Matt Duchene has grown into one of the top centres in the NHL and has had a marvellous career thus far. Yet, Duchene is stuck playing on a very bad Colorado Avalanche team and has been in trade rumours for months now. The Avalanche have been working persistently to get him off their team, but have not had any luck finding a deal that works for them. With Duchene being on the block so long, it is clear that they may need to lower their price. It is clear that Duchene’s moral has dropped immensely over the past few months.
Through this article, we will be looking at eight teams who should pursue Duchene’s services and seven who should avoid it. It is apparent that, in theory, Duchene would be an excellent player for any team. However, due to the team’s rankings and/or salary cap issues, Duchene may not be the best fit for them. However, it is clear that the worse team Duchene can play for right now is the one he is on. With that, we should all prepare ourselves for the inevitable Duchene trade that will be happening soon.
Nonetheless, let’s look at the teams where Duchene would thrive and the ones that would not work for him.
15 Should: Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins have been in trade rumours for Matt Duchene for months now and it makes a lot of sense for them to go after him. Although they are pretty strong down the middle, it is apparent that the team has been considering trading Ryan Spooner for quite some time now. If they add a top prospect and first round pick to the fold, it could work.
The Bruins are an interesting team because they are not bad enough to rebuild, but also not contenders right now. Yet, if they pick up another superstar like Duchene, they instantly are a far better team. The Bruins should seriously consider picking up Duchene because he could help the team immensely and get them back in contention.
14 Should Not: Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks had a pretty busy offseason this summer, but they made a lot of incorrect moves. The Canucks clearly need to rebuild, but they made a lot of signings this season that will take away roster spots from their young prospects. That is why adding a star like Duchene would be an atrocious idea for them.
Although Duchene would help the Canucks, at the end of the day, it is not the time for them to acquire him. Duchene will slow down the rebuild because he will automatically help them be a better team and they need as many young prospects as possible. Ridding of their first round pick this year would be a major blunder by them and they would need to for Duchene.
13 Should: Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins should try to acquire Duchene because they have a big vacant spot on their third line. Although Duchene is a superstar, he would need to be slotted their because of superstar centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Yet, he would definitely thrive there because they have so much offensive talent that would benefit him.
This trade should definitely be made by the Penguins because they are clearly the best in the league right now. They should push for their third straight Stanley Cup and getting Duchene would demonstrate that. The Penguins need to seriously consider bringing him in because they currently have the prospects and cap room to make it a reality.
12 Should Not: Edmonton Oilers
Although the Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of being one of the top teams in the NHL, they should avoid acquiring Duchene. The Oilers already have far too much money invested into their top players and adding Duchene to that list would kill their cap room. Although in theory Duchene going there sounds amazing, it would backfire.
The Oilers have enough talent down the middle and strong prospects that they should not rush to get another superstar. They have finally built a strong team through their rebuild and they need to try to win now with what they have. They are a team that need more role players instead of already proven superstars.
11 Should: Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks had an extremely busy offseason this summer and they now have more cap room for the first time in years. With that, the Blackhawks should consider looking at Duchene. The Blackhawks need help down the middle and Duchene would definitely provide them with that. It could be what helps them back into contention.
The Blackhawks need to try to build a superstar team again because they have the players to make it happen. Yet, they need one more superstar in the their top-6 and Duchene seems like the best choice. Although the Blackhawks may be falling off a bit, Duchene could spark the fire and make them find playoff success once again.
10 Should Not: Minnesota Wild
Matt Duchene should not be traded to the Minnesota Wild because they have serious cap issues and have enough talent up front. Although Duchene would be an excellent addition for the Wild, it is clear that they should not acquire him. They need to start using their draft picks more frequently and ridding of a potential first round pick would be a huge mistake.
The contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter make a Duchene trade impossible. Although the Wild would definitely prefer to have Duchene over Parise, it cannot happen because Parise’s contract is immovable. The Wild would benefit more by using their strong younger players and maintaining the core that they are fortunate to have.
9 Should: Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators should look at acquiring Matt Duchene because their centre group has taken a lot of hits this offseason. Captain Mike Fisher decided to retire, so the Predators need to find a replacement for him. If the Predators want to find the same success they had last year, they need a player like Duchene to help carry the offence.
The Predators are in stage where they need to start pushing to win now because their window may not be open very long. Although they have a fantastic defensive core, their lack of offence is what ultimately made them fall short to the Penguins this year. If the Predators acquire Duchene, they instantly help their chances with obtaining the Stanley Cup.
8 Should Not: New York Rangers
The New York Rangers made it clear that they are looking toward the future and want their younger forwards to have larger roles with the club. With that, the Rangers should avoid trading for Matt Duchene because they already are strong enough with their forward core. They have the ability to win with the players that they already have.
Although Duchene would be a quality replacement for Derek Stepan, it is clear that getting him would go against the direction of the Rangers. At this point in time, the Rangers need to focus on preserving as much cap space as they can. With that, it is apparent that Duchene simply would not fit with their team.
7 Should: New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils should look to acquire Matt Duchene because they need a number one centre for Taylor Hall. Hall cannot carry the offensive load alone for the team and the Devils are very weak down the middle. Although Nico Hischier will be the future of the Devils, they should look to get someone to help Hall because he could ultimately choose to leave New Jersey his first chance.
Although the Devils are not in a position to win right now, they should look at Duchene to help them with the rebuild. The Devils have a leader in Hall, but adding Duchene could help the process immensely. At this point in time, Duchene would be happy going anywhere that is not Colorado.
6 Should Not: Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers are a team that definitely is getting stronger, but they should not acquire Matt Duchene. The Flyers have a pretty strong group down the middle and should look to acquire more left wingers. The idea of Duchene joining the Flyers would be a nice one, but at the end of the day, is not really needed.
The Flyers need to grow the team with the system within and also the veterans they have now. They have come so far since the beginning of their rebuild and getting Duchene may ultimately change everything that they have accomplished. Players like Nolan Patrick need a spot in the lineup too and getting Duchene could halt that.
5 Should: New York Islanders
The New York Islanders have been one of the most aggressive teams since MAtt Duchene has been put on the trade block, so it makes a lot of sense why. The Islanders are in a strange position because they need to add superstars to the club to help John Tavares stay with them. Duchen would be a spectacular player to help with this.
The Islanders have a plethora of prospects that could make a deal for Duchene happen pretty easily. Although trading one of them would be a hard pill to swallow, the Islanders would benefit immensely and it could be what makes Tavares stay. The Islanders need to be in a desperation mode right now and Duchene is the guy for them to get.
4 Should Not: Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames are finally developing as contenders in the NHL so it would make sense for them in theory to look at Matt Duchene. Yet, at the end of the day, they should not acquire his services because they are already strong down the middle. They cannot afford to drop top prospect Sam Bennett to the fourth line.
The Flames are a team that need help on the right wing and getting Duchene would not help in that process at all. Although Duchene would most likely make the Flames better, it just is not a necessity for them and could hurt their process of obtaining a top winger. So with that, do not expect to see Duchene in Calgary any time soon.
3 Should: Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators are a team that need to look on improving last season’s success, but realistically, they cannot do that without a top center. That is why the Senators are a prime candidate with acquiring Matt Duchene. Duchene would instantly make them a far better team and he would slot into their core perfectly.
The Senators had a spectacular year that everyone needs to remember. Yet, one good season does not mean that they can carry it into this year. The time for the Senators to win is now and getting Matt Duchene would be their best bet. Ottawa has been waiting a long time for their Stanley Cup and Duchene could make it happen now.
2 Should Not: Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are finally winning games and are officially out of their rebuilding phase. There is a lot for them to look forward to with their young superstars like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander. Although adding Matt Duchene would sound like a dream come true for Toronto fans, it simply cannot happen because of the money.
The Maple Leafs made a huge mistake by signing Patrick Marleau this offseason because they need to give their young talent their big contracts soon. Adding Duchene to this future cap issue problem is an atrocious idea and would ultimately hurt the Maple Leafs. Sadly with this, we will not see Duchene in Toronto any time soon.
1 Should: Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens seem like the perfect team to pick up Matt Duchene because they need a number one center and they are legitimate contenders. Also, Duchene is French Canadian and they always love to bring the hometown boys to their roster. At the end of the day, this seems like the perfect match for Duchene.
The Canadiens are a team that definitely have strong assets to make this trade go through and they should work toward it. Their Stanley Cup window is still open right now, but they definitely need more talent for Carey Price. If the Canadiens want to add another Stanley Cup to their history, Matt Duchene may be the best bet for them.