Matt Duchene trade – my uneducated opinion

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So the trigger was finally pulled. For months Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic sent patiently waiting for the right deal to come along before shipping star centre out of town, and it wouldn’t have done it justice if the trade didn’t happen in a weird way.

Matt Duchene started the game for the Avs against the New York Islanders Sunday night, but as a banged up Blake Comeau was being helped to the locker room, you could see the Number 9 of Duchene sneaking away himself, after most likely being informed he was no longer a member of the team.

Duchene was traded midway through the game. I’m not 100% sure why the trade couldn’t have waited a couple more hours either but the trade got done and Duchene is now a part of the Ottawa Senators organisation.

Now I could go into the story of the Duchene trade saga but that’s been done to death by people far more qualified than myself, instead I’ll first recap the trade and then offer my uneducated opinion on it.

So, Pay attention.

Colorado send Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa send Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators.

Ottawa also send goalie Andrew Hammond, prospect Shane Bowers, a conditional 2018 first round pick and a 2019 third round pick to Colorado

Nashville send defenseman Sam Girard, prospect Vladislav Kamenev and a second round pick in 2018 to Colorado.

So essentially Colorado get a potential 1st round pick in 2018 (if Ottawa’s pick is inside the top 10 they can chose to keep it) a second in 2018, a third in 2019 along with Andrew Hammond (G) & Shane Bowers from Ottawa with Vladislav Kamenev and Sam Girard coming over from Nashville and all they give up is one roster player in Duchene.

So as long as you’ve kept up with this three way trade we should be okay going forward.

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My first opinion, Kyle Turris wanted more length on his contract than Ottawa would give him so the sensible move for Ottawa is to get something in return. So Ottawa for me have upgraded their current roster, but potentially given up a little too much to do so. However, Turris was unlikely to stay in the Canadian capital past the expiration of his contract.

Apparently he’d agreed on a cash value on an extension, but the Sens wouldn’t go past 4 years on term. So for Turris moving on was always inevitable and the Sens ship him out for a better player.

Shane Bowers was the Sens first round choice in 2017 but by no means the Sens best prospect. They did well to hold onto the likes of Thomas Chabot, Colin White and Logan Brown, so shipping out Bowers isn’t that bad.

He’s currently playing for Boston University where he’s put up 6 points in 10 games as a freshman, so I’d say Bowers is a little while off cracking the NHL, meaning Ottawa haven’t given up a prospect with an immediate impact but more on that could have a big impact down the line.

For a team that was an overtime goal away from the Stanley Cup finals last year, the Sens are a ‘win now’ type of team so that kind of move doesn’t hurt them.

Nor does moving Andrew Hammond. While Hammond may have shown flashes of brilliance during his short NHL career, he’s not quite a starting goalie but could be a great addition to the Avs crease, especially since losing Calvin Pickard to Vegas in the expansion draft.

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GM Joe Sakic’s patience may have paid off in more ways than one with this trade, maybe it’s luck but after losing Pickard getting another goalie is a big reward from this trade.

There’s next to no point analysing the draft picks involved because we don’t know who they are.

Having a first round pick, unless it’s guaranteed top 10 means very little unless you’re playing NHL on and Xbox or PS4.

Essentially the difference between trading picks can be so minuscule. If you’re trading for a team like Tampa Bays first round pick you could probably get the same value for Arizona’s second round pick. So there’s little point even discussing it (but I’m sure some will).

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The Nashville part of the deal sees Sam Girard come over to Colorado after making the Preds lineup this year, making 5 appearances for the Preds a year after a 75 point season for the QMJHLs Shawinigan Cataractes. It’s yet to be seen if Girard will play any role in the Avs plans this season, but joining a defensive prospect pool that features the likes of Chris Bigras and Nicholas Meloche, it’s clear that Girard will defy his small stature and become a big potential player and possibly the Avs best defensive prospect other than 2017 first rounder Cale Makar.

In Vladislav Kamenev the Avs get themselves a nearly NHL ready forward who’s already in his third season in the AHL.

In his first season in North America after moving from Magnitogorsk in the KHL, Kamenev posted 37 points in 57 games, and also captain the Russian team at the World Juniors to a silver medal.

He followed his rookie AHL season up with a 51 point season which included 2 games for the Preds in the NHL.

Now in his third year, Kamenev already has 8 points through 10 games and is looking like he could be a big part of the San Antonio Rampage this season.

The winners of this trade may not be too clear for a number of seasons, we don’t know who the draft picks turn out to be, so Colorado could come out and be the winners by a country mile once the careers of those extra picks become more apparent.

However, Matt Duchene looks like a winner as he finally gets his move and to a potential contender. He’s a gifted forward who is also a regular for Team Canada as well. He’s just 26-years old and still definitely in his prime so for Duchene this move could see him reach even greater heights in Ottawa than he did in Colorado. For him this is a fantastic move to help him continue to show his brilliance while also contend for a cup.

Kyle Turris looks like a winner as he gets his extension. He agreed $ with the Sens but obviously is looking for security with more length. Apparently the Sens only offered 4-years but he straight away signed a six-year $36 mil deal with the Preds when was traded to them. Turris is 3 time 20+ goal scorer in the NHL, and is coming off a 55 point season that included 27 goals last season for the Sens.

In their playoff run that saw them come within a whisker of the Stanley Cup finals had it not been for a double-overtime goal from Chris Kunitz to down the Senators and send the Pittsburgh Penguins on their way to their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

So with Turris leaving one contender, he goes to an even better contender with the Preds who also come out on top here by not having to lose any of their stud defenceman (and they have enough of them)

By giving up Girard, Kamenev and picks, the Preds keep their core who when healthy, are one of the most deadly teams in the league.

Over the summer they re-signed Ryan Johansen to a huge 8-year $64 mil contract to be their top line centre for some time ahead.

Now adding Turris to their centre core they can put Turris on their second line with Nick Bonino in the middle of the third line much like he did for the Penguins before joining Nashville over the summer.

With the Avs, they hinder their chances at success for the moment but they are a rebuilding team who are not trying to fool anyone into thinking otherwise.

They have young Stars already like Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. They’re trying to see if they can get anything out of 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov (who’s now with his third team) and they have guys like Tyson Jost and Mikko Rantanen cracking their line up. They do have a lot of depth in their system so in a few years they may be one to watch, but GM Sakic can be applauded for his patience in waiting to deal out Duchene in order to get a return that does help them fill the farm in order to reap the rewards.

Just a fun little finishing piece to a pretty weird trade. Duchene’s first game? That’ll be against the Avalanche when the two face off in a back-to-back series as part of the Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Proven wrong – Winning the draft lottery DID help the Leafs

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It’s never nice to be proven wrong, but whenever it comes to me writing down opinion or prediction I’m used to it. I do Mock Drafts ahead of the NHL Draft each year and I’d hate to see my accuracy record on that. I’ve predicted every first overall pick (this year I’m 100% sure I’ll be wrong) but outside of that I’m usually quite a bit off with some picks.

And I was wrong again with an article I wrote a little over a year ago. During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs the NHL Draft Lottery took place and the Toronto Maple Leafs retained the first overall pick.

The article I wrote in response was titled “Winning the draft lottery won’t speed up the Leafs rebuild”

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My World Junior Diary – Day 08 – The Return Of The Upgrade

I figured out why I’ve been upgraded three times now (more on the third one later). My seat up in the 300 section is the opposite side to the TV camera’s, so they’re moving a bunch of people down so theres more people in the seats the cameras show and then the arena doesn’t look as empty as it has been.

But anyway, my last full day started as normal, woke up, shower, grabbed breakfast then come back to the room to write the latest blog entry before heading out.

With the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship getting underway, the penultimate game in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre was the early game of the day, starting a 1pm. So I left my hotel around 11:40 for the 20 minute walk down to watch the Russians take on Denmark. I thought if I got there early enough I’d have a greater chance at my seat being upgraded but this game was actually pretty well sold so I stayed up in the 300s.

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My World Junior Diary – Day 07 – Hall of Fame Part Two

If you want to view the full gallery of pictures I took on my second trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, click here to view it on my photography page.

I said I was going to go back to the Hockey Hall of Fame and I did, mostly because it seemed like everywhere was shut in Toronto on New Years Day.

So I got up and had breakfast, wrote the blog for the day before and left the hotel around 11am to take the 20 minute walk down Yonge Street.

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My World Junior Diary – Day 02 – Breakfast with a local

Yesterday was a crazy and long 24 hours, so after a decent rest I was pretty excited to actually have a full day in Toronto to explore before tonight’s hockey.

So I was up bright and early for 7am, and updated my parents on what I’ve been up and then my hunt for breakfast.

The hotel restaurants were packed so I decided to venture out, and that’s where I met a local girl who took me to Saint Lawrence Market down by Lake Ontario for breakfast.

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My World Junior Diary – Day 01 – O Canada

Back in May I decided to treat myself.

Last winter I was trying to save up a bit of money to fly out to Helsinki, Finland for the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships, I didn’t raise the money so I spent the entire winter at home.

Then in May I had the idea again and this time I had more time to save.

So I’m not in Cardiff, Wales right now, I’m in Toronto, Canada.

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Great Britain moving forward after Norway series

I should probably start by saying that this blog post is partly driven by me wanting to include the images I took of the event I’m going to talk about because I’m proud of them and want to shove them in your face for no reason other than, because I can.

Now that’s out of the way, Great Britain played Norway in Ice Hockey twice this week, they didn’t win but that’s cool. It’s Norway, they’ve qualified for the last two Olympic games and have qualified for the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, Korea.

FUN FACT: Great Britain have one more Olympic gold medal in Ice Hockey than Norway (1936 Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen)

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World Cup Day One Review

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The World Cup got underway last night with Group A action between Europe and USA followed by hosts Canada against the Czech Republic.

Yesterday I posted my first video blog over on YouTube where I briefly previewed the tournament and you can watch that below.

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Clarence S. Campbell Trophy – San Jose’s road to the finals

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With a new coach in Peter Deboer, the San Jose Sharks bounced back from missing the playoffs last year, putting up a 46-30-6 record and have now gone on to even better things in the post-season.

When the Stanley Cup Playoffs began back on April 13th, there were 16 teams all competing for the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. Now with more and more teams getting eliminated, we finally know who the first team to make the finals is, and for the first time in their history the San Jose Sharks will have the chance to hoist the cup.

The Sharks will take on either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Tampa Bay Lightning in the final, those two teams play their game 7 tonight after Pittsburgh tied the series up at 3 thanks to a big 5 – 2 win two nights ago.

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My 2015-16 Stanley Cup Playoff predicition

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Since deciding to restart my writing and set up my blog again, I was going to wait until the NHL Draft to do loads of opinion and analysis as hopefully the Edmonton Oilers lose the draft lottery and don’t get a chance at picking Auston Matthews first overall (If they do then expect a piece on the draft lottery) but with the NHL playoffs starting last night I thought I’d turn my attentions to the post-season and look at who I think will win the playoffs.

Continue reading “My 2015-16 Stanley Cup Playoff predicition”