After things had started to go a little quiet on the Matt Duchene trade front everything picked back up again on Friday night when it was reported by Darren Dreger and Elliotte Friedman that the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators were involved in trade talks that could have sent Duchene to the Senators as part of a three-team deal.
Those trade talks, however, have fallen apart.
According to the reports, the deal would have sent Duchene to the Senators, Kyle Turris to Nashville and an unknown package of players and draft picks to Colorado.
There is a lot to unwrap here, so let’s try to dig into a little bit.
First, there is the Ottawa angle and their continued interest in Duchene, something that has apparently been going on for a couple of years now.
This particular trade would have been fascinating to watch unfold because it’s worth asking how much it would have actually made them better. When you look at the on-ice performance of both players swapping Turris for Duchene seems like it is sort of a lateral move.
Just look at their 82-game averages over the past three seasons:
Kyle Turris: 24 goals, 32 assists, 56 points, 49.7 Corsi
Matt Duchene: 24 goals, 29 assists, 53 points, 46.7 Corsi
On the surface, they are virtually the same players.
The only advantage the Senators would get with Duchene is that he is one year younger and still has one year left on his contract. Turris is eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season while Duchene is signed through the end of next season at a salary cap hit of $6 million. Unless the Senators are 100 percent convinced they can not get Turris signed to an extension, or that it would cost them more than the $6 million Duchene would make next season, the really isn’t a huge short-term upgrade here.
And even if that is the case they will simply find themselves in the exact same situation next season with Duchene where he is entering the final year of his contract and they have to worry about trying to get him signed to a new long-term contract.
Nashville, meanwhile, probably would have been the team getting a clear and immediate upgrade to its roster. There hasn’t been much reported on what, exactly, they would have had to give up (Friedman only said that Mattias Ekholm was not involved in the trade talks) but it is unlikely they would have been giving up a core piece. Adding Turris, a consistent 25-goal, 60-point scorer to that lineup would have been a total game-changer in the Western Conference.
That leaves Colorado, where the Avalanche and Duchene still remain in limbo. The will they or won’t they trade situation has been going on for almost two years now and every time it seems like they might finally be on the verge of actually completing a deal things have a way of falling apart. The Avalanche have been better than expected so far this season which is probably making the entire situation a little bit easier, but at some point they are going to have to figure out some sort of a resolution to this.