Ottawa Senators | Matt Duchene Trade Analyzed


At the start of the 2017-18 season, expectations had been excessive for the Nashville Predators and the Ottawa Senators. The Predators had been simply coming off of their first journey to the Stanley Cup Final and the Senators had been one objective away from assembly them there, taking the Pittsburgh Penguins to sport seven within the Eastern Conference Final. The Colorado Avalanche, then again, had been coming off of their worst end in franchise historical past with simply 48 factors.

With the Senators and Predators on the lookout for the lacking items on their rosters to bolster their lineups and the Avalanche seeking to retool their very own, the trio of groups managed to drag off a blockbuster commerce that despatched long-time Av Matt Duchene to Ottawa.

Matt Duchene #95, Ottawa Senators
Matt Duchene, former Ottawa Senator – February 3, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Since the huge deal, right here’s how the commerce has performed out for the groups and items concerned.

The Trade

The three-way commerce got here after 18 months of hypothesis and rumours surrounding Duchene, who requested a commerce from the group nearly a year prior. Avalanche common supervisor Joe Sakic informed reporters all through the whole course of that he wouldn’t take lower than Duchene was value and proved that with the return from his prime centreman.

Related: Duchene Finally Traded

Latest News & Highlights

After the commerce, Duchene defined his reasoning behind asking for the transfer from the group that drafted him to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, “I wanted to play playoff hockey. I’ve got eight playoff games to my name right now and that’s not where I want to be at this point in my career. I only get one shot at this. I get to play this game for however long my body lets me play it and I felt I wanted to let Joe know it was time to move on.” (From: “Matt Duchene thrilled at getting a chance to win with Senators” – Ottawa Sun – 11/06/2017).

Here are the complete particulars of the commerce from Nov. 5, 2017:

To OTT: Centreman Matt Duchene

To NSH: Centreman Kyle Turris

To COL: Conditional first-round decide (OTT), 2019 third-round decide (OTT), Shane Bowers and Andrew Hammond from Ottawa; 2018 second-round decide (NSH), Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev from Nashville

Senators Temporarily Get Their Number One Centre in Duchene

Duchene had excessive hopes when he arrived in Ottawa and so did the group. This was a group that took Sidney Crosby and the Penguins to not one, however two overtimes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Penguins went on to win the Cup for the second yr in a row and the Senators felt prepared. Their time was now.

Matt Duchene #95, Ottawa Senators
Matt Duchene #95, former Ottawa Senator – (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Upon his arrival, the Senators had been 6-3-5 and whereas that wasn’t the perfect begin to the season, they had been getting factors within the majority of their video games, which is essential. Duchene was able to get began, “To be here with this team that I believe in a lot already it’s very special. There’s going to be an adjustment period. I just want to bring my best to this team and hopefully be part of a long playoff run.” (From: “Matt Duchene thrilled at getting a chance to win with Senators” – Ottawa Sun – 11/06/2017).

As optimistic as Duchene and the Senators had been, it didn’t pan out on the ice for them. The group completed the season 28-43-11 and thirtieth within the league. For Duchene, his hope for playoff hockey was misplaced in his first season in Ottawa. To make issues worse, the Avalanche earned the ultimate wild-card spot going through the Predators in Round 1, though they misplaced the sequence, 4-2.

The 2017-18 season was so dangerous for the Senators that the group entered a rebuild, sending away core items like captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks, Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights and after simply 15 months in Ottawa – Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets' Matt Duchene
Former Columbus Blue Jacket Matt Duchene (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Individually, Duchene was strong for Ottawa. After becoming a member of the group, he had 49 factors in 63 video games to shut out the season. In the 2018-19 season, he performed 50 video games for the Senators earlier than the commerce, accumulating a outstanding 27 targets and 31 assists for 58 factors. Through his time with the Sens, he performed 118 video games and completed with 107 factors.

Duchene Sent to Blue Jackets for Abramov, Davidsson, Pick

Despite his efficiency, the Senators faltered. Before the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline, he was sent to the Blue Jackets for Vitaly Abramov, Jonathan Davidsson and a first-round decide in 2019. That decide was used to pick out Finnish defenseman Lassi Thomson.

Abramov was probably the most well-known prospect within the commerce. The 20-year-old participant spent two seasons and a part of a 3rd simply over the provincial border with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. His time there may be what makes him stand out as a prospect, accumulating 223 factors in 145 video games. However, his scoring contact by no means adopted him to the NHL. After battling accidents, he determined to go away for Russia.

Vitali Abramov Ottawa Senators
Vitali Abramov, Ottawa Senators 2019 improvement camp (Courtesy Ottawa Senators)

Despite Abramov’s success, Davidsson seemed like he might be even higher. He performed effectively within the SHL towards males and is simply beginning to get his ft moist within the North American sport. But like his Russian counterpart, he struggled to search out his manner onto a weak Senators’ lineup and has since returned dwelling to Sweden.

Thankfully, Thomson seems to be like he’ll work out simply nice. He completed up the 2018-19 season within the WHL as a finalist for Rookie of the Year and was named to a WHL Western Conference Second Team All-Star. In 63 video games, he had 17 targets and 24 assists for 41 factors. After a season within the Liiga, he joined the Belleville Senators, the place he’s put up 39 factors over 79 video games throughout three seasons.

Meanwhile, Duchene obtained the playoff hockey he dreamed of. The Blue Jackets made the postseason and even swept the NHL’s greatest group – the Tampa Bay Lightning. Duchene saved his sizzling season going, accumulating 5 targets, 5 assists and 10 factors in 10 playoff video games. In the 2019 offseason, Duchene signed with a well-known group – the Predators – to a seven-year, $56-million contract.

Initially, the deal a steep overpay, but it surely all got here collectively for Duchene in 2021-22. Finally wholesome after two iffy seasons and beneath new coach John Hynes, he scored a career-high 43 targets and 86 factors with the Predators. At 31 years outdated, he has the ability to repeat his incredible season, though he’s not more likely to prime it at this level in his profession.

A favorite of Senators followers, Kyle Turris went from a group that nearly went to the Final in 2017-18 to the group that did. The greatest distinction is that the Predators remained a contender after the commerce. They received the Presidents’ Trophy because the league’s prime group within the common season, ending 53-18-11 with 117 factors.

Kyle Turris Nashville Predators
Kyle Turris, former Nashville Predator (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Turris discovered being traded after the beginning of the season to be “a difficult transition,” however collected 13 targets and 42 factors in 63 video games after being despatched to Music City. He added 17 power-play factors (PPP) post-trade, tying his career-high, on prime of his 4 PPPs with the Senators. The former third-overall decide was additionally a plus-22 with the Predators, after beginning the yr a minus-three in Ottawa.

As quickly because the commerce was full, Turris signed a six-year extension value $6 million yearly, and plenty of presumed that the greenback quantity was his purpose for being despatched out of Ottawa. That consists of Turris. After the commerce, the centreman told reporters, “It’s tough because I think management did want to sign me, but I think that the owner didn’t. And that was his decision.”

After he signed, nevertheless, Turris struggled to justify his pricy extension, posting simply 33 and 22 factors over the subsequent two seasons. Due to an inclement cap crunch, the Predators determined to purchase out the remaining four years of his contract.

As a free agent, Turris signed a two-year show-me deal with the Edmonton Oilers, with the hope that he would supply the group with helpful ahead depth. However, accidents and inconsistency restricted him to only 50 video games and 9 factors over these two years. It was clear that he didn’t have a lot left within the tank, and so forth Aug 18, 2022, he introduced his retirement from the NHL and his new improvement and advisory place with the British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express.

Colorado Gets the Haul They Were Waiting For

Most organizations could be in shambles after buying and selling away a top-line centreman. That hasn’t been the case for the Avalanche, although. The Avs went from the underside of the NHL to the playoffs and are as soon as once more a group within the hunt. A couple of months after the commerce, 2019-20 MVP finalist MacKinnon supplied his thoughts on the transaction.

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon
The Colorado Avalanche and star Nathan MacKinnon are on an upward development (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“It did a lot. There’s nothing wrong with Dutchy wanting to leave. I think it’s fair. He’s been eight, nine years in this league, and it wasn’t like a crazy breakup or anything. He went about it really good this season. But obviously, we knew he wanted to leave. Now we have everybody here that wants to be here, which is great.”

He continues, “I think we’re on our way. If Dutchy was here, I’d think we’d be in a good spot as well. He’s a really good player and obviously, it’s nice to get [defenceman Samuel Girard, acquired in the Duchene deal] on the back end. He’s a great defenceman.”

MacKinnon calls out the strong acquisition of Girard, however the Avalanche obtained an entire lot extra than simply the previous first-rounder.

Shane Bowers

Shane Bowers was the Senators’ twenty eighth general decide in 2017. Regarded as a protected decide, he had a robust freshman season at Boston University, scoring 17 targets and 32 factors, the most of any 18-year-old within the NCAA, together with teammate and present Senators’ star Brady Tkachuk. He was a simple alternative for Hockey East’s All-Rookie group and was named to the honourable point out All-Star group.

Shane Bowers Colorado Avalanche
Shane Bowers seems to be to be a promising prospect for the Avalanche (courtesy United States Hockey League)

Bowers’ 11-goal, 21-point sophomore season wasn’t fairly as spectacular, however he nonetheless made Team Canada’s roster for the 2019 World Junior Championship, then joined the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Colorado Eagles for 4 common season video games and 4 playoff video games. There was some hypothesis that he might make the bounce to the Avs’ lineup the next season, however his transition to the skilled ranks was a little bit bumpier than anticipated. His rookie season within the AHL noticed him rating 27 factors in 48 video games, then a sequence of unlucky accidents restricted him to 55 video games over the subsequent two seasons.

While there’s nonetheless hope that Bowers is usually a top-six ahead within the NHL, it’s unlikely it will likely be with the Avalanche. There are few groups within the league which have a deeper ahead corps than Colorado, and given his restricted AHL time, it’s doable =he wants a contemporary begin some place else to restart his profession. Still simply 23, there’s a lot of time left to place all of it collectively, however he must first present that he can keep wholesome.

Andrew Hammond

After main the Senators by a historic run within the 2014-15 season, there hasn’t been a lot else of observe for the goaltender. That run saw the “Hamburgler” go 10-1-1 to begin his profession, and Hammond turned the second goalie in historical past to let in two or fewer targets in his first 12 begins. He went 20-1-2 with the Senators that yr and led them to a playoff spot after accidents to Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner.

After the commerce, Hammond solely performed in a single regular-season sport for the Avalanche, a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, after which was compelled into three playoff video games towards the Predators. He got here into one after an damage to Semyon Varlamov, stopping all eight pictures he confronted. He received the subsequent begin 2-1, making 44 saves earlier than getting blown out 5-0 the subsequent sport.

Hammond walked into free company and picked up a one-year cope with the Minnesota Wild for $650,000, after which the Buffalo Sabres, taking part in within the AHL each seasons. He was left unsigned to begin the 2020-21 season, however a long-term injury to Alex Stalock compelled the Minnesota Wild to convey him again in December.

Andrew Hammond New Jersey Devils
Andrew Hammond made a quick look with the New Jersey Devils earlier than leaving for Russia (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

However, he didn’t play a sport with them and in February 2022, he was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens, the place he performed simply 4 video games and went 3-0 earlier than being traded to the New Jersey Devils a month later. At the tip of the season, he was as soon as once more with out an NHL contract, and so Hammond determined to go away for Europe, signing with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHLfor the 2022-23 season, the place he’ll doubtless stay for the remainder of his profession.

Samuel Girard

Of all of the gamers they acquired, Sam Girard has unquestionably had the largest influence on the Avalanche. On a defensive corps that didn’t have a lot behind Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie, Girard labored his manner onto the highest pairing, which was described by the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers as an ideal defensive pairing, an enormous, in-your-face defenseman and a small, expert, puck-moving defenseman. (From: “Chambers: Erik Johnson and Sam Girard are a perfect pairing for the Avalanche” – Denver Post – 10/07/18).

Colorado Avalanche's Samuel Girard
Colorado Avalanche’s Samuel Girard (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

Chambers wasn’t the one one pumped concerning the addition of Girard. Speaking to The Denver Post, Johnson raved about Girard’s skill, “He’s so skilled, so smart. You maybe worry about a guy that size playing D but he’s so smart and elusive. He knows when the forecheck is coming. He knows when to dip out of traffic when he’s in trouble. He’s got a really good head on his shoulders.” (From: “Chambers: Erik Johnson and Sam Girard are a perfect pairing for the Avalanche” – Denver Post – 10/07/18).

In his 4 full seasons with the Avalanche, Girard has been a daily 30-point defenceman, however the arrival of Cale Makar, Devon Toews, and Bowen Byram has pushed him all the way down to the third pairing alongside Johnson. He’s unlikely complaining, nevertheless, as he helped the Avalanche seize the 2022 Stanley Cup.

Vladislav Kamenev

Like Hammond, Vladislav Kamenev’s time with the Avalanche hasn’t gone precisely to plan. In his first sport together with his new group, he took successful from Brooks Orpik, which broke his arm. He returned later within the season and performed simply two extra video games, recording no factors in that season. Then, in 2018-19, he performed 23 video games and establishing himself as a depth participant earlier than one other damage ended his season in December.

Vladislav Kamenev Colorado Avalanche
Vladislav Kamenev, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kamenev returned to the group in 2019-20 however was unable to remain wholesome, dressing for 38 video games over the season. It doubtless hasn’t helped that he hasn’t been in a position to settle in wherever for the previous few seasons; since 2015, the Russian centre has performed in video games for the Milwaukee Admirals, San Antonio Rampage, Colorado Eagles, Predators and Avalanche. In 2020-21, he returned dwelling to Russia the place he’s continued to battle with accidents, however a minimum of discovered a bit extra consistency. While the Avalanche nonetheless retains his rights, the 26-year-old doesn’t seem like he’ll return to North America any time quickly.

The Picks

The first-round conditional decide from Ottawa on this commerce turned a 2019 decide when the Senators drafted Brady Tkachuk fourth general in 2018. The situation was that the Sens might both ship their 2018 or 2019 decide to Colorado. By utilizing the decide on the feisty winger, the decide shifted to 2019, the place additionally they had the Senators’ third-round decide.

The first-rounder ended up being fourth general, and the Avalanche selected Byram. He’s an important skater with the power to shock opposing gamers together with his pace. His imaginative and prescient permits him to make massive passing performs, and he isn’t afraid to play bodily. He handles the puck very effectively and has a fast, laborious shot that may idiot goaltenders.

Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche
Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Images)

Byram’s debut in 2020-21 was admittedly a bit disappointing, as he performed simply 19 video games and had simply two assists. He took a step ahead final season, scoring 5 targets and 17 factors over 30 video games, plus one other 9 assists in 20 playoff video games, however he nonetheless hasn’t lived as much as his lofty draft expectations. Look for that to vary in 2022-23, as he’s primed to break out now that he’s extra snug within the NHL. It’s doable that, as soon as he hits his prime, he’ll be the largest a part of this deal.

The third-round decide was used to pick out Matthew Steinburg, a promising centre from St. Andrew’s College. He joined Cornell University in 2019-20 and goes into his fourth season with this system. Last season, he led the group with 29 factors in 28 video games.

As for Nashville’s second-rounder in 2018, it was traded to the Penguins for third and fifth-round picks (sixty fourth and 146th) within the 2018 draft. They chosen goaltender Justus Annunen and defender Daniil Zhuravlyov with these two picks. Annunen has seemed very promising in his appearances with the Finnish World Junior group on the 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, recording a 2.00 targets towards common and a .914 save proportion en path to capturing the gold medal. He performed yet another season in Finland earlier than becoming a member of the AHL’s Eagles, the place he’s established himself because the group’s beginning goalie and even earned a few call-ups to the Avalanche.

Zhuravlyov signed his entry-level deal in May 2022 and can make his North American debut in 2022-23 after three seasons with the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan. He was additionally on the 2018 World Juniors, the place he served as an assistant captain for Team Russia, accumulating 5 assists by 5 video games which tied for second on the group for factors, was first in assists and led the group’s defenders in factors. While each prospects are at present taking part in hockey of their respective international locations, they give the impression of being promising up to now for the Avalanche.

Who Is Winning the Trade so Far?

It’s laborious to not view the Avalanche because the clear-cut winner. Even the day after the commerce, they appeared to return out on prime. After the transaction, the Senators and Avs have appeared to modify locations within the league. The Sens fell within the standings, ending second-to-last and had been compelled to start a prolonged rebuild that’s simply now starting to point out the fruits of its labour. Colorado, then again, made the playoffs after ending lifeless final in 2017-18 and established themselves as perennial contenders, which lastly paid off in 2022 with a Stanley Cup.

Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President Joe Sakic
Joe Sakic waited for the proper commerce and it paid off (Photo by RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post by way of Getty Images)

Sakic’s persistence on this commerce paid off big-time and it’ll proceed to repay for the foreseeable future. While Girard has made a right away influence, Byram has emerged as the most effective defensive prospects within the league, and followers needs to be extraordinarily enthusiastic about his potential. Even if that was the entire deal, the Avalanche nonetheless would have come out on prime. If Bowers finally ends up turning into a serviceable NHLer, then Colorado knocked the deal out of the park.

Related: The NHL’s Top 5 Defenses

Nashville, then again, remained about the identical. They stay a playoff competitor however have been unable to interrupt by the second spherical. With Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm, they may proceed to be one of many stronger groups within the West, however contemplating that Turris was purchased out, the lack of Girard stings a bit extra. Also, the truth that the Predators ended up with Duchene, in the long run, is a wierd flip on this massive transaction.


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