As Matt Duchene‘s play gets hotter, rumours of his departure from Colorado grow colder.
According to Sunday’s Denver Post, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic told Duchene that the rumour he was shopping the star forward came out of left field.
“We’re out to a tough start, and you’re always listening,” Sakic told the Post. “When you’re talking, people bring up names. That’s how deals happen.”
If Duchene’s name was leaked to spur his on-ice performance, it worked.
The 24-year-old centre has tallied up an impressive eight points in his last three games and on Saturday helped deliver the Montreal Canadiens their first regulation loss at home all season.
On Monday, he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
Duchene did not register a point until the fifth game of the season but has racked up 12 points in November and only trails Nathan MacKinnon in Avalanche scoring.
“It’s part of hockey. I’m not thinking about it too much,” Duchene said Saturday’s at the Bell Centre. “I’m an Av today, and I want to be an Av as long as possible. At the same time, it’s a business, and I understand that part of it. That’s my standpoint. I’m just focusing on my game.
“I’m pretty confident — or hopeful, anyway — that I will continue to be an Av in the near future,” he went on. “But you never know. This business is very unpredictable.”
Colorado’s Eastern road swing is off to a sparkling 3-0-0 start. Duchene and the Avalanche will be in Toronto Tuesday to take on the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.