Matt Duchene seems slightly frustrated with his situation.
His name has circulated in the rumor mill for the better part of two years, but in early August 2017, he remains part of the Colorado Avalanche. While many thought him to be as good as gone once the NHL’s silly season began in June, Duchene appears increasingly likely to start the season with the Avalanche.
The Blue Jackets reportedly made at least one trade offer to Colorado in an effort to acquire Duchene, who would immediately become one of their top two centers along with Alexander Wennberg. So far, no deal has been struck with any club as the Avalanche and GM Joe Sakic remain firm in their asking price.
Speaking recently with Sportsnet (Canada), Duchene opened up about last season, his future in Colorado, and how he’s preparing for the upcoming season despite the uncertainty. Needless to say, Duchene did not hold back.
“I burnt out in January – I think a lot of guys did,” Duchene said. “No one knows what was going on, what was kind of the situation and how tough it was. It’s been a tough go there (in Colorado)…the last three years, we haven’t made the playoffs. Last year, we were out of it by mid-December.
“To play the rest of the year out, after playing big hockey at the start of the year with the World Cup, it was really hard. A lot of guys probably didn’t handle it the way they wanted to, myself included, but it’s in the past.”
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 3, 2017
Duchene was part of Team Canada’s victory at the World Cup of Hockey in September, and after a stable start to the regular season, the wheels came off for the Avalanche and first-year coach Jared Bednar, who was head coach of the Calder Cup-winning Cleveland Monsters the year before.
Trade rumors and speculation heated up as soon as the Avalanche dropped out of playoff contention, and it was believed they would have an active trade deadline. That carried into the summer and while Sakic hasn’t made any earth-shattering transactions yet, it remains possible he could move Duchene before training camps open in September.
And it sounds as though Duchene wouldn’t be opposed to that.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m not sure who I’m going to be playing for next year, but it doesn’t matter,” Duchene said. “You come out with the same intensity every day here in the gym. That visualization part is kind of not there because you don’t really know where you’re going to be. You have to have some blind faith, work as hard as you can be and be the best version of yourself that you can. It’s cliché, but it’s cliché for a reason.”