There will be a couple of jersey swaps when the Blue Jackets and Senators face off on Friday night.
Ottawa has traded Matt Duchene to Columbus, first reported by Aaron Portzline of The Athletic. The teams officially announced the trade this afternoon. Defenseman Julius Bergman is also going to Columbus in the exchange, and Ottawa will receive a lotter-protected first-round pick in the 2019 draft as well as prospects Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson. Ottawa will also get a conditional first-round pick in 2020 if Duchene signs an extension with the Blue Jackets.
The speculation surrounding Duchene came at the beginning of the season when he didn't re-sign over the summer. Duchene, who was traded from the Avalanche to Ottawa in the 2017–18 season, took to Twitter to thank the Senators and fans.
Duchene sat out of Ottawa's game in New Jersey on Thursday night, as did Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel, who are also likely to be moved before Monday's trade deadline.
"When we acquired Matt in November of 2017, we had hoped his addition would drive us to another deep playoff run," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in the official release. "Obviously that did not materialize; more than a year ago, we shifted our focus to a proper rebuild of the entire organization. Our desire was to have Matt be part of this and as such we approached him with a fair and comprehensive contract offer to remain a Senator for the long term. As soon as it was determined that he did not want to be part of our rebuild, we shifted our focus to see what assets we could acquire in exchange for Matt that would help grow our pipeline of potential."
The trade puts an interesting spin to the season-long talks surrounding Artemi Panarin, as the Blue Jackets currently sit one point outside a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said they are keeping their approach the same with Panarin.