Ladies and gentleman, we here at Hockey 615 are thrilled to announce the official return of Duchene Watch. it was been a long and dark 15 months, but the Predators are once again in the mix to land Matt Duchene at the trade deadline. Last time, Duchene was a member of the Colorado Avalanche. He would eventually get shipped to the Ottawa Senators with Kyle Turris becoming a Nashville Predator.
Just over a year later, it sounds like the Predators may be in the mix to get their guy after all. On Sunday, Darren Dreger reported that the Senators intend to trade Duchene before the deadline. Almost immediately after that, Pierre LeBrun got me all hot and bothered by tweeting that Columbus and Nashville had inquired about Duchene.
On Monday, it was the internet sleuths’ time in the spotlight. One Twitter user pulled a record that one Matthew Duchene had recently purchased property in Nashville. Dean Brown, a play-by-play voice for the Sens confirmed that Duchene had bought the place to use as an AirBnB investment. Okay, Matt, sure. You’re a sly one. Sounds to me like he was getting a jump on purchasing property here what with property costs rising each day in Nashville.
As if I wasn’t already daydreaming about the possibility of adding Duchene to this roster, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman went on NHL Network and dropped some juicy nuggets about the mutual interest between the Predators and Duchene that had my mouth watering.
“I think Nashville, in particular, they’re a team that has had interest in Duchene before,” Friedman said. “Also, I think Duchene has interest in playing there. I wouldn’t be surprised, if it is Nashville, if that leads to a conversation about him extending and staying there long-term. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Predators are investigating the possibility of whether they can do actually that.”
If you tuned in to may quest to make Duchene a Predator last time around, then you are familiar with Duchene’s passion for our beautiful city. It all goes back to the 2016 All-Star Game. On The night before the skills competition, Duchene performed a song with country artist Lee Brice and professed his understandable adoration for Nashville.
Then, Duchene took part in the skills competition while wearing a cowboy hat. Yes, wearing a cowboy hat in Nashville is more of a cliche thing that tourists do, Duchene can wear whatever the hell he wants if he dons a gold jersey. I sure as hell won’t be correcting him.
Duchene may have interest in Nashville, but the Predators have plenty of reasons to be interested in him too. Duchene is a highly skilled player who can create a high number of scoring chances. In an article I published last week, I listed what Duchene brings to the table on the ice. Duchene has the ability to create high-danger scoring chances — something Nashville has sorely lacked for extended periods this season. On a dumpster fire of a team, Duchene is on pace to have his first point per game season and then some. Through 50 games played, Duchene has 27 goals and 31 assists for 58 points.
Now the question would be whether the Predators could/would/should extend Duchene long-term. He is already 28-years old, and the Senators have already offered him an eight-year contract worth $64 million. That’s the same exact deal that Ryan Johansen is on. That is a steep price for a player who will be 36-years old when the deal expires. Additionally, the Predators would be buying high on Duchene. In other words, Duchene is having an abnormally great season. His shooting percentage in 2018-19 is at 21.4 percent. That is well above his career average of 13.1 percent.
Having said all that, would Duchene be willing to take less money in Nashville. First of all and most simply, there is no state tax in Tennessee. That makes a big difference on a large NHL contract. Besides, Duchene may want more money in Ottawa because that is a franchise that frankly may not be good for a while and has an owner that isn’t exactly known for creating stability. Nashville can offer stability and a chance to win now. Considering all those factors, maybe there is a chance Nashville can get him to agree on a contract for fewer years or a little less money. That’s obviously wild speculation from a fool like myself, but that’s just the path I see Nashville going down to get a deal done with him.
With all of that in mind, the Duchene DEFCON System has been dusted off and is better than ever. By that I mean that it’s the exact same. With all the buzz surrounding Duchene and the Preds, we are going to set it at Duchene DEFCON 2. Be on the lookout because shit could pop off at any moment.
Stay tuned for any upgrades on downgrades to the system and remain on high alert.