Trade Deadline Approacheth - Matt Duchene

With the upcoming March 1 trade deadline, the Preds are on a roll. The top line is on fire. The D-group is looking more like the group we expected. Pekks and Juss are rock solid in net. All is well in Smashville.

So will the Predators stand pat and enjoy watching the Trade Deadline shows that always promise excitement but always produce a steaming pile of nothing?

I'd like to make the case that they shouldn't. The Predators should go out and get Matt Duchene.

Duchene has been a name that has been bandied about for a few years it seems, and a guy that is most definitely on the block this year. The connections to Nashville that I've seen in the past have been largely dumb: "He is a country music fan, so he'd fit right in!" However, the actual hockey fit would be phenomenal. So here is my initial offer to Colorado if I was able to work this deal:

Ekholm, Girard/Carrier, 2017 1st Rd Pick, and Kevin Fiala for Duchene

On it's face, that's a ton to give up. But look at the possible lines for the playoffs:

Forsberg - Johansen - Arvidsson

Jarnkrok - Duchene - Neal

Wilson - Fisher - Smith

Watson - Fiddler - Zolnierczyk

Subban - Josi

Ellis - Irwin

Weber - Bitetto

Colorado gets a young top-pairing-type D-man, two good prospects, and a 1st round pick for a guy they want to move on from. Are there going to be better offers out there for him? Maybe, and I'd be willing to discuss other options, but the instant injection of offense is the main objective. Plus Duchene will only be 26.

Now the case in favor of making the move:

1. Our number 1 center has 9 goals. Is he worth the price we paid? Yes, I believe he is. Do I think 9 goals is what a top team should be getting out of their top center? No, I don't. What he does do well is set up goals. He is a playmaker no question. But we need a centerman that put the biscuit in the basket to round out our attack. Duchene is the best available. in 55 GP, Duchene has 16 goals and 20 assists. That's good for 2nd on the Avs in Points and 1st for goals on a team that has 121 total goals. We have every reason to believe that his 0.65 pts/game ticks up significantly going from a team scoring 2.01 goals per game to one scoring 2.95 goals per game. For those of you doing the math, that's nearly a whole extra goal per game.

Just for fun: Compare Duchene's 0.65 ppg to the top 6 scorers among Nashville forwards: Johansen - 0.76, Fisher - 0.60, Forsberg - 0.74, Neal 0.62, Arvidsson - 0.73, Wilson - 0.49

That slots him just below the top 3, playing on a team that scores nearly 1 less goal per game. Yes, Please!

2. Fisher moving down to the 3rd line makes that one of the most dangerous in the league, in my opinion. In the playoffs, Fisher + Playoff Colin Wilson against nearly any opposing 3rd line is gold, Jerry! GOLD!!!

3. We have the means and the ability to weaken a strength in order to strengthen a weakness. Losing Ekholm would be painful, most definitely. With him, our defensive group is in the top tier of the NHL. Without him, it might be 2nd tier. The fact is, Poile and Co. have been able to produce Defensemen. I have all the confidence in the world that there is an Ekholm replacement in the system.

In the playoffs, it seems to me, that the winning formula is an elite top D-pairing, a solid 2nd pairing, and a serviceable 3rd pairing, provided you have two scoring forward lines and a 3rd line that scores and makes life difficult on the other team on defense. Acquiring Duchene would give the Predators that formula in my opinion.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? Post your own!

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