When the Colorado Avalanche took to the ice yesterday for the first informal practice of the offseason, there was one major player missing from the group: 26-year-old forward Matt Duchene.
The sniper remains in limbo despite being the focus of trade rumors and speculation for over a calendar year. Various reports have had Duchene on the move to the New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens, yet general manager Joe Sakic has thus far failed to pull the trigger on a deal. Now, it appears as though Duchene may be forcing his GM’s hand.
According to a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Duchene may not attend the Avs training camp. This comes from a quote directly from Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson where he was asked whether or not Duchene plans on report. “All I want to say is, for the moment Matt is skating in Toronto.”
Yikes. That can’t be encouraging news for Avs fans. While Duchene managed only 18 goals and 41 points last season, there’s still reason to believe that he can be an elite level sniper again if given a fresh opportunity with a new team. He’s only one season removed from a 30 goal campaign and has the ability to lead a team’s power play. He could be a game changer for a team like the Canadiens or Blue Jackets. Is his time in Denver finally coming to an end? Will we see the end of the Matt Duchene saga before the beginning on training camp?