Welcome Matt Duchene to the trade rumor mill

26 Comments

Something interesting and potentially huge brewing in Colorado — could the Avs be trying to move Matt Duchene?

The first smoke came from ex-Denver-Post-turned-Bleacher-Report columnist Adrian Dater who, in a series of tweets, suggested there’s a major shakeup brewing for the underachieving Avs, and that Duchene could be player that’s dealt.

Dater also posted a Q&A with Colorado GM Joe Sakic who, you’ll recall, pulled off a blockbuster move at the draft by sending Ryan O'Reilly to Buffalo.

In speaking with Dater, Sakic sounded like a guy listening to any and all offers coming his way.

“You’re always talking with teams and you’re always wanting to listen in on anybody,” he explained. “If there’s a deal that makes sense for your organization, you’re going to do it.

“You don’t want to move some guys, but you’re always listening.”

Next up?

Hockey insider Bob McKenzie, who had this to say on TSN 1050 Thursday afternoon, when asked why the Avs would entertain the idea of trading Duchene:

“I think it would probably be A) they feel like they have more surplus up front, and they desperately need defensemen.

“And B) I’m not sure the coach is a huge fan.”

Rumors have zeroed in on Duchene because the other big ticket Colorado was thought to be shopping, Jarome Iginla, put a spike in trade talks.

On Wednesday, Iginla — who has a no-movement clause — told Dater he “would not approve of any trade this season.” The decision to stay put makes sense, given one of the reasons Iginla signed a three-year deal with Colorado in the first place was to get some stability.

So, back to Duchene.

At 24, he’s got quite the resume — a four-time 20-goal scorer that’s won gold at the ’14 Olympics and ’15 World Championships. He’d certainly fetch a bounty in return and while he’s got a pretty hefty contract (five years, $30 million, a $6M cap hit), those aren’t the types of numbers rival GMs would balk at.

Especially if they believe Duchene’s best years are still to come.

So yeah, the Avs will be an interesting team to watch over the next two weeks, and not just because of the Duchene rumors. They’re also one game into a season-long seven-game road swing, a trip that could make or break the club.

Oh and hey, guess who had his first three-point effort of the season in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Philly, giving the Avs a winning start to the trip?

Yup. Matt Duchene.