The biggest news in the National Hockey League this past week was a three-way deal between the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche. The Senators picked up Canadian Olympic gold medalist Matt Duchene from Colorado, the Predators picked up Kyle Turris from the Senators and the Avalanche picked up goaltender Andrew Hammond and prospect Shane Bowers from the Senators, prospects Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev from the Predators and three draft picks—a first and third from the Senators as well as a second from the Predators.
Three-way deals in the NHL do not happen often, and the respective general managers—Pierre Dorion in Ottawa, Joe Sakic in Colorado and David Poile in Nashville deserve praise for creativity. The Predators were obviously ecstatic in acquiring Turris because they signed him to a six year contract extension worth $36 million.
However one must now ask if the Senators have taken a few steps forward or a few steps back with this November blockbuster? One must ask is whether or not Duchene is an all-around better player than Turris?
I know Duchene was on a crappy Colorado Avalanche team a year ago, but one cannot ignore the statistic that he was a -34 and had his second lowest point production (41 points) in his eight seasons with the Avalanche. Duchene’s -34 was also tied for the worst in the National Hockey League as his teammate, Tyson Barrie was also a pitiful -34 on the Avalanche blueline last year.
The fact that Duchene has shown a defensive ineptitude over the last year should concern Senators fans. However one could argue that Turris is better offensively than Duchene too. Last season Turris had 14 more points than Duchene and added 10 more postseason points.
Many feel with the acquisition of Duchene, the Senators have become a team that is in win-now mode. However at 6-3-5 and coming off a playoff where they reached the Eastern Conference Finals, the Senators might have tinkered with team chemistry a little too much in acquiring Duchene, who no longer wanted to be in Colorado. Time will tell who won this deal, but at first glance the Predators might have become victorious.