According to multiple reports, Duchene was absent from a voluntary skate on Tuesday, as players hit the ice for a practice led by Avalanche team captain Gabriel Landeskog.
That has raised the question about whether the 26-year-old center — selected third overall by Colorado in 2009 — will be with the Avalanche when training camp opens next week.
With Duchene languishing near the top of TSN’s Trade Bait board since early last season, the situation has hung over the centre and the Avalanche like a dark cloud.
Now, it seems possible Duchene’s relationship with the Avalanche may not heal with the benefit of a long summer.
When asked Tuesday night by TSN whether Duchene planned to report to Avalanche training camp, Duchene’s agent – Pat Brisson of CAA Sports – responded: “All I want to say is, for the moment Matt is skating in Toronto.”
Duchene did not return a request for comment. He attended a wedding in Vail, Colo., over the weekend, but spent most of the summer training in his hometown of Haliburton, Ont.
Duchene has tried to remain “relaxed” about trade rumors, which have persisted after he struggled offensively last season and the Avalanche suffered an overall embarrassing campaign with just 48 points. Colorado has regressed significantly from that 112-point 2013-14 season, with former coach Patrick Roy calling out the leadership group just a few months before he suddenly resigned.
“I talked a little bit with Dutchy. He’s not here; that’s not a secret,” Landeskog told the Denver Post. “But we’ll have to wait and see. As of right now, he’s a part of the Avalanche organization and we all expect him to be here when training camp starts. I don’t really know what else to tell you right now.”