Matt Duchene

Nashville Predators: Matt Duchene Locked Up For Seven Years

featured image photo credit – Dinur Blum

Matt Duchene is wasting no time in packing his bags. On his Twitter bio, he describes himself as “a country music wannabe”. With his love for country music and his quest for a Stanley Cup, the Nashville Predators seemed like the perfect fit.

Matt Duchene has signed a 7 year, 56 million dollars deal. That’s roughly an AAV of 8 million USD. 

In the below tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the hockey analyst explains that Duchene’s contract includes quite a bit of signing bonus funds. In total, Duchene is earning 28 million in signing bonuses. Take a look at the year-by-year breakdown.

Losing Subban, Adding Duchene

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A few days ago, the Predators created the necessary cap space to add Duchene when they traded P.K. Subban and his 9 million dollar cap hit to the New Jersey Devils. The Predators have an emerging defensive stud in Dante Fabbro, so they felt comfortable in the defense and saw an opportunity to free up cap space and add a top centreman.

In the tweet below from Greg Moshopoulous (@GreekGoalie35), he talks about the moves that general manager David Poile made over the last two weeks and how the Predators are in fact saving money.

There were plenty of hockey fans across the globe who were questioning the Subban trade, but it helped the Predators address major issues. They needed to improve their forward group.

At a press conference today, David Poile said “Our objective this offseason was to bolster our offense, and signing Matt Duchene gives us another dynamic goal-scoring, playmaking center,”. Poile went onto say, “We are excited to add his skill and experience to our top-six forwards and look forward to the next seven years of Matt and his family in Smashville.”

Duchene

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Matt Duchene is an elite scorer. He first came into the league in 2009 draft and was the third overall pick by the Colorado Avalanche. Since his NHL debut, Duchene has scored 547 points. He has scored 232 goals and 315 assists. This ranks him second among skaters from this draft. Last year, Matt Duchene suited up for the Ottawa Senators and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even though he was moved at the deadline, he quickly found chemistry with his teammates in Columbus. At the end of the regular season, he managed to tally 31 goals and 39 assists.

Along with being a goal scorer he can also take face-offs.  His face-off percentage is off the charts.  For his career, he holds a 53.1 percent win percentage. According to nhl.com, he’s the 12th-highest among players who have taken at least 10,000 face-offs since he entered the League in 2009-10. Last year was his best year at the dot. His 62.9 face-off win percentage was ranked first in the NHL. In addition, Duchene’s win percentage from last season at the face-off circle is ranked tenth all-time in NHL history. 

As you can see, Matt Duchene will have an instant impact on the Predators.  

stats from hockey-reference.com and NHL.com

 

 

Matt Duchene

Reaction Roundup: Matt Duchene Looks Like He’s Going To Nashville

featured image photo credit – Dinur Blum

Earlier this evening, Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet tweeted out that the Nashville Predators are looking like the winners of the Matt Duchene sweepstakes. But, nothing will be confirmed till tomorrow.

Duchene is coming off a season, in which he split his time between the Ottawa Senators and the Columbus Blue Jackets. He began the season with the Senators, but was dealt to the Blue Jackets prior to the trade deadline as the Blue Jackets were looking to stockpile talent before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Duchene ended up finishing the season with 31 goals and 39 assists in 73 games played. In addition, he managed to muster up 5 goals and 5 assists in 10 playoff games with the Blue Jackets.

While Columbus had a lot of success in the playoffs, they have quite a few of unrestricted free agents including Ryan Dzingel, Sergei Bobrovsky, Duchene and Artemi Panarin. With several free agents potentially leaving Columbus, Duchene might have wanted a bit more security in terms of long-term success and so he chose to go to a club (Nashville Predators) who has historically done well. But, the Predators still don’t have a Stanley Cup championship. With Duchene signing long-term in Nashville, the Predators forward group is ready to pounce on the competition and the Predators look like a contender.

Reaction Roundup

Let’s take a look at what analysts and fans had to say about Duchene heading down to Nashville.

Pierre LeBrun of TSN talks about what the contract might look like for Duchene. While it’s not confirmed quite yet, the projected AAV would be 8 million USD. 

My twitter buddy, @AbsCoverage isn’t too thrilled that the Montréal Canadiens couldn’t reel in Duchene. But, he might sleep easier, since he knows that Duchene going to Nashville is nearly a completed deal.

Friend of Puck77, Nathan Graviteh talks about the Matt Duchene rumoured signing in a new video. 

Looks like the folks at On The Forecheck, the Nashville Predators SB Nation blog site seem up beat about Duchene coming to Nashville (if it’s completed).

Cam Robinson of DobberProspects compares the Matt Duchene signing to the Philadelphia Flyers signing Kevin Hayes

Oh, Travis. Travis Yost laying on the jokes. 

Arpon Basu of The Athletic was almost ready to prep his post on Duchene signing with the Canadiens. Unfortunately for Habs fans, that doesn’t look like it’s happening.

In-Depth Analysis

For in-depth analysis of the Duchene signing, stay tuned. The Puck77 team will have an in-depth analysis of the signing, but we are waiting for the deal to be confirmed.

stats from hockey-reference.com

Follow Josh Tessler, the author of this post on Twitter (@JoshTessler_)

Nashville Predators: Draft Analysis

In the past few drafts, the Nashville Predators have selected with defence in mind. This year they had a very good draft where they took some much needed forward prospects.

Picks

Philip Tomasino, 24th overall, Round 1

Egor Afanasyev, 45th overall, Round 2

Alexander Campbell, 65th overall, Round 3

Marc Del Gaizo, 109th overall, Round 4

Semyon Chystyakov, 117th overall, Round 4

Ethan Haider, 148th overall, Round 5

Isak Walther, 179th overall, Round 6

Juuso Parssinen, 210th overall, Round 7

Analyzing the draft

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Philip Tomasino, C, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)

Tomasino excites me as a Predators fan as he is a fast, skillful skater who can both shoot and pass the puck exceptionally well. Tomasino is very similar to Kyle Turris with his pucks skill and shot but can skate and defend much better than Turris. He finished the year with 34 goals and 38 assists for a total of 72 points. He also tripled his point total this year compared to last year. Learn more about Tomasino with Spencer Loane’s article about him: puck77.com. This was a great pick by the Predators.

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Egor Afanasyev, LW, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

Afanasyev was a bit of a surprise for me as I haven’t heard much about him, but after looking him up and seeing his stats I believe he can end up being a great second or third liner. He broke out on to the scene this year with 27 goals and 37 assists for a total of 72 points. He said in an interview on NHL.com that he compares himself to Blake Wheeler and plays a 200-ft game. The Predators, I believe, reached a little here but I do believe he will be a good player nonetheless.

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Alexander Campbell, C, Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)

Campbell played with Los Angeles Kings prospect Alex Newhook, who went number five overall in the draft, and they both played very well this past year. Campbell had 21 goals and 46 assists for a total of 67 points. He is a great skater with even better hands who can slip through the smallest of holes given to him by defensemen and when he has the opportunity to shoot he doesn’t back down and takes his chances. This was one of the best picks made by Nashville and could even end up being one of the best steals in the draft, as I believe Campbell’s ceiling is very high.

Overview of the Draft.

This was a great draft compared to last year’s draft where we didn’t have many picks at all. Poile made some great picks and trades that are going to help in the future. The team was definitely looking into the future with these picks, as some won’t be ready until 2-4 years from now. But the few who will be ready soon are some great players who fit the Predators’ needs perfectly.

 

Stats from eliteprospects.com and prospect-stats.com

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils: Acquire P.K. Subban

The New Jersey Devils made the biggest splash on the Draft Floor when they acquired P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators for a package of draft picks and Steven Santini and Jeremy Davies.

 

Devils Take

While it is difficult to gauge the results of the trade right away, it is fun to speculate as to how this plays out. Firstly, P.K. Subban is an upgrade on most blue-lines. He is a talented puck mover with a hard point shot and excellent skating ability. While his defense is less than stellar, he is no slouch, and he adds scoring potential and bolsters a team’s power play. Coming off his worst statistical season, Subban’s play led the Predators to sell low on the former Norris Trophy Winner. The Devils are hoping that Subban can return to form and justify the $9M per year price tag.

A realistic expectation for New Jersey fans would be to get 50 to 55 points from Subban, and he could eat up 22 to 24 minutes a night, while manning the top power play. 

For the return they sent back, Devils General Manager Ray Shero and the team came out ahead in this trade.

Grade: B+

Predators Take

As the rumors of the lower than expected salary cap became more realistic, the idea of a P.K. Subban trade was evident. The Nashville Predators had ~$77M in team salary committed to next season, with a few glaring holes to fill. They have been rumored to be one of the leading clubs to land Unrstricted Free Agent Matt Duchene. Assuming Dante Fabro makes the leap to full-time NHLer, he will likely slot in the top 4, which leaves Santini to fill in the bottom pair.

I think the two 2nd round picks are an underwhelming return, getting Davies in the deal was a bit of a sweetener. He is a talented offensive defenseman that just signed his Entry Level Contract. Playing at Northeastern University, he netted eight goals and 28 assists in 37 games. He will likely join the Milwaukee Admirals next season, Nashville’s American Hockey League affiliate, and make a worthwhile extra defenseman, if injury forces the situation.

Grade: C

Summary

Overall, I think this was a pretty good hockey trade that was dictated from a Devils position of strength. Any other year, this would have been a horrifying trade for the Predators, but their cap situation and a down year by Subban forced Nashville General Manager Dave Poille’s hand.

Statistics provided by TSN

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

Nashville Predators: Subban’s Inconsistency & Trade Destinations

It’s been rumoured that the Nashville Predators will explore a trade involving all-star defenseman P.K. Subban

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Subban has been an all-star multiple times throughout his ten seasons in the NHL and won the Norris Trophy in 2013. While he’s had an outstanding ten seasons, he been mentioned in trade rumours off and on. After the 2015-2016 season, the Montreal Canadiens felt that a change was needed. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin decided to trade Subban to the Predators. In return, the Canadiens received defenseman Shea Weber. This was a controversial trade at the time. Subban loved playing in Montreal and was loved by the fans. Bergevin faced criticism for trading Subban for an older defenseman who has had injury concerns. 

Since coming to Nashville, Subban’s play has been a tad inconsistent. During his 2016-2017 season, he played in 66 games, had 10 goals, 30 assists, 16 power-play points, 24:24 average time on ice (ATOI), 58 take-aways and a 54.4 corsi-for percentage (CF%). In Subban’s 2017-2018 season, he bounced back and he was stellar in the offensive zone. In 82 games, Subban recorded 16 goals, 43 assists, 25 power-play points, 24:07 ATOI, 97 take-aways and a 51.2 CF%. Last season, his offensive production stalled out once again. In 63 games played, Subban recorded 9 goals, 22 assists, 10 power-play points, 22:40 ATOI, 57 take-aways and a 53.4 CF%. 

What’s Causing The Inconsistency?

With his inconsistency in the offensive zone, we should take the time to point out what is causing the drop in offensive production prior to taking about potential destinations. 

The biggest issue is that Subban is no longer a “carry-in specialist”. Earlier on in his career he loved to control the puck and create zone entries, but that’s no longer the case. Predators fans did catch a glimpse of Subban going back to his old carry-in tendencies in his 2017-2018 campaign, but that he failed to carry that over into his 2018-2019 campaign.

In addition, he’s not generating that many shots. Subban’s PSC/60 was fairly lower than you’d expect.

In the visual below (visual from Sean Tierney), you’ll see that Subban wasn’t a puck carrying defenseman neither was he generating scoring chances/generating shots last season.

visual created by Sean Tierney, data from EvolvingWild and Corey Sznajder

Potential Destinations

Perhaps Subban would benefit from being in a different defensive unit. He played extremely well in his days with the Montreal Canadiens and maybe a different coaching philosophy would be beneficial to Subban’s production. 

With that in mind, there are several clubs across the NHL that could use his services.

The Florida Panthers are trying to load up on talent. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been rumoured to be chasing after Evgeni Malkin, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. If a couple of those engagements go sour, Tallon could see Subban as a Plan B.

The Edmonton Oilers desperately need an offensive defenseman talent. The Edmonton Oilers lack a defenseman who they can utilize to quarterback their power-play. While Darnell Nurse hasn’t been awful at running the power-play, Subban would be a huge upgrade. Plenty of the Oilers including Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi would all benefit from having Subban running their power-play. In addition, the Oilers would likely need Subban to be a puck-mover, which would enable Subban to record similar campaigns to his 2017-2018 season.

The New York Islanders would also be a solid fit. They have a ton of cap space. Also, similar to the Oilers as they don’t have a true defenseman who can control their power-play efficiently. Ryan Pulock and Nick Leddy have been holding up the fort, but Subban would be more efficient.

Stay Tuned

The Puck77 crew will keep you up to date and will let you know if a trade will go down involving Subban. Stay tuned.

stats from Corey Sznajder, Hockey-Reference.com, Evolving Wild

visual from Sean Tierney

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals