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Predators Continue to Surprise: Buy Out Matt Duchene’s Contract

Nashville Predators shock the hockey world by buying out Matt Duchene’s contract, leaving a significant dead cap space in 2024-2025.

In a surprising turn of events, the Nashville Predators have made the decision to buy out the contract of Matt Duchene, as reported by Elliotte Friedman and confirmed by multiple sources. Duchene’s name appeared among a list of players placed on waivers for the purpose of a buyout, including Mike Reilly of the Boston Bruins, Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets, and Kailer Yamamoto of the Detroit Red Wings.

According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, it seems that Predators’ GM Barry Trotz is placing a strong emphasis on building a positive team culture. Duchene had three years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $8 million. The buyout calculation, as provided by CapFriendly, reveals the impact on the Predators’ salary cap for the upcoming seasons.

The breakdown of the buyout cap hit for the Predators is as follows: $2.56 million in 2023-2024, $5.56 million in 2024-2025, $6.56 million in 2025-2026, $1.56 million in 2026-2027, $1.56 million in both 2027-2028 and 2028-2029. This decision will result in the Predators carrying a significant amount of dead cap space, approximately $11.55 million, in the 2024-2025 season due to the combined buyouts of Duchene, Ryan Johansen, and Kyle Turris.

Matt Duchene buyout Nashville Predators
Matt Duchene buyout Nashville Predators

With Duchene now available on the market, it will be interesting to see which teams express interest in the speedy top-six forward. Known for his ability to create scoring opportunities off the rush, Duchene brings a strong offensive skill set, although his consistency in finishing plays may vary. Nevertheless, he has emerged as one of the premier forwards available in the unrestricted free-agent market.

The Predators Are Making a Splash: Good Or Not-So-Good?

This unexpected buyout decision highlights Barry Trotz’s willingness to part ways with players under large contracts. That he ate half of Johansen’s salary in a deal, then bought out Duchene was the start of his very clear statement that things are changing there. It’s also worth noting that Duchene possesses a modified no-trade clause, which was set to activate soon.

As the NHL offseason continues to unfold, the landscape of available players and potential moves promises to keep fans engaged and speculating about the next developments in the league.

Next: Red Wings to Sign Klim Kostin, Buying Out Kailer Yamamoto

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