Beware, Blue Jackets pick up Matt Duchene

This morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they have traded Vitali AbramovJonathan Davidsson, and two conditional 1st-round draft picks (2019/2020) in exchange for the Ottawa Senators’ top center Matt Duchene and Julius Bergman. While this isn’t necessarily Caps news, it is something to be aware of. Columbus is going all-in. We could potentially have a round-two with them and their newly acquired fire power.

Formerly drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, Duchene blew up in his early years as an incredible playmaker. With other stars like their captain Gabriel Landeskog and the “fastest-skater-with-the-puck” Nathan MacKinnon taking over as the face of the Avs, they were pretty stacked at the time and pushed Duchene to the backseat. He eventually went through a rough patch with the club and decided to request a trade. He got what he wished for and was traded to Ottawa. The Senators have been a struggling team for quite a while now, especially this year, placing dead last in the Eastern Conference. In hopes of getting a hold of some young stars, they put Duchene up for grabs and the Blue Jackets were happy to scoop him up.

img_6357Photo Credit: Isiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Columbus has been a thorn in the Capitals’ side for the past few years and solidified the rivalry after mocking Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s bird celebration after their first 2018-2019 regular season win over the team. If these two clubs meet in the post-season, the Caps must be aware of Duchene’s talent he adds to Columbus’ scoring abilities. Fast skater, quick hands, and some incredible hand-eye coordination; definitely a player to watch out for.

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Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire

Columbus now has a pretty stacked center core. They have Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexander Wennberg, Riley Nash, Boone Jenner (flex), Brandon Dubinsky, Lukas Sedlak, and now Matt Duchene. My guess is  that Sedlak is scratched to fit Duchene in their lineup. Down the middle would be Dubois-Duchene-Wennberg-Dubinsky, Jenner is currently on the wing so he’ll probably stay put. They’re going to be a huge threat in the playoffs.

Thinking About Potential Trades…

Chris Cleveland has given some thought to what the Caps might do about trades for the coming season. 

What about trading Karl Alzner, Tom Wilson, or even  Dan Winnik and throw in a draft pick to seal the deal?? 

Imagine if the Caps picked up Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog from the Avs? Those names have been bantered about lately as likely on the trade block–see Friedman’s  piece.

I really think it makes perfect sense to consider these. If we want to win the cup this year, I think adding another big element will really help. In my opinion, Alzner and Wilson are both have trade potential.  I also think the Alzner trade is something to consider because it is unlikely the Caps can keep him over TJ Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov or Andre Burakovsky.

With Wilson, I’m just lost with him right now. Other than being good on the penalty kill,  he hasn’t done much of anything else this season (three goals, five assists so far) He is not that big enforcer he once was. I feel like it’s a waste of a roster spot when you could be using that spot to develop Zach Sanford or Jakub Vrana, which is something the Caps seem highly interested in doing.

The Caps have a few guys who just don’t play well in the playoffs and that’s where a Duchene or Landeskog could come in big. One of them could also really help the Caps power play, which has struggled this year and they are both just such gifted offensive=minded players. I think it could be a boost to our playoff roster and make us legit cup contenders.

New lines

Ovi nicki oshie

Duchene or landeskog kuzy mojo

Vrana buraksovky Williams

Sanford beagle Galeiv