Columbus Blue Jackets: What would it have taken to get Matt Duchene?

STOCKHOLM, SWE - NOVEMBER 7: Matt Duchene #95 of the Ottawa Senators walks down to the ice for practice at Ericsson Globe on November 7, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
STOCKHOLM, SWE - NOVEMBER 7: Matt Duchene #95 of the Ottawa Senators walks down to the ice for practice at Ericsson Globe on November 7, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images) /

On Sunday, the Matt Duchene saga in Denver finally ended. The man that dreamed of playing for the Colorado Avalanche as a kid was unceremoniously traded by the Avs in the middle of a game. It was unfortunately not to the Columbus Blue Jackets either.

After several months of pursuing Matt Duchene, the Columbus Blue Jackets officially lost the race when the 26-year-old was dealt to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening in a three-team trade that also saw Senators forward Kyle Turris traded to the Nashville Predators.

Duchene, who was representing the Avalanche in a game against the Islanders in New York at the time, was pulled from the game during the first period and was told he had been traded to the Senators. He sneakily skated off the ice behind an injured Av to shower up and make his way to Ottawa.

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The Senators were obviously not the only team that really wanted to Duchene to end up with them. One of the main competitors to the Sens was the Blue Jackets, according to several reports. CBJ general manager Jarmo Kekalainen saw the holes that were left with the departures of William Karlsson, Scott Hartnell and Sam Gagner in the offseason.

When news broke about the OTT-NSH-COL trade, many in the CBJ community was disappointed. Duchene was a highly-touted piece that could’ve really helped beef up the young Blue Jackets forward corps. But after seeing what Ottawa had to relinquish in the trade, many Jackets fans were more relieved than sad.

In exchange for Matt Duchene, the Avalanche got Shane Bowers, Vladislav Kamenev, Andrew Hammond, Samuel Girard, Ottawa’s first and Nashville’s second-round draft picks in 2018 and a 2019 third-round selection courtesy of the Senators.

For all of the grief that people gave Joe Sakic for holding on to Duchene throughout the summer, it certainly seems like he got a good deal. Although he didn’t get a top prospect like Thomas Chabot, he added several quality young players and is going to likely get some more with the acquire draft picks.

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Replace Ottawa with Columbus

Something that instantly popped in my head when the trade was finalized: what would it have taken for Matt Duchene to be traded here instead of Ottawa?

The Sens obviously gave up quite a bit to get just one player, but I wouldn’t consider it a loss in the slightest. Kyle Turris was obviously not going to re-sign with Ottawa, and even if he did, many wouldn’t consider him better than the younger Duchene. And they’re trying to win a Stanley Cup now, not in five years. So those prospects that they (and Nashville) traded, weren’t contributing to the NHL club in that goal.

The Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t nearly in the same urgent situation as Ottawa. According to, Ottawa ranks as the fourth-oldest team in the league, only being beaten out by Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim. The Sens’ average age is around 28 years old. The Jackets are much younger. At about 24.6 years old as the mean, they are the youngest squad in the league.

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The Trade

For the sake of my sanity, we’re cutting out Nashville. There is no Kyle Turris-like figure on the team that we could trade away. Boone Jenner would probably be the closest since he’s a RFA in the summer, but let’s be real: Boone’s not getting traded. He’s only 24 years old, he’s a smaller deal than Turris and he’s not even a true center like Turris although he can play there.

With that being said, that means all of the assets going to Colorado will be from Columbus. The team’s 2018 first-round and second-round and 2019 third-round picks would be Colorado’s.

Instead of Kamenev, Calvin Thurkauf would be the CBJ forward prospect traded. Similar bodies, both in the AHL and Thurkauf is younger.

Andrew Hammond is an older goaltender (compared to prospects), so I’d probably replace him with Brad Thiessen in this deal. Thiessen has a 2.68 GAA, .896 SV and a 4-1-0 record this season with the Monsters.

Ottawa traded their 2017 first round pick, forward Shane Bowers, as a part of the deal. The CBJ didn’t have a first-round pick in the most recent draft, but trading Alexandre Texier, the second-round selection, is probably a suitable replacement in the deal. A fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft would probably better this part of the trade.

Finally, Nashville sent 19-year-old defenseman Samuel Giarard to the Avs. Girard was a second-round pick in the 2017 draft that was able to play in the NHL to start his rookie year. Right off the bat, that means it’s either Ryan Murray or Gabriel Carlsson. But Girard is an offensive-minded blue liner, meaning that it would probably mean Murray would be the final piece of the trade.

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It would’ve been interesting to see what people made of this trade had it happened. Many would say that we gave Colorado too much for one player (just like what happened with Ottawa), but I think this trade would’ve been pretty good for the Blue Jackets. Obviously, it takes two sides and Sakic may have not liked these pieces as much as hoped and expected.

So would you have done this trade if you were in Jarmo Kekalainen’s shoes? Let us know in the comments and on social media!