MacKinnon was asked by Sportsnet’s Luke Fox on Monday about how the culture in Colorado’s dressing room has changed since Duchene was shipped to Ottawa, following months of negotiations.
“It did a lot,” said MacKinnon. “There’s nothing wrong with Dutchy wanting to leave. I think it’s fair. He’s been eight, nine years in this league, and it wasn’t like a crazy breakup or anything.
“He went about it really good this season. But obviously we knew he wanted to leave. Now we have everybody here that wants to be here, which is great. I think we’re on our way. If Dutchy was here, I’d think we’d be in a good spot as well. He’s a really good player and obviously it’s nice to get [defenceman Samuel Girard, acquired in the Duchene deal] on the back end. He’s a great defenceman.”
The Avalanche are currently riding a nine-game winning streak, led by MacKinnon, who leads the NHL with 47 points in 32 games since the Nov. 5 trade.