WWYD Wednesday: Should the Flames trade for Matt Duchene?

Kent Wilson
January 04 2017 08:00AM

It's been awful season for the Colorado Avalanche. Not only are they once again one of the worst possession teams in the league, but their goaltending is mediocre and nobody can score. A dry spell when you also get outshot every game sinks a team pretty quickly. 

That has the club considering a fresh rebuild. With Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen up front, they are looking to cash in on their collection of young forwards and improve their blueline. According to Elliotte Friedman, Duchene and Landeskog are the most likely guys to be put on the auction block.

The Flames, on the other hand, still need to improve their forward depth. With Troy Brouwer struggling and both Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett running in place this year, Calgary's depth seems even more questionable than it did to start the year. Another quality forward - particularly a center - may help push the team forward. 

So the question is: should the Flames consider putting together a package for Matt Duchene?

What would it cost?

As noted by Friedman, the price for Duchene is going to be pretty high:

"Now, if you're asking about Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog, from what I understand, teams have been told they're not giving these guys because they're panicking," said Friedman. "If you want to come at [the Avalanche] with good, young defencemen or prospects, [they] are prepared to listen. But the packages are going to have to be big because they look at both [players] and see good players signed to good contracts."

For the Flames, that means talking about one or more of T.J. Brodie, Brandon Hickey, Adam Fox, Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington. 

Brodie is the most obvious target for the Avalanche, because he fits their needs like a glove. The problem from a Flames perspective is they desperately need Brodie. After Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton, things fall off a cliff for the team, particularly in Brodie's absence. Without him, the depth chart this season is Dennis Wideman, Deryk Engelland, Jyrki Jokipakka, Tyler Wotherspoon and Brett Kulak. That's rough.

Calgary also needs Brodie to fill the gap next year when they lose Wideman, Engelland and potentially Jokipakka to free agency or Las Vegas. No Brodie means the team has to hope for both a couple of the kids taking a big step forward and landing a big name UFA like Kevin Shattenkirk to rebuild the blueline depth. 

On the other hand, the Flames may be able to put together a package featuring a couple of their quality prospects. Hickey likely doesn't move the needle much, but Fox, Andersson and/or Kylington could get the Avs' attention, depending on how highly they rate each of those guys. The Flames would likely have to include a quality draft pick to sweeten the pot to make it work, but at least that would leave their top three rotation in the show untouched. 

What does Duchene add?

A moderately good possession pivot and an above average scorer.

To be clearer, Duchene is a first line player when it comes to generating shots, goals and points, but he's fairly lousy when it comes to suppressing shots. Here's how he compares to Monahan:

Story 1-25

While the two players have divergent play styles, they have similar outcomes in terms of scoring and outshooting - with the difference being Duchene is a better playmaker and better at generating shots. He also boasted positive WOWYS (with or without you) in terms of both possession and expected goals last year (this means Duchene's linemates mostly did better with him than without him). In contrast, Monahan's were mildly negative in 2014-15. 

So a Duchene addition potentially bumps Monahan down the rotation and could also mean Sam Bennett gets moved to the wing. The new depth chart could look something like this:

Gaudreau - Duchene - X (Ferland/Brouwer/Versteeg)

Tkachuk - Backlund - Frolik

Bennett - Monahan - X (Ferland/Brouwer/Versteeg)

Of course, that also means three forwards making $6M+ per year up front in Johnny Gaudreau, Monahan and Duchene, creating very real budget concerns (especially when Mikael Backlund and Sam Bennett have to be re-signed), but one problem at a time. 

Conclusion

There's lots of considerations here. If the Avs ask for Brodie as a starting point, are you willing to listen? Alternatively, which of the Flames' defensive prospects would you be willing to package together? And would you be willing to manage the pending cap crunch with Duchene in the fold?

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Denscafon
January 04 2017, 08:16AM
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No, I just don't see a fit. As you alluded to, if Brodie is the main piece going back the other way, We pretty much cripple our D core dramatically. What the flames really need is a RW and a top 4 D to play with brodie, not really a Duchene.

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#2 Parallex
January 04 2017, 08:39AM
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No. Not if the cost is Brodie.

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#3 Ole YELLEr
January 04 2017, 08:43AM
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Sadly I don't see it being right for the Flames even though I really like both Duchene and Landeskog as players. I think between the cap and acquisition cost they are too expensive for the Flames and don't address our biggest needs. If Landeskog was a right handed RW however that would be more tempting. I also have to say while being talented a Gaudreau, Duchene, Versteeg line would probably be one of the smallest lines in the league.

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#4 Flames Fan in Edmonchuck
January 04 2017, 08:48AM
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I would be more interested in Landeskog...Winger and probably costs less to acquire... better possession player bigger and younger....

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#5 Scary Gary
January 04 2017, 09:02AM
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Gaudreau and Duchene would be so much fun to watch! That being said I wouldn't trade Brodie and his value contract.

Landeskog on the other hand I would move some prospects and picks for.

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#6 phockey489
January 04 2017, 09:14AM
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Shinkaruk, Kevin, Wotherspoon and a 3rd round pick for Duchene and Iggy.

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#7 Ole YELLEr
January 04 2017, 09:21AM
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phockey489 wrote:

Shinkaruk, Kevin, Wotherspoon and a 3rd round pick for Duchene and Iggy.

May as well add Wideman, Stajan and Bollig so the cap might work.

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#8 phockey489
January 04 2017, 09:28AM
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@Ole YELLEr

Cap be damned, it is a cold January work day. I'm dreaming.

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#9 FlamesFanOtherCity
January 04 2017, 10:00AM
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How about Hickey, Wideman, Wotherspoon, a 2nd in 2017 and a 2nd in 2018 for just Duchene. Wideman and Spoon give them some options for D, while Hickey comes in as a high rated prospect. Maube add in Bouma f they like. :)

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#10 supra steve
January 04 2017, 10:06AM
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How about several of our overpaid/under performing vets as well as some of our underachieving prospects, for the best player on the other team? Yes, that should get it done. The Avs should be happy with that offer.

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#11 phockey489
January 04 2017, 10:26AM
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supra steve wrote:

How about several of our overpaid/under performing vets as well as some of our underachieving prospects, for the best player on the other team? Yes, that should get it done. The Avs should be happy with that offer.

It is the 25th Anniversary of the Gilmour deal. Maybe the ghost of Risebrough / Karma, can get us a deal that balances the scale again. Stranger things have happened.

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#12 Primo
January 04 2017, 10:30AM
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FlamesFanOtherCity wrote:

How about Hickey, Wideman, Wotherspoon, a 2nd in 2017 and a 2nd in 2018 for just Duchene. Wideman and Spoon give them some options for D, while Hickey comes in as a high rated prospect. Maube add in Bouma f they like. :)

Please do explain why you think a team like the Avalanche in desperate need of top talent will take a star player to the Flames for their GARBAGE? Very interested in your thought process?

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#13 al rain
January 04 2017, 10:34AM
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Duchene would be awesome, but you don't give up Brodie to get him, not with our D in the shape it's in.

It would be a bit of a stretch, but I'd offer Andersson plus either Wotherspoon/Hickey and a 2nd. They could have all 3 if they're that desperate.

But the Avs likely won't be taken advantage of. They know that MacKinnon and Rantanen are their core.

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#14 The GREAT WW
January 04 2017, 10:57AM
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I'm guessing the ask is Monahan.

I really like Duchene, but I wouldn't give up 4 years in that deal....

WW

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#15 The GREAT WW
January 04 2017, 10:59AM
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Or maybe the ask is Bennett; again, I would not give up the years.....

WW

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#16 MontanaMan
January 04 2017, 11:10AM
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Duchene's greatest asset is his speed along with scoring. A line of JG, Duchene and a decent RW would provide a true #1 line and balance between lines one through three. I for one would love to see Duchene in a Flames uniform and think he would add a lot to the team. Having said that, I would not give up Brodie which may be a deal breaker. If the Flames want to get in on good talent, you need to give something up so suggesting Wideman or Hickey is a non starter. As noted in the article, the Flames have scary depth on d at the NHL level, but some decent prospects in the system. Giving up Brodie at this point could be disastrous as the Flames want to release the anchors after this season and many of the youngsters aren't ready to make the jump.

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#17 PrairieStew
January 04 2017, 11:11AM
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Can't be future picks - Colorado can't wait - needs to be guys to build around Mackinnon. For the UFA's they'll get picks but for a guy like Duchene they need young NHL'ers or top prospects.

Kylington, Gilles and Jankowski - essentially 3 former 2nd round picks. (I know Janko was a first rounder but he shouldn't have been). Calgary would have to include Wideman to make salary work.

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#18 SmellOfVictory
January 04 2017, 11:14AM
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Not unless they took Brouwer back in the deal (and it was only prospects/picks going the other way). Duchene can play RW quite well, and as long as people don't get obsessed with handedness he'd be a monumental upgrade on Brouwer in that spot.

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#19 Just a Fan
January 04 2017, 11:19AM
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The GREAT WW wrote:

I'm guessing the ask is Monahan.

I really like Duchene, but I wouldn't give up 4 years in that deal....

WW

"If you want to come at [the Avalanche] with good, young defencemen or prospects, [they] are prepared to listen. "

Walter, you really need to read the article and stop guessing.

My guess is that Monahan AND Bennet does not get you Duchene even if the Avs would consider forwards. Duchene is a top flight center. That is something both Monahan/Bennet have yet to prove.

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#20 Lucky 13
January 04 2017, 11:24AM
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Colorado is in serious hurt right now, they need NHL ready defence, not prospects.

They would be looking for a top 1-4 for Duchene and possibly more. Landeskog is LW and not an option really. We are deep enough on LW

Treliving would never give up Brodie as a starter. We need 1 more ourselves to play with aforementioned Brodie.

Sorry but our apple cart isn't getting tipped in this. Not happening

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#21 snotss
January 04 2017, 11:32AM
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yes Brodie had had a tough year to date but I would not trade him!!!!! he might be off a little this year but his game will improve...he is a star player we need anchoring our defence for years to come

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#22 The Fall
January 04 2017, 11:38AM
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...makes Sam redundant.

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#23 Primo
January 04 2017, 11:55AM
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My buddies in Toronto keep hearing Brodie for Nylander and draft choices.....hmmmm.

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#24 kittensandcookies
January 04 2017, 12:01PM
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Primo wrote:

My buddies in Toronto keep hearing Brodie for Nylander and draft choices.....hmmmm.

Imagine the idiotic trade proposals sharting out of Toronto once weed is legalized.

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#25 Lucky 13
January 04 2017, 12:08PM
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Im sure we won't see any movement of players until close to trade deadline. We are a playoff bubble team at present and probably will be until we address some of our greatest needs.

Brouwer signing has us in a bit of a pickle. Not driving possession and not playing as a top 6 is concerning. Yes he's good on specialty teams and that's a godsend. But that's not enough to make us better overall.

Tre might be willing to make a trade depending on our situation in the next coming months but I don't see anything happening until close to end of February. Treliving has done well overall ( I'm sure he wishes Brouwer was less $$) and I trust him to make this team successful without being fleeced.

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#26 Baalzamon
January 04 2017, 12:11PM
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@MontanaMan

Yeah, the Flames really can't afford to trade Brodie any more than they could before they got Hamilton. I remember people suggesting the Flames trade Brodie for O'Reilly a few years ago, and I say no to this for the exact same reason I said no to that: the Flames need more Brodies, not fewer.

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#27 Flint
January 04 2017, 12:22PM
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Mark Giordano + Jankowski + Wotherspoon

in exchange for

Matt Duchene + Cody Goloubef + 2nd

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#28 Derzie
January 04 2017, 12:26PM
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A resounding no. Trades only work when both sides trade from a position of surplus to fill a position of deficit. We don't have a surplus of anything except 3rd liners.

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#29 WSO
January 04 2017, 01:07PM
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@Flint

How on earth do you think an aging, declining defenseman....a complete plug/awful first round pick (jankowski), and a subpar 2nd round pick with less than 20 points over his career will even remotely get you Matt Duchene. Let alone Duchene +

Flames fans are effin amazing

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#30 Flint
January 04 2017, 01:12PM
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@WSO

Think harder.

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#31 WSO
January 04 2017, 01:16PM
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@Flint

No need to. Your suggestion is about as legitimate as previous flames fans lumping Gaudreau in with Mcdavid talent wise

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#32 piscera.infada
January 04 2017, 01:30PM
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@WSO

I don't think any reasonable person is going to argue that many of these "trade proposals" are ludicrous--they most definitely are. The same can be said of countless "trade proposals" posters drum-up on every single individual nation board across the nation network--such is sports fandom, you're going to have to live with it.

On the other hand, if you're coming to Flamesnation for platitudes, niceties, and general fawning over that jaundiced-potato-headed captain of yours, I can tell you, that isn't going to happen.

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#33 Jumping Jack Flash
January 04 2017, 01:55PM
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Primo wrote:

My buddies in Toronto keep hearing Brodie for Nylander and draft choices.....hmmmm.

I would be ok with Brodie for Nylander next year, if all things are equal. Given the off ice issues surrounding Brodie this year, it. Would be classless to move him this year. I don't think Brodie willl ever be a shooter so he becomes predictable.

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#34 Johnny Be Gaudreau
January 04 2017, 02:27PM
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I agree with what's been said above. Duchene is probably not the target of the two you go after here. No question he'd be a great addition to the team. But after Guadreau and Tkachuk the wings are kind of devoid of any skill.

I'd be willing to trade one of Andersson and Kylington or one of the College D and possibly a roster player that doesnt' include Gaudreau, Monhahan, Bennett, Backlund or Tkachuk for Landeskog he's right in the age you want and he helps the team right now.

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#35 Johnny Be Gaudreau
January 04 2017, 02:39PM
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Primo wrote:

My buddies in Toronto keep hearing Brodie for Nylander and draft choices.....hmmmm.

DOes your buddy happen to be our good old friend... @Leafsleaks? lol!

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#36 Schmenkley
January 04 2017, 04:41PM
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If the ask includes one of Brodie, Hamilton, or Kyllington then no. If there was some form of common ground to be found to make the trade (highly unlikely), who does that mean we would expose to Vegas? Ferland?

Not sure I like potentially losing him along with whoever else Colorado settles on....(Anderson, Wotherspoon/Jokkipakka, +? Parsons maybe) Too high a price I think......

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#37 urbzy
January 04 2017, 07:28PM
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No thank. Get a RW instead please, Tre.

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#38 BlueMoonNigel
January 04 2017, 08:07PM
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Avalanche are not in any position to call the shots. That is a club that is quickly becoming irrelevant in one of America's most sports crazed cities. Likewise, the management group that got them in this pickle can hardly be standing on firm footing. Ordinary draft class likely in June so no McDavid clone to rescue the AVs. Let the AVs keep stewing in their piss pants and deals will be had.

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#39 RealMcHockeyReturns
January 05 2017, 12:13AM
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The fit is not there....we need a good RW and they don't have it available. For a top RW, I like Toffoli in LA but getting him would be difficult

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#40 Stan
January 05 2017, 12:36AM
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I think that probably the most I would be willing to give up for either player would be:

Ferland + Kulak + 2016 1st

OR

Kylington/Anderrson/Fox + Kulak + 2016 1st

Maybe I would give a bit more. I don't know. No chance I give up Brodie, or any of our top 3 D for that matter. The Avalanche would have to be happy with futures. The idea of Duchene with Gaudreau is tempting tho...

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