Matt Duchene To Become Free Agent
Wow, Matt Duchene is now on the free agent market. The Nashville Predators rebuild under Barry Trotz is in full effect. They are going to buy out the remaining three years and $24 million of Duchene’s contract. Elliotte Friedman confirmed the news of the Preds’ decision:
Nashville is buying out Matt Duchene— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2023
Duchene is still a very good player. His speed is one of his greatest assets and will add a threat to whichever team he joins. He put up 56 points in 71 games, which was a down year for both himself and the Predators as a whole. However, he scored an impressive 86 points in 78 games during 2021-2022. At 32, he still has a number of effective years ahead of him. Check out JFresh’s metrics:
Matt Duchene, bought out by NSH, is a speedy top six forward who creates chances off the rush at a very strong rate. His finishing touch fluctuates pretty dramatically. That said, you could make the case that he's the best forward on the UFA market now. pic.twitter.com/VSzD5ga99E— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 30, 2023
That last sentence is especially true. The free agent market is pretty weak this year. However, the buyout market is adding some serious talent to the pool. Earlier today, the Jets bought out Blake Wheeler. There will be a big shakeup in the Western Conference for next season.
Smashville Smashing It Up
Preds fans should probably shield their eyes. Barry Trotz has come in and basically cleaned house. We’ve already seen Ryan Johansen get traded to Colorado for literally nothing. That also comes with the Mattias Ekholm deal from the trade deadline. You’d have to think that pieces like Tyson Barrie and Colton Sissons are available. It then becomes a question of the big hitters. When does Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi ask out? Will Trotz also sell high on Juuse Saros during his bridge deal?
Barry does know he needs at least 20 players signed for next season, right? At the very least the Preds now have $24 million in cap space. Not that they’ll use it on any big names. The buyout also means Nashville will have dead cap on their books until 2029. Not to mention another $2 million per season until 2028 gone due to the Kyle Turris buyout.
Barry Trotz is fully tearing down the work of his predecessor David Poile. Another longtime Predator in Matt Duchene will become a free agent after this buyout.