We are still several days away from the opening of the 2019 National Hockey League free agency period, but it sounds like one of the biggest names may already be off the board before he even has the chance to get on it.
Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman had a special co host on the most recent episode of the 31 Thoughts Podcast when he was joined by fellow Sportsnet's NHL insider Chris Johnston. Johnston of course is one of the best insiders in the business and has some very good contacts around the league, and it was for that reason that he was able to shed light on a number of rumors around the league. Unquestionably though his most stunning comments came on the subject of veteran forward Matt Duchene.
Friedman: Is it a 5 star, absolutely lock of the week, that Matt Duchene is now a Nashville Predator?
Friedman: Whoa, he's not even leaving any breathing room. 100%, the perfect score?
I admit that I am putting myself out there a bit because it would be foolish to say that he might not hear something in free agency that could change his mind. That someone might call him or his agents at CAA that might offer an amount of money that I think Nashville won't give him. But this has been such a long dance between him and the Nashville Predators... to me I really don't see it playing out any other way.
There is not a great deal to add here, it sounds like Johnston is completely convinced that Matt Duchene will be the newest member of the Nashville Predators. It makes a ton of sense when you consider all of the rumors that have been floating around the NHL over the past several months, plus Duchene reportedly owns a home in Nashville and is a die hard fan of country music. Of course a home and country music is not enough to say that this is a done deal, but Johnston never makes proclamations of this nature so I believe that he is extremely confident about this particular piece of information.
I imagine we will find out rather quickly on July 1st.
Photo Credit: Austyn Mcfadden/CSM/Zuma