The Colorado Avalanche are headed to the playoffs for the first time in four years, but they’re going without their leading scorer.
Matt Duchene, tops on the team with 70 points, will miss the next four weeks of action with a knee injury suffered over the weekend against San Jose, the Denver Post reports.
The injury all but rules out Duchene for the opening round of the playoffs, which is a huge blow for the Avs. In addition to being the team’s leading scorer, Duchene has also played extremely well this year against Chicago, Colorado’s likely first-round opponent.
The Canadian Olympian has four points in four games against the ‘Hawks this year and sits ninth overall in the NHL in assists, with 47.
Update: Duchene has address the injury situation via Twitter…
100 pts & playoff bound is something all of us have been working towards for a long time. Something to be majorly proud of #AvsNation !
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
"I’m looking forward to being in the same organization as my brother now and seeing what happens." – Dougie Hamilton on the trade