Rumours have swirled around the 26-year-old centre dating back to before the March 1 trade deadline and Joe Sakic has addressed the situation several times. The Avalanche general manager did so again on Thursday, reiterating that Duchene would be available if Sakic is presented with an offer he deems worthy.
“I will be listening to offers. Right now it’s quiet on all fronts,” Sakic told the Denver Post. “But I’ll listen to offers on how we can get better. I’ll never name names but I’ll sit there and if something makes sense for the way we want to go, with our team, we’ll really look at that.”
Duchene’s 41 points this past season was the second-lowest total of his eight-year career. Not to mention his team finished with an embarrassing 48 points in the standings—21 points fewer than any other team in the league—and Duchene hasn’t been shy about venting his frustrations.
“I burnt out in January,” Duchene said earlier this month. “I think a lot of guys did. Nobody really knows how tough that situation was. 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.”
Duchene has two years remaining on his current contract, which has an annual salary-cap hit of $6 million but doesn’t have a no-movement clause nor a no-trade clause.
“It’s not for me to decide,” Duchene said of his future with the team. “It’s up to the management in Colorado. We’ll see what happens. I’m not sure who I’m going to be playing for next year.”