Nashville Predators: Is It Worth It To Trade For Matt Duchene?

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

Matt Duchene has been linked in trade rumors to the Nashville Predators for months now. Is the asking price too much? Would it be worth it?

General manager of the Colorado Avalanche, Joe Sakic, has been unpredictable as of late. He’s been attempting to trade center Matt Duchene for the better part of eight months. Plenty of rumors have been flying around the NHL. Supposedly the Avalanche want a Smörgåsbord of first round picks and blue chips prospects. But, understandably, no one is taking up the offer. Especially the Nashville Predators. I do think Matt Duchene is a great speedy center, and he’d make the Predators better instantly. But at what cost? What would the Predators have to give up?

Addition to Predators?

Duchene is an excellent scoring center. He uses his speed to navigate around the ice quickly and can shoot the puck off his stick in an instant. Duchene would be a great second line center for the Predators. He scored eighteen goals and forty-one points in seventy-seven games, decent stats when you consider that he went almost twenty games without scoring.

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Duchene had some decent Fenwick scores last season. Especially when he was on the worst possession team in the league. Duchene posted close to a fifty-one per cent Fenwick score, which was three per cent better than the team average.His style of possession through speed would fit in really well with the Nashville Predators. He’d play extremely well with on the second line with Kevin Fiala and Pontus Aberg. They would be one of the fastest lines in hockey. In my opinion, that’s two first lines, which would abolish everyone’s worries about the offense.

It’d also mean that Nick Bonino could center the third line while Calle Jarnkrok could center the fourth line. That’s a top five center corp in the NHL, no ifs ands or buts.

Subtract Ekholm?

The rumor I’ve heard is Duchene for Ekholm and a first round pick. The scoring that Duchene would provide would not match the goal prevention that Ekholm would provide. Duchene scores more goals and assists on average than Ekholm. But oddly enough, Ekholm actually generates the same amount of shots as Duchene, on average. Once again I’m going back to my favorite talking point, Ekholm suppresses shots at an elite level. The Predators have no answer for if Ekholm leaves. Whereas they don’t need a player like Duchene to win.

So, is it worth it?

In my opinion, hell no. I really like Duchene, but I absolutely love Ekholm and that first round pick. I really do believe that this trade would make the team worse. They’d be losing a strength to try to make an already strong top six even stronger. The Avalanche might drop their asking price, and then a deal might work out. But don’t hold your breath. The Avalanche are clearly in no rush.

Next: 5 Reasons The Nashville Predators Will Dominate

The Nashville Predators have set themselves up for success for years to come, with or without Matt Duchene.