Matt Duchene will be dealt before Monday, it’s simply a matter of which team will land him.
Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek shared sentiments on 31 teams ahead of the trade deadline in their latest 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, which was recorded Wednesday and released overnight Thursday.
“So I think that the Matt Duchene stuff centers around Nashville,” indicated Friedman. “I think there’s some other teams there. I think Columbus has looked at him. I think Calgary has looked at him. We always joke we have no idea what the Islanders are up to, but I think they’ve looked at him. One of the things I’ve been told is that if Montreal thought they could extend him, they would have been on it too.
“But I do think this is all about Nashville. The Predators have lusted after Duchene for some time. Somebody tweeted at me, ‘Oh, just because the guy knows how to play guitar you assume he wants to play in Nashville.’ You know what, it’s probably some degree true. But I do think that Nashville interests him a great deal.
“I think the Predators are working to see if they can make this a sign-and-trade, have an extension be part of it, and what other moving parts do the Predators have to make around that.”
Marek asked Friedman if that would make the Duchene trade more expensive for Nashville.
“Probably, yes,” agreed Friedman. “Or if they make the deal, you make it conditional on what else do you get if Duchene signs, something like that. There are protections Ottawa can write in on that.
“One of the things I heard was they have two RFAs this year of consequence - one is Ryan Hartman, the other is Colton Sissons. They have Kevin Fiala, who’s had a rough year, but he’s coming out of his ELC. Assuming those guys aren’t part of any deal for Duchene, I think they were looking at, ‘How much it’s going to cost me to keep all of these guys, and what does that give me in terms of cap room.’ But the other thing is, they could be contemplating, ‘Do we have to move a body out to pull this off.’
“So I think Nashville has got a couple of balls in the air, and I think a lot of it has to do with Matt Duchene.”
Duchene can become a UFA July 1, once his five-year, $30 million contract expires.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly