It seems that the New York Islanders have inquired with the Ottawa Senators about a trade for Matt Duchene. The wheels are now in motion.
Going into the final stretch of the 2018-19 season, the New York Islanders are looking to the trade deadline to add some quality up top on their roster. Of the big names available (Ottawa Senators Matt Duchene and Mark Stone as well as Columbus Blue Jackets Artemi Panarin) it seems that the Islanders have kicked the tires on at least one.
The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta indicates that the New York Islanders have spoken to the Ottawa Senators on a trade for the team’s point-per-game centre.
So what does that mean for the Islanders chances at getting one of the premier free agents on the market?
It’s obvious as to why the New York Islanders are interested in Matt Duchene. Through 49 games this season he has 56 points. Putting him on pace for 83 points by seasons end. He’s fantastic in the faceoff circle with a 53 percent faceoff win rate over his entire NHL career.
Oh, and he’s an absolute gem on the power play. He’s scored 126 power play points over his career. He’s already picked up eleven this season with the struggling Senators.
This reported conversation between the New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators likely starts the negotiations on any future deal. If Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion is doing his job properly what he’s doing right now is gauging the market for his star player.
Lou’s initial offer will be added to the pile of offers from the other teams interested. Then, closer to the trade deadline Dorion will ring them all up again and see who ups their deal.
If Lou can get out of the deal without trading one of Kieffer Bellows, Noah Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom, or Bode Wilde he’ll have struck a major coup for the Islanders. He’ll have received one of the top centers in the league (certainly the best available) without mortgaging his future.
You also have to figure with the cap space the New York Islanders have as well as their desire to add top tier quality to their lineup that Matt Duchene won’t simply be a rental, but perhaps sign on for a few more years.
Mark or Matt?
I’d still prefer the New York Islanders pull Mark Stone out of Ottawa. His style of play, as well as his skill set, are a better fit (in my opinion) with what the Islanders are doing than Matt Duchene. I’m still not completely sold on Duchene being a good “locker room guy”.
With that being said, if anyone can turn a player into a good locker room guy, it’s Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz.
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But for the right price, I’d be excited for the Islanders to add one of the big names available at the trade deadline. Something we haven’t see the Islanders do since the glory years.