We’ve been speculating Matt Duchene to the Nashville Predators for a while. Now it looks like it’s going to become a reality.
The Predators and GM David Poile have went out and gotten their superstar free agent in Matt Duchene after tons of speculations swirling all offseason . Arguably the biggest free agent this club has ever signed. Now the questions begin on did Poile overpay and is he really worth all of this hype? We won’t know that for sure until a year or two from now.
This mammoth deal will be worth $56 million over seven years, per Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic:
As others have also speculated, while nothing can be signed until Monday, Matt Duchene slated to join Nashville. Contract can’t be officially negotiated until Monday but sounds like $56 million over 7 years is what has been discussed.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
I’ll be the first to admit I was becoming skeptical about this deal actually coming to fruition. It seemed too good to be true. Nashville doesn’t usually make the big splashes in free agency, even after dumping P.K. Subban‘s salary off the books. However, it looks like Poile has pulled off another trick to keep Nashville in the Stanley Cup race.
What’s more incredible is the annual salary will be around $8 million, according to Chris Johnston of NHL Network:
It sounds like Matt Duchene will join the #preds. Expect his contract to come in with an $8M AAV.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2019
What Duchene brings
Now that Duchene has indeed joined the Nashville Predators, he will instantly bring an offensive jolt behind the top line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. Far too many times the Predators relied on their top line to carry them through grind-it-out games, and sometimes that cost them two points. Duchene should remedy that pretty quickly. More than scoring a bunch of goals, I’m most excited about him making others around him better and more productive.
In a disjointed season with Ottawa and Columbus, Duchene tallied 31 goals and 70 total points. Obviously we will expect more out of Duchene in Nashville, but even those type of numbers would be extremely beneficial on the second line. Once he gets acclimated with his new team, 40-plus goals is very conceivable. He’ll also create more scoring opportunities and make the players around him better. His assist numbers are nothing to scoff at on how he’ll help the Predators.
The Predators are getting their franchise player for years to come. I can see Duchene embracing the city like he always has as a member of other teams, and becoming a fan-favorite quickly. The Predators already have a great cast of characters that make this team fun to watch, but Duchene is a game-changer. This could go down as Poile’s masterpiece move that helps get the Predators over-the-hump and back to the Stanley Cup Final. At $8 million per year it’s a great day indeed to be a Predators fan. Welcome to Nashville, Matt Duchene.