Friedman: Nashville and Columbus favorites to land Duchene

Matt Duchene seems highly likely to be dealt before Monday’s trade deadline, so which contenders are favored to nab him?

Elliotte Friedman had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and was asked to handicap the race of suitors.

“I think Nashville and Columbus are probably,” began Friedman, who interrupted himself. “I always believe there’s teams out there I don’t know about. I think there’s going to be teams out there periodically that are going to come up out of nowhere and you’re not going to see them.

“But of the teams I am aware of, I believe that Nashville and Columbus are probably the favorites. I think Nashville wants him, I think he wants them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they discuss an extension as part of this. I would handicap Nashville as being the No. 1 contender. That’s what I would do.”

Duchene is in the final season of a five-year, $30 million contract, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

In terms of it being a ‘guarantee’ that Duchene will be dealt by Monday, Friedman offered this:

“You never say 100 percent, but it’s a good bet. It’s as close as you can get that he’s going to be traded.”

Friedman also indicated, “I think that he and the Predators have eyed each other for awhile now. It can kind of happen that way. I think there’s been a kind of interest in each other for quite some time.”

Contract-related info via CapFriendly