|2018 Season||July 1st, 2018|
|Matt Duchene||F||26||14||4||10||$6 mil||1||$6 mil|
|Kyle Turris||F||28||11||3||9||$3.5 mil||6||$6 mil|
|Andrew Hammond||G||29||0||0||0||$1.35 mil||0||UFA|
|2018 1st Round Draft Pick (Ottawa)|
|2018 2nd Round Draft Pick (Nashville)|
|2019 3rd Round Draft Pick (Ottawa)|
Well, the Matt Duchene in Colorado saga is officially over and it took one hell of a deal to get it all done.
On Sunday evening, the long-awaited deal from Duchene's standpoint was officially completed and it sent him to Ottawa and also in the deal was the Nashville Predators, who acquired forward Kyle Turris in the transaction, while the Avalanche, who were holding out for a return, definitely got a return, with a fistful of prospects, picks and goaltender Andrew Hammond.
There's a lot to this, so let's start with the big piece of the puzzle, the centerpiece, Duchene. He's already off to a pretty good start this season, as he buckled down and accepted the fact that his name was being dangled as trade bait. He took it like a pro, played the audition well, picked up 10 points in 14 games and now he's off to a new situation, a change of scenery and there's a fine chance that the 3rd overall pick in 2009 may have a chance to really shine again. The argument that he was displaced as the top dog in the Colorado organization seems very real and with new surroundings will clear the mind and he can approach things differently, joining a team that wants him and things could very well turn, both mentally and production-wise.
I would have to think that Turris was a very unassuming player in this whole deal, especially when the rumour mill churned hard on the apparent turn of this deal earlier in the weekend. He has been a good player for the Senators, a key piece of their puzzle last season, when they made a good playoff run, but the Senators had to give up something to get something. The move to Nashville does have to be exciting though. Turris moves into the number two centre role and should have some fun weapons to play with, which makes him very exciting, as a pool player and the Predators definitely improve their roster today, since they didn't give up a ton off their roster to do this move.
Now, we come to the Avalanche. The Avalanche were looking for a King's ransom in a Duchene deal and if we're scoring this for the future, it appears they did okay. The most important parts of this deal are the kids. Personally, the best of the bunch is defenseman Samuel Girard, who was getting an extra long look on Nashville's blueline at 19 years old. The Predators and their recent history of defensemen is a real sign that this kid is the real deal. A 2016 2nd round pick, cracking the roster out of camp this year, not to mention 3 points in five games... he's going places. Shane Bowers is next, the Senators' 1st round pick this past summer. Still unsigned, so Colorado has some flexibility there. The draft picks are huge over the next two years, that's some quality picking given up by both teams. And then there are the throw-ins, which Andrew Hammond certainly is, because Ottawa's goalie depth is good beyond their top two and Vladislav Kamenev has been okay in the farm system, but hasn't even warranted a long look at the NHL level.
Now, the real question... how does this affect the hockey pool? Well, let's ask Troy, as his team is the only one that has an immediate impact from this trade. Troy's team has both Duchene and Turris on his side and midway through Sunday's action, his team sits in 18th place, 32 points back of 1st. Will this trade vault his team to the money much faster? Probably not in the grand scheme of things, but if my assessment has any merit here, both Duchene and Turris are going to benefit with their new homes. They are already off to pretty good starts this season and they are among his best forwards to start. Can they improve? Sure. Troy's team still needs more though, like contributions from both Sam Bennett and Steve Mason, before they are going anywhere of note.
The early season success and professional nature that Duchene brought to the Avalanche was the biggest reason, in my opinion, as to why the Avalanche were able to clean this trade up in futures. I don't think that this deal helps them out today, although Girard may get a full season on an Avalanche blueline that needed some work. I think what could be lost here is the fact that the Predators quietly acquired a very good centre, someone who could really compliment Ryan Johansen down the middle and offer up line combinations, when the offense gets stale and the coach needs some help. Sure, the Preds gave up a really good young player, but they are looking at right now and right now looks a lot better with Turris in-house.