Matt Duchene skips Avalanche charity golf tournament amid trade drama

Matt Duchene made in impact in his first game back after suffering a concussion, scoring the overtime winner against the Blue Jackets for an Avalanche win.

If you hadn’t heard, Colorado Avalanche training camp opens Thursday and Matt Duchene’s status with the team remains unclear.

The centre has been embroiled in trade rumours for most of 2017 and chose to skip the team’s pre-training camp last week. On Tuesday, Duchene also decided to skip the team’s charity golf tournament. This year’s tournament was not mandatory, but many of Duchene’s teammates did attend the event.

“He really doesn’t have to be here. None of us have to be here today,” defenceman Erik Johnson told Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. “It’s optional, because camp hasn’t started. I really don’t think it’s a story until Thursday, or not. Until then, it’s just all speculation. I wish I had a little more info to give you, but I don’t. Really, it’s a non-story until Thursday.”

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic told Adrian Dater of BSN Denver over the weekend that he expects Duchene to be at camp when it opens.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on,” Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon told Chambers. “We all struggled last year. I wasn’t happy. Dutchy wasn’t with the way he played, I wasn’t happy with the way I played. He’s been here for eight years now, so if he thinks it’s time to move on, that’s his personal decision and I don’t want to get in the way.”

Duchene has two years remaining on his contract.

Another no-show at the golf tournament was defenceman Nikita Zadorov. The restricted free agent is still unsigned as camp approaches.