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Duchene: Playing Avalanche in Sweden will be 'strange'

Forward will make Senators debut against Colorado in Global Series

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Matt Duchene said he may feel out of place when he makes his Ottawa Senators debut in the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series Games in Stockholm, Sweden on Friday, but will feel a bit at home as well.

That's because his first game with his new team will be against his old team, the Colorado Avalanche (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, ALT, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV), in the first of two regular-season games in Sweden. The Senators and Avalanche also play Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, RDS, ALT, NHL.TV).

"It's going to be very strange," Duchene said in Ottawa on Monday. "First of all, playing a game in Sweden is strange. Back-to-back is tough and then playing against my former teammates and friends is going to be even weirder. But at the same time, the more I think about it, there's going to be a level of comfort since I played against these guys in practice every day." 


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Duchene, selected by the Avalanche with the No. 3 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, played 586 games for Colorado, scoring 428 points (178 goals, 250 assists). He had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 14 games this season before being traded Sunday. 

"It's going to be strange to be on the other side," Duchene said. "I'm going to look a little bit weird at first in the different colors, but I think it's a good opportunity to start this off on the right note. There's a little bit of extra motivation to start off well as a team against them for me and hopefully we have two really good games over there."

Duchene was acquired by the Senators from the Avalanche in a three-team trade that sent center Kyle Turris from the Senators to the Nashville Predators. 

The Senators traded goaltender Andrew Hammond, their first-round pick in the 2018 draft and third-round pick in 2019, and forward Shane Bowers, their first-round pick (No. 28) in 2017, to Colorado. Nashville sent the Avalanche a second-round pick in 2018, 19-year-old defenseman Samuel Girard, a second-round selection (No. 46) in 2016, and forward Vladislav Kamenev, a second-round choice (No. 42) in 2014.

Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said the trade couldn't have come at a better time.

"He was going to go there anyways, right?" Karlsson said before the Senators left for Sweden. "It didn't really change for him. He's just sitting on a different plane. I think it will be nice. Every time you go on trips like this, you spend a lot of time around the guys. I think that he is going find his niche around the group. It comes as perfect timing for everything that has been happening."

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