The Nashville Predators have signed UFA C Matt Duchene to a seven year deal. The deal is worth $56 million with a cap hit of $8 million.
Duchene has never been a point per game player, and is coming off a season where he tied his career high total in points. He also scored a career high in goals, and for the second time in his career, scored at least 30 goals in a season. He has scored at least 40 points in all but one of his 10 career seasons, and has put up at least 50 points in seven seasons. Eight million actually is pretty low for Duchene, after Kevin Hayes, a significantly worse player, got a $7 million AAV. But there is no state income tax in Tennessee, so he gets more money than if here were to sign an $8 million AAV contract with a Californian team. The Predators have a lot of centers, but Duchene is definitely the best. Ryan Johansen will probably move to the second line, and Kyle Turris could be traded or play on the wing. Turris and Duchene were traded for each other in the three team blockbuster trade with the Avalanche and Senators in 2017-18 that resulted in the Avalanche getting the fourth overall pick in this past draft.
Duchene, 28, scored 31 goals with 39 assists for 70 points in 73 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators in 2018-19. In his NHL career for the Blue Jackets, Senators and Colorado Avalanche, Duchene has scored 232 goals with 315 assists for 547 points in 727 games.