Duchene signs 7-year, $56M deal with Predators

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Button: Duchene fits Nashville on so many levels

Mike Johnson and Craig Button break down Matt Duchene's 7-year deal with the Predators.

Free-agent center Matt Duchene is joining the Nashville Predators on a seven-year, $56 million contract.

"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. "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, 28, was just one of the Columbus Blue Jackets' many prominent free agents. Despite speculation that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen would trade the likes of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky before they could walk, the GM actually doubled down, bringing in more players for a playoff run.

Duchene headlined that strategy, and it kind of paid off, with Columbus winning its first playoff series ever. But the Jackets fell short of the ultimate goal, losing in the second round to Boston.

Duchene had only four goals and 12 points in 23 games after the Jackets acquired him from the Senators, but he upped his production in the playoffs, with five goals and 10 points in 10 games.

Duchene is a two-time All-Star who had a career-high 31 goals last season. He equaled his career high in points with 70.

Duchene spent parts of two seasons with Ottawa after being acquired from Colorado in a blockbuster three-team trade in November 2017. The Avalanche ended up with the fourth pick in this year's NHL draft.

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