not, but then again, no one expected them to reach the conference finals last season either.