Rumors have arisen that the Arizona Coyotes could be another team to make the bold move to acquire Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene.
Arizona is in dire need of some more offense to improve in the standings next season. They averaged 2.33 goals per game last season. Duchene’s offensive firepower could help turn this team around.
Colorado GM Joe Sakic didn’t make a trade for Duchene very easy for other teams as he wanted a young defenseman, a first-round draft pick, a defensive prospect or an established player in return for Duchene. A high asking price, but will the Coyotes be that team to make an offer?
Clearly Arizona has a good chunk of what Colorado wants as they have some of the finest prospects in the league and currently have a vast number of young players.
Here is a mock trade of what could possibly happen if this trade were to occur:
The Coyotes could offer defensive prospect Kyle Wood (acquired from the Avalanche in the Mikkel Boedker trade back in 2016), they could add in some of the multiple draft picks they acquired from the Minnesota Wild in the Martin Hanzal trade.
After acquiring Derek Stepan from the New York Rangers to be the Coyotes’ number one center, this theory is slowly fading away, but it is not ruled out entirely. Duchene would make a great second-line center; just above Christian Dvorak and below Stepan. The biggest question now is, do the Coyotes, or any team, want to give away a big chunk of their team for the offensive center. It wouldn’t be much of a gamble as Duchene averages 21.75 goals per season.
Clearly no team is going to give Sakic exactly what he wants as someone would’ve made a move already, so this might not be an exact estimate of what could happen. Sakic must change his options this summer in the offseason to make a more realistic trade happen or he will end up losing Duchene for nothing at all.
As of mid-August, Sakic is now listening to offers from other teams, but do any teams want to bother with Sakic’s extremely high value pricing on Duchene? Has Sakic blown any chance of trading his star center? As of recent, the Columbus Blue Jackets the Nashville Predators are the top predicted teams that will likely land Duchene.
After an impressive season last year, the Predators are looking to improve and Duchene would no doubt help. After losing James Neal in the Expansion Draft, Duchene would be needed to fill that role, but nothing more has come from the rumors as of August.
Other teams linked to Duchene are the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders. This is where the situations now becomes interesting with all of these rumored teams: the players that these teams were going to offer up for Duchene have all been inked into a contract, some for many years to come.
Carolina was either going to offer one of their 2 top defensive pair Jaccob Slavin or Brett Pesce to which both of these players have been resigned now.
The Islanders were going to offer up defenseman Calvin deHaan, but now he has been resigned to a one-year deal.
From this, it shows that some teams are no longer interested in Duchene and have decided to focus on keeping their players rather than giving them away.
Now back to the Coyotes, now that they do have a new number one center in Derek Stepan, do the Coyotes even want to bother with Duchene any more? They already traded their young defenseman Anthony DeAngelo to acquire Stepan. Are the Coyotes also done with the Duchene sweepstakes?
Regardless of the situation, Duchene is ready to move on and it’s up to the Colorado GM to find the best solution. Last season hit Duchene pretty hard as he and the rest of his Avalanche team mates were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention very early in the season, with nothing big to play for, can you blame Duchene, but he hasn’t fully lost hope in himself as he always says, “the only way you fail is by not getting up and trying again. That’s the only way you really fail.”
So Duchene is ready to get back up and go again, but it most likely won’t be with the Colorado Avalanche any more.
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