Dorion: Senators offered Duchene long-term contract before trade
Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

One way or another, the Ottawa Senators were determined to not watch Matt Duchene depart as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Ottawa traded away its alternate captain to the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday, but it wasn't the club's first choice. According to general manager Pierre Dorion, the Senators first sought to sign Duchene to an extension.

"Our desire was to have Matt be part of this (rebuild) and as such we approached him with a fair and comprehensive contract offer to remain a Senator for the long term," Dorion said in a club-issued statement.

But with Ottawa sitting last in the league standings, Duchene apparently decided a fresh start was needed, and the Senators quickly pivoted.

"As soon as it was determined that he did not want to be part of our rebuild, we shifted our focus to see what assets we could acquire in exchange for Matt that would help grow our pipeline of potential," Dorion said.

In return for Duchene and AHL defenseman Julius Bergman, the Senators received forward prospects Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson, a 2019 protected first-round pick, and a conditional 2020 first-rounder that will convey if Duchene elects to re-sign with the Blue Jackets.

Duchene leaves the Senators having recorded 50 goals and 57 assists in just 118 games.

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Dorion: Senators offered Duchene long-term contract before trade
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