Once again, the New York Islanders need a center. With his team struggling to retain its star player it’s perhaps time to go after Ottawa Senators Matt Duchene.
How long has it been since Matt Duchene and the New York Islanders were brought up in trade talks? At least since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, before we knew how good Mathew Barzal was going to be.
So it’s been ten months since the Isles and Matt Duchene have been linked to one another. So now with John Tavares leaving for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Islanders interest in Matt Duchene is understandably back on.
Sure, he just got traded last season. But the franchise he’s now part of is an absolute tire fire. Getting out of there as soon as humanly possible is exactly what Matt Duchene is thinking.
Think about Matt Duchene’s situation right now. The captain and face of the franchise, Erik Karlsson, was just completely low-balled by management during contract negotiations.
Just a day after Drew Doughty officially signed an $88 million deal, the Senators, in their infinite wisdom, offered Karlsson $80 million. Why would you offer less to a player who is arguably better, if not on level terms with Doughty? Of course, he’s going to say no.
How is a guy like Matt Duchene, whose contract is up next season supposed to feel? If they’re going to low-ball a two-time Norris winner, what are they going to give a guy who hasn’t won a single individual award in his career?
I personally don’t think that Brock Nelson should even be playing center. He’s a much better winger than through the middle.
Bringing in a guy who has 477 points in 654 games played, has scored over 25 goals on three separate occasions, and wins over 50 percent of his face-offs is exactly what the Islanders need right now.
It would create depth down the middle and it would complete the Islanders top-six.
Whats The Cost?
Now the issue with a trade is that the Islanders have to give something up in return. Maybe Brock Nelson can be included in the deal. After all, Ottawa is going to have to take some salary back. Losing Duchene and his $6 million cap hit would push Ottawa $3 million below the cap floor.
With only a year left on his contract, the ask from Ottawa might not be too high. A valuable prospect might have to go Ottawa’s way. Not one of the first rounders the Islanders selected this year, but maybe a prospect like Josh Ho-Sang Devon Toews, or even David Quenneville.
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Acquiring Matt Duchene this offseason would return some of the positive momentum the franchise lost with the departure of John Tavares. The Isles won’t have to give up too much to get him, and he’ll immediately address one of the team’s needs.