Matt Duchene‘s absence from voluntary practices earlier in the week set off speculation about whether or not he will report to Colorado Avalanche training camp.
For months, Duchene has been at the center of trade rumors but so far no deal has been made, although general manager Joe Sakic has previously maintained he’ll continue to listen to offers.
Much has been made about the relationship — or the perceived deterioration of the relationship — between the organization and Duchene, the third overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. But Sakic and the Avalanche appear to be working under the assumption the now 26-year-old forward will be at camp when it begins in a few days.
“He’s under contract and I expect him to be here on the 14th,” Sakic told BSN Denver. “He doesn’t have to be here ’til the 14th. Not everybody always come to camp early. It’s not for me to (say), but I assume on the 14th, he’ll be here.”
That certainly echoes the comments of team captain Gabriel Landeskog from earlier this week. Duchene’s agent Pat Brisson told TSN.ca at the time that, “All I want to say is, for the moment Matt is skating in Toronto.”
It’s been known for a while that there was a possibility Duchene could begin this season in Colorado, with pundits like Elliotte Friedman pointing out that the two years he has remaining on his contract could be a possible hindrance to any potential deals with other clubs.
Meanwhile, restricted free agent defenseman Nikita Zadorov remains without a contract.