Underscoring a strange night on the ice was the sight of Avalanche center Matt Duchene skating off just over nine minutes into the game, having been dealt to the Senators in a three-way deal. It ended nearly a year of trade speculation around the high-scoring but unhappy forward.
Duchene was traded to Ottawa on Sunday night, Kyle Turris went from the Senators to the Predators (and promptly signed a six-year, $36-million extension) and a raft of prospects and draft picks went to the Avalanche.
It is the end of a long road for Duchene, in whom the Islanders also had interest. They were unwilling to meet Colorado general manager Joe Sakic’s high asking price last season and during the draft in June.
“I saw them talking on the bench,” Duchene told reporters during Sunday’s game as he waited for a car to the airport. “It was very strange, but I half-expected it to be the weirdest way possible. It’s one of those things; it’s a business and I’ll have a good story for people one day.”
Perhaps the strangest part of the deal is that the Avalanche and Senators are headed to Sweden for two regular-season games on Friday and Saturday in Stockholm.
“I’m excited,’’ Duchene said. “I’m extremely grateful for my years in Colorado. It was my favorite team as a kid and it was an absolute honor and privilege to play here. It’s bittersweet for sure, but I’m excited for a new opportunity in Ottawa. It’ll be amazing to be close to home. They’ve got a team that can win a Stanley Cup. I’m really excited to go there, and just nothing but a pleasure to have played here for Colorado.”
Mayfield produces ‘Gordie Howe hat trick’
Scott Mayfield returned after three games as a healthy scratch and produced the rare “Gordie Howe hat trick” — a goal, an assist and a fighting major. He scored the opening goal on Sunday, then assisted on Jordan Eberle’s second of the night in the third period. He also dropped the gloves with Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov.
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