Matt Duchene has found a new team.
Duchene will join the Predators on a seven-year, $56 million deal, the team announced Monday.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 1, 2019
“Our objective this offseason was to bolster our offense, and signing Matt Duchene gives us another dynamic goal-scoring, playmaking center,” Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. “We are excited to add his skill and experience to our top-six forwards and look forward to the next seven years of Matt and his family in Smashville. Matt’s love of country music and passion for the city of Nashville make this partnership a perfect fit.”
Duchene reportedly met with both the Predators as well as the Canadiens earlier last week.
He was traded to the Blue Jackets at the deadline last February and previously told reporters he would “definitely” consider returning to Columbus. However, the Blue Jackets weren’t able to sort out a deal before other teams began speaking with him Sunday.
According to a report from The Athletic, Nashville emerged as the front-runner right away.
Told that there won’t be any deal between Columbus and Matt Duchene before the UFA speaking period opens Sunday. Fair to say Nashville is the front runner.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 22, 2019
Duchene had 58 points in 50 games with the Senators before being dealt to the Blue Jackets, where he recorded four goals and had 12 points in 23 games to close out the regular season.
He registered 10 points in 10 playoff games with Columbus and helped the team to its first postseason series win in franchise history, a four-game sweep of the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning.
Duchene is coming off a five-year contract that had a $6 million AAV.