The wait is finally over.
After more than a year of speculation regarding the trade availability of center Matt Duchene, the Colorado Avalanche have dealt their coveted veteran, reeling in four players and three draft picks as part of a blockbuster three-way deal on Sunday, as first reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
Here's the lowdown on the swap, per Friedman:
Ottawa Senators receive: F Matt Duchene (from Colorado)
After you get over the shock of Colorado general manager Joe Sakic actually (finally) saying goodbye to Duchene, who had long been under the impression his days with the Avs were numbered, it's not hard to see that Sakic got quite the haul for his 26-year-old forward. Once reported to have been seeking multiple first-round picks for Duchene, who on some contending teams might not have been anything more than a third-line center, the GM wound up with a young prospect in Bowers, not to mention a nice collection of early-round picks.
Still, the Senators have to be happy they got an injection of offensive help by unloading a guy in Turris, who might not have re-signed in Ottawa anyway. They surrendered a decent chunk of additional compensation, but adding Duchene to a playoff-hungry team at a reasonable salary -- with free agency still on the distant horizon for the center -- is a move most fans can get behind.
And it's one Predators fans can surely get behind as well. Coughing up a second-round pick isn't nothing, but landing Turris and securing him on a six-year deal gives Nashville yet another long-term forward to add to an already stocked lineup. A class act in Ottawa who figures to slot in as the second-line center behind locked-up No. 1 Ryan Johansen, he instantly upgrades the Preds, and let's not forget the Preds were already bound to make another run at the postseason.
For Duchene, the move may have offered some long-awaited closure, if not some in-game awkwardness. The veteran was spotted sneaking off the Avs' bench, off the ice and into the locker room, where he promptly left the arena in street clothes after being informed mid-game that he'd been dealt.