For the past year and halfish the Colorado Avalanche have been trying to unload Center Matt Duchene with little success, until late Sunday night. Fans saw Blame Comeau exit the ice after taking a hit and watch as Duchene slipped out right behind him as he had finally been traded to the Ottawa Senators, which surprisingly this kind of trade has happened previously when Mike Cammalleri was traded from the Montreal Canadians to the Calgary Flames.
Duchene does get credit for how smooth he made his exit following the trade. He managed to casually slip off the ice after Comeau and quickly packed his bags and exited as if he had never been there.
Of course fans were surprised that Duchene had left the ice and that surprise immediately morphed to anger once they saw the news that one of their better players was gone. Which can you blame them? The Avs haven’t been a playoff contending team for years and the only thing keeping fans engaged was knowing that they had players like Duchene on their team that was a real work horse and could actually shot the puck.
It did seem weird that Avs General Manager Joe Sakic had finally found a worthy trade partner (or partners since it was a three team deal) after such a lengthy search period and made me wonder why now? Unless of course, Duchene had pushed his agent who in turn the screws on the team to move him, which can you really blame him for wanting to play on a team that actually has a chance at a deep playoff run? No.
I think that there was something else going on behind the scenes that caused this trade because it’s too early for the Avs front office to have the abandon ship and rebuild mode because the season is going to hell in a hand basket. It’s also weird that the NHL is a little over a month into the regular season and now the Avs are able to move Duchene. It’s not like there wasn’t interest in him during the off season, I have a feeling that there were plenty of teams that had interest in Duchene and his skill set, so again we circle back to the reasoning that there was something else brewing between Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche.
If I were an Avs fan, I wouldn’t have high hopes for the rest of the season barring the acquisition of a superstar that can turn the team around. Otherwise it’s going to be a long season for Avs fans as their team is most likely riding the bottom of the NHL Central Division.