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2019 Autonomy Market: Matt Duchene was interested in signing with Montreal

I don’t know what Barry Trotz’s plan is in this early stage of his career as GM, but let’s just say it’s not very clear. He bought out the contract of a major player (Matt Duchene), then traded another player with a huge contract (Ryan Johansen).

Both transactions led us to believe that Trotz wanted a competitive team right away, even though the idea of a reset seemed more logical.

In the end, Nashville replaced Matt Duchene and Ryan Johanson with Ryan O’Reilly and Gustav Nyquist. Honestly, I don’t see why Nashville is still clinging to the desire to finish seventh and eighth in the West and face the best teams in the association in the first round of the playoffs.

Because let’s be honest here: Nashville hasn’t improved much despite numerous personnel moves.

One of the many transactions was the purchase of Matt Duchene’s contract. The Predators’ new GM decided to pay him over six years instead of eight million for the next three. The guy still put up 56 points in 71 games next season.

In 2019, when he was a free agent, remember that the Habs were in the running to acquire him. Not only was he in the running, he was among the finalist teams. Duchene really had his focus in Nashville, but he was really interested in Montreal.

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We know that the CH wanted to win that year. It had just drafted Jesperi Kotkaniemi the year before and Cole Caufield a few days before the trade market opened. Matt Duchene was a good player (he still is), and while $8 million may seem like a lot today, it wasn’t necessarily the case four years ago.

In retrospect, it was a good non-sign by Marc Bergevin. Because $8 million in Nashville would have been the equivalent of $8.5 million, maybe even $9 million in the metropolis.

As things stand today, with the team trying to free up money on the payroll, a contract of this magnitude would have been difficult to manage.

In short, it’s said that the stars don’t want to come to Montreal. That’s true for some, but it’s not always the case.

As for Duchene, after seeing his contract bought out by his new boss, the Stars offered him a one-season, $3 million contract. In 2023-2024, therefore, the 32-year-old Canadian will earn $4,555,556 million ($3,000,000 with Dallas and $1,555,556 with Nashville).

– Very strange, yes.

– Just saying.

– Will he duet with Elon Musk?

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