Matt Duchene is most likely on his way out of the Colorado Avalanche organization before the 2017-18 NHL season. Could the Florida Panthers swoop in and nab the talented forward?
Ever since the middle of the 2016-17 NHL season, rumors of Matt Duchene’s departure from Colorado have been swirling around the NHL. While some have speculated that he could be headed to teams like the Blue Jackets, Predators, or Penguins, the Panthers would be smart to try and work out a deal in order to bring Duchene to South Florida.
Not only would Duchene help the team in scoring, but he would also take the ease off of some of the prospects that could be rushed into the season this year. So, how could the Panthers nab Duchene and bring him to Florida? Let’s take a look.
If the Panthers want to even think about acquiring Duchene’s talents, they’re going to have to cough up their 1st round pick in the next draft. Duchene is a star player, and the Avalanche’s front office deserves to receive a future 1st round pick.
Another piece in the trade that the Panthers would move to Colorado would be defenseman Jason Demers. According to Cap Friendly, the Avalanche currently only have three starting defenseman under contract for next year. A solid d-man like Demers would fit well in Colorado as they try to reshape their team.
The final piece in the trade that would likely solidify the deal, would be a prospect that is near NHL ready. A young prospect like Jared McCann or Jayce Hawryluk could convince the Avalanche to accept the deal and move on from Duchene. The Avs don’t really need anymore forwards, but a young prospect would give them some sort of consolation for losing a star forward like Duchene.
In summary, the deal would look something like this:
Avalanche acquire: 2018 1st round pick, Jason Demers, and Jared McCann/Jayce Hawryluk
Panthers acquire: Matt Duchene
Now, is this a good deal for Florida to take? From looking at it, the Panthers would be giving up a lot for just one player.
The simple answer is yes. The Panthers, at the moment, are starving for offense in their lineup and Duchene would be able to cover for some of the offensive players that Florida lost this off-season. Forming a first line of Huberdeau, Barkov, and Duchene could be one of the most feared lines in the entire NHL.
Although losing a 1st round pick, Demers, and an NHL ready prospect would hurt in some way, the Panthers could afford losing all three of these pieces. The Cats have had numerous amounts of 1st round picks, and while it doesn’t hurt to add a top talent every year, the Panthers would be fine without one next year.
Demers’ position could easily be filled by either Ian McCoshen or MacKenzie Weegar, as both of them are NHL ready. Losing a prospect like McCann or Hawryluk would be hard to part with, but the Panthers are already full of elite prospects, and losing just one of them wouldn’t harm the Cats down the road.
If the Panthers want to compete next year for a playoff spot, another elite forward like Duchene should be welcomed with open arms to the organization. The Panthers should go after Matt Duchene and try their hardest to bring his talents to South Florida.