Nashville Predators: The Time For Matt Duchene Is Now Or Never

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 28: Matt Duchene #95 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Dzingel #19 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skate against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 28, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 28: Matt Duchene #95 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Dzingel #19 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skate against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 28, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Matt Duchene will be a free agent on July 1. The Nashville Predators have had their eyes on him. He’s had his eyes on them. Something needs to happen.

It feels like I’ve been hearing about the idea of Matt Duchene joining the Nashville Predators as long as I’ve been a fan. To be honest, it’s pretty close. I started following the Predators during the 2012-13 season. The Duchene rumors started three seasons ago, and there’s been a stretch of every season since where “Duchene to the Predators?” was a thing discussed.


Even before the worst season in the Colorado Avalanche’s season started, there was talk about Matt Duchne playing elsewhere. The talk picked up during the season, when the Avalanche were going nowhere fast and there was talk of everybody wanting to get off the ship.

Duchene was among the names mentioned as trading possibilities, and Predators fans have always been about adding potential top or second-line centers. Duchene wore a cowboy hat during the skills competition in Nashville, so there was a lot of talk about him coming.

It didn’t happen. Hey, that’s no big deal. Plenty of trades get rumored & don’t come through for one reason or another. It happens.

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Once again, we had some Duchene talk prior to the start of the season. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic‘s asking price was said to be too high, as David Poile was not willing to part with a top-4 defenseman a s apart of the trade. With Mike Fisher retired when the season started, the Nashville Predators had a bit of a hole at the center position.

As it turned out, the Predators were involved in a trade early in the season where Duchene got moved. Nashville even got a center! Alas, for those who had been hoping & praying for these crazy kids to finally get together, it wasn’t to be. Nashville ended up getting Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators, who ended up with Duchene. Turris was a pretty great addition for the Predators the first couple of months he was in Nashville.


Duchene was on the trading block again towards the deadline & people were talking about it.  Would this finally be the time & place for Matt Duchene & the Nashville Predators to get together? Nope. Duchene was sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets while Nashville made deals for the likes of Mikael Granlund & Wayne Simmonds.

At least, that’s what I was told happened. I didn’t see much of Granlund or Simmonds after the Predators added them to the roster.


The Blue Jackets have until July 1 to sign Duchene to a contract. If that doesn’t happen, Duchene will hit the free agent market. There will be no shortage of teams sniffing around. The Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres & Montreal Canadiens are said to be interested. Who does Duchene want to sign with?

This is the part where I’m obligated to mention that he owns a townhouse in Nashville. Is it finally going to happen this off-season? Will Matt Duchene finally join the team he’s coveted all these years? Will the Predators get the center they & their fans have been dying to see in Bridgestone Arena on a full-time basis?

There’s one major complication. Finding the money to make it happen. Nashville will probably have to move one of their higher-priced players to make room for Duchene, in addition to other names to fill out the roster. Will Roman Josi end up getting traded instead of getting his contract extended? Could P.K. Subban get moved again? Can Nashville find a taker for Kyle Turris based off his stellar performance at the World Championships?

Maybe the Blue Jackets end up re-signing him and this is all a moot point. If July 1st arrives without a deal, we know what Nashville Predators fans will be talking about that day.

To Duchene or Not Duchene?

I’m on the fence here, which isn’t a great place for a columnist to be. Duchene would obviously be a great addition to the Nashville Predators’ top-six. He would also be a costly one, and the gains might not be worth the losses. It’s a tough call.

There’s only one thing I’m 100% certain on: This needs to be the last time we’re sitting here talking about “Duchene to the Predators?”. It’s either going to happen this off-season or it’s never going to happen. I don’t want to be sitting here in two years talking about how the Sabres are looking to dump salary & the Predators are still looking for a center.

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David Poile needs to make a choice on Matt Duchene this off-season. Get the deal done, or take his poster off the bedroom wall. Either way, this needs to be the last time we’re talking about the possibility of the Predators adding Matt Duchene to the fold.