Matt Duchene is FINALLY traded
Yesterday, it was announced that the Colorado Avalanche had traded Matt Duchene to Ottawa in a three-way deal that also saw Kyle Turris sent to Nashville and Colorado netting a king’s ransom of futures. Using Steve Yzerman like card trick magic, Sakic somehow managed to get fair value or more despite the fact that he seemed to be behind the eight ball for months now. In total, the Avalanche collected first round picks from 2011 (Shane Bowers) and 2018, second round picks from 2016 (Samuel Girard) and 2018 and a third round pick from 2019 in addition to goalie Andrew Hammond and prospect Vadislav Kamenev. Joe Sakic did not receive the NHL-ready defenseman that was long part of the demands, but he did manage to get seven players for a player that everyone in the NHL knew he had trade.
The history from a Hurricanes perspective
I first wrote about the possibility of the Hurricanes acquiring Matt Duchene just after the calendar flipped to 2017 and before the trade deadline approached and Duchene’s name was everywhere.
Though I coveted Matt Duchene and his ability to add a true playmaking center, I was tempted but never quite willing to trade a young roster NHL defenseman. My bidding stopped at Haydn Fleury plus futures.
So should Ron Francis have acted?
I do not think so. Somehow Sakic faked negotiating leverage and received a sizable return for Duchene. As much I think Francis came up one player short this summer in not adding anything from the ‘playmaking center’ category, I would not have been willing to pay what it would have required to win Duchene this week. The sheer volume of futures was just too high to justify.
So are there possibilities for a plan B?
There are actually. Alex Galchenyuk has found his way back into the dog house in Montreal and also into the news with word that he has battled substance abuse issues. I have no idea what to make of the new news and also no idea to what degree Francis could get a read on the situation. That complication aside, Galchenyuk continues to fit the bill as a potential scoring line center though not without risk given his ups and downs in Montreal and questions about his two-way play.
Once the Edmonton Oilers made the math work for 2017-18, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins became more likely to play the 2017-18 with the Oilers and then hit the trade market next summer to free up the salary needed to pay Edmonton’s young guns. But with the Oilers mired in a scoring slump and near the bottom of the NHL, the team might suddenly be willing to deal Nugent-Hopkins again.
Past the two carry overs from the offseason, timing is starting to be right to put calls into any teams struggling in the standings in hopes that they are ready to make a move or two that makes another scoring center available.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Do you feel like Francis missed out on Matt Duchene? Or was there just never a deal for a reasonable price to be had there?
2) Do you have a plan B who you like to add a scoring-oriented center via trade, or do you think it is up to the team to improve scoring from within?