Five Years Later: Revisiting the Matt Duchene Trade by the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets were buyers at the 2019 Trade Deadline. They went out and got the biggest prize on the market: Ottawa center Matt Duchene. Five years later, let's take a look at the fallout from one of the biggest deadline trades in franchise history.
Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three
Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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Jarmo Kekalainen knew he had to do something prior to the 2019 trade deadline. His team was stagnating in the middle of the pack, sitting right on the playoff bubble.

They were set to lose their two most valuable players that summer (Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky). With the team fighting for its playoff lives, a lot of people assumed that the club might deal them both away for futures.

Doing so would have kicked off a massive rebuild in Columbus, which led to a big question: would the fanbase go for it?

After seeing the NHL's newest franchise march all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year of existence, the Jackets remained the only member of the then-31 team league to never win a playoff series.

In retrospect, I think in part, this is what led Kekalainen to do the unthinkable. Instead of selling off assets and throwing this team into an undesirable situation - he went out and made his team better to try to win the Cup.

The team worked in rapid fashion to acquire a scoring winger (Ryan Dzingel), a physical presence on defense (Adam McQuaid) and goaltending depth (Keith Kinkaid). All of this was kicked off with one of the biggest blockbusters in franchise history, however: the acquisition of Matt Duchene.

Five years ago yesterday, Kekalainen pulled off one of his biggest moves. How did it turn out for both sides? Let's take a look.