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Matt Duchene will definitely be traded

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Unless he’s not

Colorado Avalanche v Toronto Maple Leafs

When Matt Duchene wasn’t traded at last year’s trade deadline, everyone said that the Colorado Avalanche were being smart. That the offers would go up at the draft, when more teams had a better idea of their offseason plans. When he wasn’t traded at the draft, everyone said that the Colorado Avalanche were creating a bidding war. That, because there were no major free agents on the market, Duchene would be the most sought after piece and teams would present their best offers. When he wasn’t traded after the first week of free agency, everyone said that the Colorado Avalanche were being patient. That teams would eventually cave to the demands of Joe Sakic because they couldn’t afford to lose out on a 26-year-old scorer under contract for the next two seasons.

“Remember, the Columbus Blue Jackets held Rick Nash until July 23. Chris MacFarland was part of Columbus management at that time. They know what they’re doing.”

July 23 has passed.

Each day after is one day closer to training camp. The closer we get to training camp, the less likely it becomes that Duchene gets traded.

Last year taught us that anything can happen at any time. It’s possible that the same thing happens this year. That Sakic waits until a month before training camp to shake up a core part of the roster. It wouldn’t be ideal. But neither was the head coach stepping down in August.

Waiting this long further opens up Sakic to criticism. If Sakic retains Duchene and the team is terrible again, he’s lost a big piece of leverage. Either the return is worse than the rumored returns this year or Duchene plays out his contract and bolts for a better situation.

There’s a chance that Duchene has a bounce back year, the Avs are respectable, and his stock is higher. But that’s a big risk to take given how last season unfolded. And you’ve still burned a year on his contract, leaving only one year remaining for the team that acquires him.

Will Matt Duchene be traded?

I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows except for Joe Sakic. I’m not even 100 percent sure he knows. The rumors have been there since the start of the 2015-16 season. Speculation and reports were at an all-time high this offseason. Theories based on something that happened one time were given. And yet, he remains part of the Avalanche organization.

But he’s definitely getting traded.