Duchene was absent from pre-training camp practices, a non-mandatory skate that most of the Avalanche players did attend.
Veterans must only report by Sept. 14, which is when Sakic anticipates he’ll see his star forward.
“He’s under contract and I expect him to be here on the 14th,” Sakic said. “He doesn’t have to be here till the 14th. Not everybody always come to camp early. It’s not for me to (say), but I assume on the 14th, he’ll be here.”
Sakic spent the summer “listening” to offers for Duchene, who put up just 18 goals and 41 points (while being minus-34) in a miserable season for Colorado.
The 26-year-old has two years left on his contract before hitting unrestricted free agency, and is being paid $6 million per season.
Both he and the team could benefit from a fresh start, though Sakic is understandably seeking a high price for the 2014 Olympic gold medallist, whom the Avalanche drafted third overall in 2009.
“Well, I don’t have to worry about that right now,” Sakic said about the prospect of Duchene refusing to report. “Training camp is Thursday. There’s nothing to think about right now.
“Training camp isn’t until the 14th and we expect everyone that’s signed to be there, like every other year.”