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‘It’s a learning experience’ — Duchene saga in Colorado ends with blockbuster trade

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Go ahead and circle Nov. 10 and 11 on your hockey calendars.

Matt Duchene, now a member of the Ottawa Senators, could face his old team the Colorado Avalanche for the first time just days after Sunday’s blockbuster, three-team trade that also involved the Nashville Predators.

The funny thing is this two-game set between the Senators and Avalanche won’t take place in Denver or Ottawa. Duchene would face his old team when the two clubs face each other in Sweden on Friday and Saturday.

This trade puts an end to Duchene’s career with the Avalanche. Selected third overall in 2009, Duchene played 585 games with Colorado, scoring 178 goals and 428 points. But the relationship had gone through a lengthy rough patch, resulting in months of trade talk involving the 26-year-old center.

“Probably the last … year has been tough,” Duchene told reporters, per BSN Denver, after leaving Sunday’s game between the Avalanche and Islanders. He played just under two minutes of ice time before exiting.

“But at the same time it’s a learning experience, it’s a growing experience. It’s part of the business. None of this is personal at the end of the day. It’s a business. I can’t say enough good things. Colorado has given me so much.”

With this deal, the Senators (acquiring Duchene) and Predators (acquiring Kyle Turris from Ottawa) made significant moves to bolster their lineups with the intent of making a prolonged playoff run next spring.

For the Avalanche, this was an opportunity to collect draft picks and prospects with hopes of building a more prosperous future.

The Avalanche acquired defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second-round pick from Nashville, and forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, a first-round pick in 2018 and a third-round pick in 2019 from Ottawa.

That would give the Avalanche two first-round picks and two second-round picks in 2018, and five selections in the opening three rounds next year.

“We feel this deal brings us some top prospects as well as some high draft picks as we continue to build for both the short and long-term future,” said Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic in a statement. “We’ve said all along that we wanted to be patient and wait for the right deal, and this is the opportunity we feel is best for the organization.”

MORE: Turris on Ottawa contract talks: ‘very apparent things weren’t going to work out’

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

Breaking down blockbuster Matt Duchene, Kyle Turris trade

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Wow!

It’s a three-way blockbuster trade on Sunday, with Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris involved, and the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators making a massive move after days of growing anticipation.

Per the reports that are flooding in, Matt Duchene is going to the Ottawa Senators. After making it to the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 playoffs, the Senators are off to a good start once again and it certainly helps having their star defenseman Erik Karlsson back healthy.

In Duchene, the Senators add a talented offensive threat to their lineup, which could certainly bolster their standing as a potential contender in the East. They will have this year plus another remaining on his contract with a $6 million cap hit. They should also receive a player highly motivated to turn the page on the last few months and years of his career in Colorado. For months, there was trade talk involving Duchene as the years of losing and misery began to pile up for the Avalanche and the third overall pick from 2009.

Kyle Turris is reportedly on his way to Nashville. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Turris, at the end of a five-year, $17.5 million contract and a pending unrestricted free agent, was in the process of signing a six-year, $36 million contract extension with the Predators, which would keep him off the open market this summer.

Falling two wins short of a Stanley Cup in June, the Predators boast a formidable top-three group on the blue line, though they’re missing Ryan Ellis after news broke in September that he could miss four to six months following offseason surgery. This deal gives them another top center in addition to Ryan Johansen, as they look to climb the Western Conference standings and get back into the position of being a championship contender. Johansen is right now struggling without a goal on the season and only seven points in 14 games so far.

Nashville has a 7-5-2 record and 16 points — the same amount as the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks.

And finally, to the Avalanche. This has been a decent start to the season for them after the disaster of 2016-17, although today’s game against the Islanders certainly isn’t going their way. In moving Duchene, the return from Nashville and Ottawa is a healthy set of prospects and draft picks.

So, here we go, from the Avalanche:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft from the Nashville Predators, as well as forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, a first-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in 2019 from the Ottawa Senators.

That would, in all likelihood, give the Avalanche two first-round picks and two second-round picks in 2018, and five selections in the opening three rounds.

This is significant for both the Predators and Senators. Both teams made it to the 2017 conference championship series and, after the price they paid today to land key centers for their respective lineups, it appears they’re both intent on trying to make lengthy runs at the Stanley Cup again next spring.

MORE: Turris on Ottawa contract talks: ‘very apparent things weren’t going to work out’

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

Avs trade Matt Duchene

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We have a blockbuster.

It involves Matt Duchene, and from the early reports, it involves a trio of teams — the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, and Nashville Predators.

Duchene began Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. He played a total of 1:59 and left the ice during the first period, per multiple reports.

Now, Duchene has been traded, the Avalanche confirmed Sunday evening. Per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Duchene is going to the Senators, while Kyle Turris is on his way to Nashville. Of course, more information on what Colorado received will quickly be filtering through.

After months and months of speculation, rumors he may not report to training camp, and eventually playing in the first 13 games of the season for Colorado despite all the trade talk, the Duchene saga in Colorado is at its apparent end.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

The Buzzer: McDavid leads Oilers; Rinne celebrates birthday with win

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Player of the Night: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers captain registered an assist in all three periods helping Edmonton to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. After starting the night tied for 30th in NHL scoring, he now sits tied for fifth. According to the NHL, McDavid has now recorded at least three points in a game 17 times since the 2015-16 season.

Highlight of the Night:

Taylor Hall came this close to scoring an own goal in his return to Edmonton:

MISC:

• During their Hockey Fights Cancer night, the Oilers invited Brian Boyle to take part in the ceremonial puck drop before their game:

• The Oilers won 44 of 66 face-offs.

Adam Larsson‘s stat line: 1 assist, 3 SOG, 13 hits, 6 blocked shots, 23:07 TOI.

• Before he almost scored in his own net, Hall tallied his first goal against his old team:

• Five different Nashville Predators scored as they held off the Anaheim Ducks during a 5-3 victory. Pekka Rinne made 35 stops and assisted on P.K. Subban‘s empty netter to help celebrate his 35th birthday.

Scott Hartnell, who scored Nashville’s opening goal, suited up for the 1,200th game of his NHL career.

John Gibson had no chance on this Roman Josi laser:

• Nifty primary assist here by Derek Grant:

Factoid of the Night:

Scores:
Edmonton 6, New Jersey 3
Nashville 5, Anaheim 3

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Shea Weber’s knee feels good, is motivated after watching Preds’ exit

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The Nashville Predators took the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks to six games in the first round of the 2015 playoffs, but they were missing Shea Weber for most of that series. That has to lead to “what if” scenarios playing in some fans heads, but the silver lining is that the subluxed kneecap that prevented Weber from playing beyond Game 2 shouldn’t be an issue going forward.

The top-tier defenseman “feels good” as he awaits the start of training camp.

“It’s exciting to be back,” Weber told the Predators’ website. “As more and more guys roll in here, it’s just going to get more exciting and feel like we’re ready to go for the season. It’s good seeing familiar faces and try to get back into a routine.”

As for what could have been, Weber admits to thinking about that over the course of an offseason that was far longer than Nashville had hoped. At the end of the day, Weber sees it as a source of motivation and confidence.

“We know we’re capable of doing anything we put our minds to, but we also can’t take our foot off the gas,” he said.