The great irony, perhaps the cruelest irony or all, with regard to the the 2017-18 Ottawa Senators season is that the team went all in on trading for former Colorado Avalanche sniper Matt Duchene as a “final piece” to their playoff puzzle.
“[The Senators] have a team that can win a Stanley Cup. I’m really excited to go there and just nothing but a pleasure to have played here for Colorado,” said Duchene at the time of the deal.
Of course, the Sens would struggle throughout the season and it would take Duchene 20 games or so to hit his stride with his new club. By the end of the season the Sens were a bottom five team and the pieces that Sens general manager Pierre Dorion had shipped out to acquire Duchene could come back to bite the team in the rear end.
The Sens shipped center Kyle Turris, goaltender Andrew Hammond, prospect Shane Bowers, a 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick in a three way trade with the Avs and the Nashville Predators in order to acquire Duchene. Now, Duchene is just 10 months from leaving the team via free agency… ouch.
Duchene addressed his contract situation last week and admitted that it’s not something he’s really even thinking about heading into the 2018-19 season. “I haven’t even thought about it,” said Duchene to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch earlier this week.
“I’ve got a year on my deal and I honestly don’t worry about it right now. I’ve had a good summer. I feel good and I’m ready for opening night now. I can’t wait to get going.”
Hmmm… if that doesn’t inspire confidence that he’ll re-sign, this next quote from Duchene might send Sens fans running for the hills:
Matt Duchene says no contract talks yet with Sens: “There’s been some big things going on that obviously take precedent over that.” He’s open to re-signing, but watched Tavares: “It’s the 1st time you have that ultimate power as a player and you have to do what’s best for you.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like the words of a man who is eager to re-sign with his team. That sounds like a man who already has one foot out the door…
Man, you HAVE to feel for Sens fans these days. In the span of just two seasons they’re set to lose most of their core with really no significant return. Brutal…