Rare Blockbuster Deal a Win for Everyone
Blockbuster trades are so rare in the NHL these days.
General Managers around the league seem to be more conservative than they once were and deals are harder to make than ever before.
Half of the 31 teams are right up against the salary cap and the other half are operating on their own internal budget. With every dollar so closely watched, GMs seem to have a difficult time finding deals that address their organizational needs within their own fiscal realities. It makes sense but it takes some of the fun out of it.
And that’s part of what made the mid-season blockbuster trade for Matt Duchene so exciting.
While the rumours had been there for weeks, months and even years, the magnitude of the deal caught everyone off guard. Fans and experts alike.
Three teams. Nine assets. And two top centres in Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris changing locations. And perhaps most importantly, three General Managers with a keen interest in making it work.
Pierre Dorion, David Poile and Joe Sakic all had their own unique needs.
Sakic, GM of the Colorado Avalanche was at the centre of the negotiations. He had an unhappy Matt Duchene to deal with and just about everyone knew he was keen to make a deal. But it had to be a trade that made sense for the organization. Meanwhile, Pierre Dorion had a soon to be unrestricted free agent in Kyle Turris and a sense that contract talks weren’t going to work out. David Poile, the boss in Nashville, was looking for an upgrade at the centre ice position and was willing to give up top prospects to make it happen.
The rest, as they say, is history.
On November 5th, after weeks of intense negotiations, the deal was completed. It was labelled a three-way deal but in reality it was two separate transactions. The Senators sent Kyle Turris, prospect Shane Bowers, goalie Andrew Hammond and a 1st and 3rd round draft pick to the Avalanche for Matt Duchene. The Avs then turned around a flipped Turris to Nashville for two prospects (Sam Girard and Vladislav Kamenev) and a 2nd round draft pick.
Picking a winner in a trade this significant is nearly impossible but in the end, all three teams got what they needed.
The Avalanche got a haul of prospects and picks that will help their rebuild. The Predators got a responsible two-way centre and all around great person in Kyle Turris that will provide them with additional offensive punch in their pursuit of a Stanley Cup. And the Senators landed Matt Duchene, a dynamic offensive centre with the ability to break a game open with a rare combination of speed and skill.
It’s one of the biggest trades in recent NHL history and on paper, it seems like a win for all three teams.
Photo: Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Stringer