After being a healthy scratch for the Ottawa Senators’ game against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, speculation began to run rampant that Matt Duchene was about to be traded ahead of the deadline.
On Friday, Duchene’s next team was revealed: the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Duchene and Julius Bergman heading to CBJ.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 22, 2019
Along with Duchene, the Senators also sent defenseman Julius Bergman. In return, the Senators received a 2019 first-round pick, as well as prospects Vitalii Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson. A conditional first-round pick for 2020 will also be sent the Senators’ way if Duchene re-signs in Columbus. Duchene will become an unrestriced free agent on July 1st.
The Senators originally acquired Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche in November 2017. Over 118 games in two seasons with the Senators, Duchene has scored 50 goals and recorded a total of 107 points.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Duchene was excited about his latest trade, though an extension with the Blue Jackets has not been discussed as of yet.
Duchene said to be excited about trade to CBJ. No extension talk at this time. Belief is the Blue Jackets are loading up for playoffs.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 22, 2019
Duchene will play for Columbus against the Senators tonight.
For Columbus, the move comes as they attempt to load up for a playoff push, in their last guaranteed season with both Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky on their roster. Both Panarin and Bobrovsky become unrestriced free agents in summer, and questions about their future have been circulating.
On February 8, Panarin dropped his agent, Dan Milstein, and signed with Bobrovsky’s agent. Milstein had previously stated that Panarin would no be discussing his potential future until after the season. When Panarin was a scratch for the Blue Jackets’ game on Tuesday night, trade speculation kicked into high gear, leading head coach John Tortorella to address the media with the very colorful truth.
“He’s sick. He’s sick as a dog. Yes, he’s very sick. That’s why he’s out,” Tortorella said, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedge. “Today, I was told that he’s sick, not eating. He’s puking… you want me to go into the whole entire (thing) as far as what happened with him, so we can get this speculation done with, as far as that he’s going to be moved? He sh*t his pants, he was puking, he was doing everything, so… enough!”
With the trade deadline coming up on February 25, it remains to be seen whether this move is the last the Blue Jackets make or if Panarin will be part of the roster heading into the playoffs.
Headline photo: Kirk Irwin
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