Duchene To Senators, Turris to Predators in 3-Team Deal
Various reports indicate the Colorado Avalanche have traded center Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators in a three-team deal that sees the Senators ship center Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators.
The Avalanche received ” prospects Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick from the Predators, and forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond and a first- and third-round pick from the Senators.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not since October 27, 2013, when the Buffalo Sabres dealt Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson and two draft picks, has there been an early-season trade involving such notable players. Rarer still is it’s a three-way deal. The move came as Duchene was playing with the Avalanche against the New York Islanders, reportedly leaving the game as he was informed he’d been traded.
So, after months of speculation, the Duchene trade watch mercifully comes to an end. So what about what each team gets?
Well, the Senators get a center in Duchene who’s two years younger than the 28-year-old Turris and under contract through 2018-19 at an annual cap hit of $6 million. They also get a guy who’s exceeded 20 goals and 50 points five times since joining the NHL in 2009-10 who will also likely be feeling liberated after getting out of an unhappy situation with the Avalanche.
If that translates into improved performance by Duchene that bolsters the Senators offensive punch, it’ll be a worthwhile move for Ottawa. However, they could face difficulty in re-signing the 26-year-old center, who’s eligible for UFA status in 2019, if he seeks a long-term extension worth over $6 million annually. If so, he could be on the move again by sometime next season.
As for Turris, his demands for a seven- or eight-year deal reportedly didn’t sit well with the Sens front office, forcing them to trade him rather than risk losing him for nothing to next summer’s free agent market. The Predators were reportedly interested in Duchene but unwilling to part with one of their top-four defensemen to get him. In landing Turris, they get a quality center with a strong two-way game at an affordable return.
It took Turris a little longer to blossom than Duchene, but he’s reached 20 goals and 50 points in three of the last four seasons. He should bolster their depth at center and potentially improve their chances of staging another run for the Stanley Cup next spring. Given his UFA status next summer, I daresay the Turris camp was agreeable to re-signing with the Preds to allow this trade to take place, perhaps along the lines of what he sought from the Senators.
The Avs, meanwhile, didn’t get a young, established top-four defenseman but they land one with considerable promise in Girard, who has three points in five games with the Preds this season. Though on the small side (5’10”, 162 lbs), the 19-year-old has potential as a top-four puck-moving blueliner.
Hammond rose to prominence late in 2014-15 as the beloved “Hamburgler” who carried the injury-ravaged Sens into the 2015 playoffs. He’s since struggled to regain that form and lost the backup job last year to Mike Condon, but was playing well on their farm team this season. He’s unlikely to unseat Jonathan Bernier as Semyon Varlamov’s backup this season but will provide the Avs with some necessary insurance should injuries strike between the pipes.
Kamenev, 21, is an offensive center who’ll likely report to the Avs farm club and should factor into their future plans soon. Bowers,18 is a center currently playing for Boston University.
Was this return worth it for the Avs? They certainly got quantity with this return, but time will tell if those players and prospects turn into quality. It could prove to be the defining move – for good or ill – in Joe Sakic’s tenure as Avalanche general manager.