Another hockey season brings another round of trade rumours in Colorado as the Matt Duchene saga continues.
“Colorado improved, their young players look really good. The one sense I’m getting is that the frustration with Duchene is growing a bit,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “I don’t think Colorado gave him a deadline of ‘you’ll be traded by this time,’ but I think everybody here felt that this was going to be done by now.”
Like the Avalanche, Duchene is showing early signs of rebounding from a rumour-filled 2016-17 season that saw him tally just 18 goals and 41 points in 77 games with the struggling team. Colorado has a 4-4 record so far, with a three-goal, four-assist contribution from Duchene through eight games.
“I think it’s something that we’ll watch as the season continues because I think there was a hope from Duchene it would be done by now,” Friedman said.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos believes the 26-year-old forward might have to stay put for a little while longer.
“He may have to get a lot more patient because of that pretty good start in Colorado,” Kypreos said. “It still remains to be pretty clear to the league that [general manager] Joe Sakic is looking for as many as three pieces: a current player, a draft pick, and a prospect—and that prospect, he’s looking for someone like the Jonathan Drouin [trade], he’s looking for a [Mikhail] Sergachev, he wants a blue-chip prospect.”
The Canadiens dealt Sergachev to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Drouin in June, a year after drafting the highly-touted defenceman ninth overall in 2016.
Kypreos suggested the Canucks could be an interesting trading partner for Colorado.
“The feeling now is perhaps maybe Vancouver getting in the mix and a lot of talk about [Olli] Juolevi, who also went in the same year at the draft as Sergachev but does not carry that same type of feeling that this guy is ready to play just yet,” said Kypreos. “So until Joe Sakic hits that home run, Matt Duchene may have to wait a little longer.”