There are a lot of rumours out in the Twitterverse that Matt Duchene’s days are numbered in a Canucks uniform but not a lot of information coming out from the Vancouver Canucks themselves.
“I’ve heard the news that Matt Duchene is on the move as well but not sure where the reports are coming from. Matt is an extremely valuable player for us and can move around our forward line up. He’s a top line talent with excellent speed, skill and defensive ability. Most importantly he can score goals. He’s an integral part of our lineup” said General Manager Allen.
General Manager Allen continued, “We’ve been close on the contract terms but there are still some details to iron out but yes, technically with our CBA, Matt could leave Vancouver if he chose to sign an RFA contract without NEFHL club. If he were to make that choice and force our hand, then we would have to evaluate our position moving forward.”
When asked if there is a possibility of Duchene holding out moving into the season, Allen said “yes”. When asked to elaborate, GM Allen said “We have a hard deadline to sign our RFA players by or they sit out the season. If talks get that contentious and that’s the time it takes then so be it.”
Matt Duchene doesn’t have much leverage to stand on in his case and it essentially becomes a game of chicken. If Duchene misses the season, he enters the same negotiation next year as the Canucks could retain his rights.
When asked what it would take to move Duchene, GM Allen stated “everyone has a price but a team needs to meet that price that you believe a player is worth.”
The Canucks are in an interesting spot as they could sign Duchene to a contract that is expected to be north of 4 million dollars per season and roll an expensive, very skilled top 6 but the lower lines may be affected or they can move a player of his caliber and add in more players or prospects/draft picks and filter their line up with more depth.
As always, you never know what is going to happen in Vancouver. Stay tuned.