The Nashville Predators Buy Out Matt Duchene, Impacting Salary Cap for Six Seasons

The Nashville Predators have made the decision to buy out their star center, Matt Duchene. This comes after he was placed on unconditional waivers on Friday. Duchene, who is 32 years old, still had three years remaining on his seven-year, $56 million contract that he signed with the Predators in July 2019. The contract had an average annual value of $8 million against the salary cap, and Duchene would have been owed $20 million in actual salary over the next three seasons. It is important to note that his contract did not include any no-movement protection, making him an unrestricted free agent.

On-Ice Performance

In the previous season, Duchene was the second-leading scorer for the Predators, accumulating 56 points in 71 games, which included 22 goals. Over his four seasons with the Predators, Duchene had a total of 197 points in 249 games, with a standout season in 2021-22 where he scored 43 goals. Throughout his 14-year NHL career, Duchene has achieved an impressive 744 points in 976 games with various teams including Nashville, Ottawa, Columbus, and Colorado.

Impact on Salary Cap

The buyout of Duchene will have a significant impact on the Predators’ salary cap for the next six seasons. According to Cap Friendly, Nashville will carry the following amounts of dead cap space for Duchene each season: $2.56 million in 2023-24, $5.56 million in 2024-25, $6.56 million in 2025-26, $1.56 million in 2026-27, $1.56 million in 2027-28, and $1.56 million in 2028-29. This means that the Predators will have a total of $8,805,556 million in dead cap space for the upcoming season due to buyouts for Duchene and Kyle Turris, as well as salary retention on trades for defenseman Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Johansen.

Change in Roster

For the past four seasons, Duchene and Johansen formed a formidable duo at center for the Predators. However, with Duchene’s buyout and Johansen’s recent trade to the Avalanche, the team will go into the upcoming season without either player on their roster. This will mark the first season under the leadership of coach Andrew Brunette and general manager Barry Trotz.

In summary, the Nashville Predators have chosen to buy out Matt Duchene, their star center, resulting in a significant impact on their salary cap for the next six seasons. Duchene’s departure, along with Johansen’s trade, will bring about changes in the team’s roster as they prepare for the upcoming season.

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