In case you missed the news over the past few days, reports surfaced very late Friday night that the Colorado Avalanche were close to a blockbuster trade that would have seen Matt Duchene moved to the Ottawa Senators. The trade also involved the Nashville Predators and would have seen a package or picks and prospects coming to the Avs.
The Senators are looking to acquire an offensive threat to play down the middle and it looked like they were going to do that by trading for Matt Duchene. The Sens would have sent Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators as part of the trade.
Somewhere along the way, the trade fell apart and Matt Duchene is still a member of the Colorado Avalanche - for now. It sounds as though the breakdown came when there was a discrepancy in the perceived value of a prospect that would have been coming to the Avs.
Yesterday, in his Headlines segment during the second intermission of the early game on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman elaborated on the trade talk and where things stand.
Friedman insisted that the trade is far from ‘dead’ and made it sound like it’s only a matter of time before Matt Duchene is playing for the Senators. He told the panel:
“I still think Colorado is motivated to trade Matt Duchene, I think Ottawa is very motivated to acquire Matt Duchene.”
He added that it seems as though the reported three-team trade is likely done but that there is potential to get something done directly - without involving Nashville.
When the rumors first broke, it as widely speculated that the Avs were the ones that got cold feet and pulled out at the last minute. Friedman doesn’t agree with that claim.
“People are saying Colorado was the holdup in this deal, I don’t think it’s that simple. I don’t think that’s accurate. They were getting at least one first rounder, maybe two and other picks depending on the quality of prospects. I think where it fell apart was ‘ok, how good is this prospect and how should that affect the other draft picks?’”
This potential trade makes it sound as though Joe Sakic has moved off of his insistence that he receive an NHL defender in any package for Duchene. No one really knows which prospects are involved in the proposed trade, but from the way Friedman was talking, it sounds as though the first round pick(s) is the more valuable part of the package.
If we’re talking about a return involving one or two first-round picks, the Sens won’t be giving up one of their top prospects like Thomas Chabot, Colin White, or Filip Chlapik in the deal. It’s far more likely we’d see a guy that’s on a lower tier coming to Colorado, someone like Markus Nurmi or Andreas Englund - Nurmi in particular as he is a very underrated prospect that many scouts have compared to a more defensively responsible Mikko Rantanen.
Despite the trade rumors and the uncertainty about his future, Matt Duchene went out and scored his fourth goal of the season Saturday night, while adding an assist to help the Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in a shootout.
Adding intrigue to this whole story is that the Avalanche and Senators will be spending this week together in Sweden. The two general managers are expected to be with their teams so a face to face meeting is inevitable. Maybe that’s all it takes to finally get something done between the two teams.