In a segment with Edmonton’s 630 CHED sports radio on Thursday, Elliotte Friedman had an interesting thought: could the Senators be looking at Matt Duchene again? They’d been rumoured to be in the mix more than a year ago, only for that to go nowhere. But now with the Sens having made the conference finals, they may be looking to go all-in before Kyle Turris and then especially Erik Karlsson require extensions.
Why It Makes Sense
Duchene is a top-six forward, and the Senators were definitely weak at forward in the playoffs compared to the teams they took on. Duchene has been a winger in the past, and the Sens’ depth at left wing in particular is weak. Dorion has shown in his first season that he’s not afraid to mix things up with trades. After a 41-point season, Duchene’s value may have come down.
Why It Doesn’t Make Sense
Duchene is a great forward, but he’s far from elite. Ottawa had a very offence-by-committee strategy, and bringing in Duchene wouldn’t fix that completely. He’s also a most commonly been used as a centre, and Ottawa’s centre depth has been excellent. Pushing Derick Brassard out of the top six and forcing Zack Smith or Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the wing doesn’t make a tonne of sense right now. Additionally, the cost for Duchene would likely be too high for Ottawa. The Avalanche will want a big defenceman, and it seems unlikely that Cody Ceci gets traded. Thomas Chabot might be viewed as more of a prospect than a sure-thing, and that would be a price Ottawa wouldn’t be willing to pay anyway. I keep searching my brain, and I can’t think of a combination that Dorion would like to trade that would actually get them Duchene.
Likelihood This Happens
2/10. I think Dorion would want to make it happen and has shown he’s willing to make trades, but Ottawa just doesn’t have what Colorado would want. If Duchene goes anywhere, it’s probably Minnesota or Carolina, a team with a large number of young NHL defencemen.