Avs’ Matt Duchene to make pre-season debut Thursday vs. Stars

Hockey Central's Doug MacLean explains why he's scratching his head over the rumours that the Ottawa Senators are pursuing Matt Duchene, especially with Kyle Turris' RFA contract situation looming.

The Matt Duchene saga continues.

Thursday’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars will be the first time Duchene laces up his skates for his team this pre-season.

Duchene’s name has been in the headlines for what seems like eternity as the 26-year-old has been the centre of trade rumours since before last season’s deadline.

Those rumours continued to ramp up when Duchene failed to show up for pre-training camp captain’s practices and some speculated he may not report to the team come the start of training camp. However, the sniper ultimately did report and told reporters in a brief statement that, “I’m here to honour my contract. I’m here out of respect for the fans. I’m here for my teammates.”

It’s unknown where the 2009 third-overall pick will eventually end up, but it’s all but certain that his days on the Avalanche are numbered. The latest team to express interest was the Ottawa Senators who were reportedly aggressively going after the centre.

Duchene’s current contract has two years remaining on it and comes with a $6-million cap hit.