Getty

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

9 Comments

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’

————

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

Getty Images
18 Comments

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’

————

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

Getty
8 Comments

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.

————

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.

Nicholle Anderson joins NHL’s ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ efforts

NHL
1 Comment

When Nicholle Anderson was diagnosed with cancer, her teaching background kicked in.

”I just wanted to educate people,” she said. ”That’s the teacher in me, so I was never shy to open up about it.”

The wife of Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson began blogging about it not long after being diagnosed last fall with late-stage nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Nicholle is now cancer-free and after serving as an inspiration to Craig and the Senators last season, she wants to share her experience with others as the NHL and NHL Players’ Association’s latest ”Hockey Fights Cancer” ambassador.

”What it’s done to my life in the last year, if I can take this opportunity and educate everybody about it, I’m going to do it,” Nicholle said by phone Tuesday. ”It’s going to be a little emotional for me, too. I understand that. But the next few weeks I feel like I’m doing good.”

As her husband noted when winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy last summer for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, Nicholle doesn’t crave the limelight. But after starting cancer treatments and meeting patients afraid to talk about it, she immediately wanted to speak out on the subject.

Nicholle wants people to know that she contracted nasopharyngeal carcinoma from the virus that causes mono, that only seven in a million people get it and that people who feel something is off in their bodies should get it checked out.

She also wants people to know that even though she beat cancer over a span of seven months and several radiation and chemotherapy treatments, it’s ”brutal” behind closed doors and has an impact on a lot of people.

”I got it, maybe a friend of mine will have it, a family member will have it,” Nicholle said. ”Cancer’s reality. I feel like we all need to be proactive here and raise money not just for research but to help everybody because in the long run, everybody’s getting cancer, so it affects everybody.”

The Senators let Craig take time away from the team to be with his family after Nicholle’s diagnosis. The couple have two sons, Jake and Levi. When Craig was on the ice, he went 25-11-4 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage to help Ottawa make the playoffs.

”Nicholle’s strength, she was the one that wanted me to go back and play so much, and we had so much support,” Craig said when accepting the Masterton in June. ”Everyone was there for us.”

Long before Nicholle’s diagnosis, the Andersons dedicated time and energy to helping others. Nicholle was heavily involved in Senators’ charity efforts, and Craig opened their home to teammates to have dinner and watch football on Sundays.

”Just two tremendous people, really giving, caring – great human beings,” said former Senators forward Alex Chiasson, who spent Thanksgiving 2015 at the Anderson home in Florida. ”They’re great people and obviously the battle that Nicholle had to go through and they had to at the same time as a family, I can’t imagine how hard that would’ve been. I think everything’s going better now. She’s gotten some good treatment. Really glad for that family to hear some positive news.”

Nicholle was given a clean bill of health following a CT scan in May. Another test in August showed she was still OK.

”That’s the only thing you’ve been hoping for,” Chiasson said. ”I think all that is much bigger than the game of hockey.”

Nicholle said ”hockey’s not about me,” and she’d prefer to fly under the radar. But after the way people in hockey rallied around her, she’s eager to give back.

”When the cancer card presents itself, everybody knows the fear of it and everybody came together,” Nicholle said. ”If I can get the message out there in this next month to even encourage people to make sure they’re following up on their own doctor visits and cluing in on their body and saying, ‘OK this isn’t normal, I’ve never had this, I need to get checked,’ then I’m doing the right thing.”

Anderson to carry the load in Ottawa

1 Comment

Despite Andrew Hammond posting a 20-1-2 record while helping the Ottawa Senators secure a playoff berth last season, coach Dave Cameron has no doubt Craig Anderson will be the club’s No. 1 goaltender heading into this season.

“I’m not big on No. 1,” Cameron told the Ottawa Sun. “I know you need two goalies, but I’ll be shocked if Anderson doesn’t play more games than Hammond this year. I’ll be really shocked. You need two goalies, you need healthy competition among the goalies, you need the goalies definitely to push one another.”

Hammond posted a 1.79 G.A.A. and a .941 save percentage during the regular season finishing tied for seventh in Vezina Trophy voting. The Sens rewarded Hammond with a new three-year, $4.05 million extension in May.

Meanwhile Anderson made 35 regular season appearances in the Sens’ net last season posting a 14-13-8 record to go along with a 2.49 G.A.A. and a .923 save percentage.

“(Hammond is) a kid coming in that should be feeling pretty good about what he did last year, but I think his personality is such that I don’t think he’s going to get ahead of himself,” said Cameron. “I think he realized he did well but he also knows this is the best league in the world and his sample size is small.

“He looks good from what I’ve seen and he’s going to come in and accept the challenge of being a regular NHL goalie.”

Related: Poll: Anderson or Hamburglar in Ottawa’s net?