The Rangers were in on 26-year old center Matt Duchene before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators, but balked at the asking price.
NHL Insider Bob McKenzie appeared on Toronto’s TSN 1050 Wednesday night, addressing the Matt Duchene trade and other possible names that were in on Duchene before ultimately ending up in Ottawa.
“I’m in studio tonight doing a Boston Bruin-New York Ranger game and do the Rangers need a center? Yeah, they need a center as much now as when they weren’t .500. And they were in on Duchene. They wanted Duchene badly, but not enough to give up defenseman Brady Skjei, which was what Colorado was insisting he be part of the package.”
With the Rangers currently in the market for a center, of course, they were going to do their due diligence on a player of Duchene’s caliber. Looking at the package that Colorado received for Duchene, there would have been no way the Rangers could have pulled off a deal for him without including Skjei.
A player like Brady Skjei is hard to find and he is a name that has been brought up in trade talks in the past. He had a great rookie season, putting up 39 points in 80 games. This season he has continued to emerge as one of the best two-way defensemen in the game. It would have been foolish for the Rangers to part with something that other teams are desperately looking for.
Skje looks to be a major part of the Rangers plans in the present and future and keeping out of a deal to help the team now shows how highly they think of him.