The Matt Duchene sweepstakes is over once again.
As one of the top free agents this offseason, Duchene has signed a seven-year, $56 million contract with the Predators, an AAV of $8 million. Duchene reportedly made his decision Sunday night after hearing offers from both Nashville and Montreal over the last week.
His match with the Predators was expected ever since Nashville was able to dump P.K. Subban’s salary in a trade with the Devils last week, clearing a significant amount of salary-cap space to make a big splash in free agency.
The 28-year-old center has worn quite a few different jerseys in the last couple years. The Avalanche sent Duchene to the Senators mid-game in November 2017 in a three-team trade that included the Predators. He was then shipped off to the Blue Jackets at the 2019 trade deadline when Columbus acquired several rentals for an all-in approach to the playoffs, resulting in a first-round sweep of the heavily favored Lightning.
Duchene addresses a few different needs for Nashville. After having Stanley Cup aspirations this past season, the Predators fell to the Stars in the first round of the playoffs and had the worst power play in the league during the regular season at 12.9%. Duchene had career highs in goals (31) and points (71) last season, and added 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the playoffs for the Blue Jackets. In his 10-season career, Duchene has scored at least 20 goals in seven of them.