June 27, 2019 | 7:51pm ET
CANADIENS, PREDATORS IN BATTLE FOR DUCHENE?
Matt Duchene, centre
The Montreal Canadiens met with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent centre Matt Duchene on Wednesday, as TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta was first to report, and flew to Nashville today to meet with the Predators.
Duchene is expected to return to his home in Ontario on Friday and make a decision once formal offers are officially presented July 1.
While other teams have inquired, and the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to express their desire to keep Duchene, it seems as if the Canadiens and Predators may go down as the two finalists for Duchene’s services.
It’s unclear what type of contract either team will offer, but the Predators might have a competitive advantage as Tennessean does not charge state income tax, only on interest and dividends.
Duchene, 28, could command a deal near $9 million per season, or more, on a six- or seven-year contract.
In 73 games with the Ottawa Senators and Blue Jackets this season, Duchene registered 31 goals and 39 assists for 70 points, tying his career-high in points set in 2013-14.
Duchene ranks No.2 on the TFP Top 25 UFA List.