Carolina Hurricanes: The case for acquiring Matt Duchene


As the Carolina Hurricanes approach the NHL trade deadline, we’re taking a look at ways the team could improve their roster. Today, we make the case for acquiring Ottawa Senators forward Matt Duchene.

So far this week we’ve made the case for the Carolina Hurricanes being neither buyers nor sellers ahead of the NHL trade deadline, and looked at what the team might need to make a deep playoff run. But which players could the Canes acquire to help improve their secondary scoring? There are three prime rentals ahead of the deadline: Artemi Panarin of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Ottawa Senators duo of Mark Stone and Matt Duchene. With the Senators doing their utmost to get Stone under lock and key, they have already announced that they will deal Duchene.

So should the Carolina Hurricanes go all out and add an elite center to their ranks for their playoff push?

Why acquire Matt Duchene?

Matt Duchene is an elite center in the National Hockey League. He’s a veteran of 704 regular season games, and has 228 goals and 307 assists for 535 career points. He’s playing at more than a point-per-game pace this season, despite being supported by a lame duck team in the Ottawa Senators, and is on course for a career year in goals (currently three shy of his career-high of 30) and points (22 shy of his high of 70). This is a forward in his prime who would vastly improve the Carolina Hurricanes

What does Duchene bring to his team? Lightning speed. Quick decision-making. An incredible shot, and a good range of passing. He’s solid in the face-off circle, going 53% over his career, and is an elite power play performer with 12 points with the man advantage already this season.

Imagine a Carolina Hurricanes second line of Michael Ferland-Matt Duchene-Teuvo Teravainen. Imagine a powerplay with Dougie Hamilton at the point, and a foursome of Sebastian Aho-Teravainen-Nino Niederreiter and Duchene creating chances. Adding Matt Duchene would surely be a guarantee of playoff hockey for the Carolina Hurricanes.

What about the cost?

That’s where matters get altogether trickier. We’re looking at a bigger package than teams were apparently willing to pay for Micheal Ferland’s services – that is, a first round pick plus a top prospect, and potentially another pick or prospect.

In the case of the Carolina Hurricanes, expect the cost for acquiring Matt Duchene to come down to something along the lines of the team’s 2019 1st round pick – unprotected – plus Janne Kuokkanen or Jake Bean, and either a 2019 5th round pick or a player like Trevor Carrick. Ottawa have plenty of suitors – Nashville may even put top prospect Eeli Tolvanen in play – and so any deal would have to be significant for the Senators, as they look to make up for the loss of their own 1st round draft pick.

Next. Canes face an uphill battle in playoff fight. dark

If Don Waddell were to add Matt Duchene to the Carolina Hurricanes for the stretch run, most hockey pundits would make the Canes strong favorites to bump either the Blue Jackets or Penguins out of the playoff spots. It’s unlikely that the Canes will consider making such a big move when they’re still sat outside the wildcard spots, but this would be a serious statement of intent by the Canes. And one we’d get behind.