NEW YORK -- Center Matt Duchene was traded by the Colorado Avalanche to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday as part of a three-team trade that also sent center Kyle Turris from the Senators to the Nashville Predators.
Duchene dressed for Colorado's game at the New York Islanders and played 1:59 in the first period before being removed from the game.
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"I'm excited," Duchene said as he was walking out of Barclays Center to get into a car that would take him to the airport for a flight to Ottawa. "I'm extremely grateful for my years in Colorado. It was my favorite team as a kid and it was an absolute honor and privilege to play here. It's bittersweet for sure, but I'm excited for a new opportunity in Ottawa. It'll be amazing to be close to home. They've got a team that can win a Stanley Cup. I'm really excited to go there and just nothing but a pleasure to have played here for Colorado."
The Senators sent goaltender Andrew Hammond, their first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and forward Shane Bowers, their first-round pick (No. 28) in the 2017 NHL Draft, 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 the 2016 NHL Draft, and forward Vladislav Kamenev, a second-round choice (No. 42) in 2014.
Video: Duchene reacts to trade as he leaves Barclays Center
Turris, whose five-year, $17.5 million contract expires after this season, signed a six-year, $36 million contract that will keep him with Nashville through the 2022-23 season.
Duchene, 26, had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 14 games with Colorado this season, including a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win at the Philadelphia Flyers. He had 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) and was minus-34 in 77 games last season, when Colorado finished last in the NHL with 48 points (22-56-4).
Duchene said he had an idea he was traded before he was pulled from the game Sunday.
"I saw them talking on the bench," he said. "It was very strange, but I half-expected it to be the weirdest way possible. It's one of those things, it's a business and I'll have a good story for people one day."
Duchene also said he's relieved because he has been the subject of trade rumors going back to last season. His contract runs through the 2018-19 season and has an average annual value of $6 million.
Video: COL@NYI: Rosen breaks down Duchene trade
"Probably the last almost year has been tough," Duchene said. "But at the same time it's a learning experience and a growing experience. It's part of the business. None of this is personal. At the end of the day it's a business. I can't say enough good things. Colorado has given me so much. My wife is from there. We've got our dog there. A huge part of my heart and my life has been there. It's very emotional to be saying goodbye to that.
"You never know, maybe one day I'll be back, but it was an honor to have played for [Avalanche general manager] Joe [Sakic] and Patty [former Avalanche coach Patrick Roy] and played with [Peter] Forsberg and all those guys. That was something I dreamt about as a kid and I got to live it, so I feel nothing but privileged and I'm really excited for this new challenge in Ottawa. I'm excited to get there."
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Duchene, looking for a fresh start, asked him for a trade last Christmas.
"I had a lot of conversations with him and I just told him 'be patient.' At some point it was gonna get done," Sakic said. "We just had to wait to until we felt we were getting the right deal. We're building and want to keep building with youth. We feel like we accomplished that."
Video: Friedman breaks down the three team trade for Duchene
Duchene will play his first two games with the Senators against the Avalanche in the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series. The Avalanche and Senators play Friday and Saturday at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
"It's very weird," Duchene said. "Obviously to get pulled during a game and to be playing my first two games against my old team is going to be very strange, but it's something I half-expected. I have nothing but good things to say about my time here, my teammates. It's been an absolute blast."
Duchene was taken by the Avalanche in the first round (No. 3) in the 2009 NHL Draft and has played his entire NHL career with Colorado. He has 428 points (178 goals, 250 assists) in 586 games.
Turris, 28, has nine points (three goals, six assists) in 11 games for Ottawa this season. He scored an NHL career-best 27 goals last season and finished with 55 points. He has 320 points (136 goals, 184 assists) in 544 NHL games with the Senators and Phoenix Coyotes, who took him in the first round (No. 3) in the 2007 NHL Draft.
Sakic said Girard will meet the Avalanche in Sweden and is expected to play against the Senators.