Imagine if someone you idolized – the kind of person whose posters might have been up in your room* – one day said that you should be “benched and traded.”
Maybe Peter Forsberg’s tone wasn’t harsh in a Swedish interview about Matt Duchene, but it all seemed like the latest unpleasant moment for a player who went from Colorado Avalanche fan to a key player for the Avs.
Consider that Duchene is also being shopped by Avs GM Joe Sakic, surely one of his other childhood hockey idols.
If nothing else, Duchene continues to take the high road, even if some statements resonant a little better than “here to honor my contract.” As NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin reports, Duchene didn’t fan the flames when it came to Foppa’s comments, backing up that he looked up to Forsberg as a kid.
“I don’t think it was meant to be anything personal,” Duchene said. “He and I have a great relationship. I’m not taking it personally. I think he’s just commenting on a situation. A lot can get lost in translation too.”
And, hey, it doesn’t hurt that Duchene and the Avalanche are off to a nice start.
Despite beginning the season with three straight road games, the Avalanche are 2-1-0. Duchene scored a goal and an assist in his first contest and created a lot of offense in his second. He was quieter in his third, but the Avs beat the Boston Bruins 4-0, so there likely weren’t many complaints.
In Benjamin’s piece, you’ll note praise from Jared Bednar and that Duchene said it’s fun to be the older guy in Colorado (and he also believes that his line is creating some serious chances).
At this point, it’s easy to tip your hat to Duchene. All signs point to him playing hard and having a good attitude, at least outwardly.
Maybe some of his heroes – whether it be Forsberg, Sakic, or someone else – could do him a solid and say something a little more positive about him? Such a gesture could be beneficial for everyone, really.
* – This doesn’t apply if you had a bunch of muscle car posters, unless you’re in a “Knight Rider” reboot.