It’s been a big summer for Matt Duchene. The long time Colorado Avalanche forward hit an important life milestone when he got married last month. It was a big step in his personal life that could soon be followed by the biggest step of his professional one.
Matt Duchene trade rumors are nothing new, we have been hearing about them for a year and at times it’s looked like Duchene had played his last game in an Avs uniform. Despite all the talk, he is still an Avalanche as September nears - though if we listen to one key NHL insider, that might not be the case much longer.
TSN’s Darren Dreger was on WGR550 radio in Buffalo yesterday and he mentioned that it’s starting to sound as though trade talks are heating up again.
“Now it’s reached that point where it definitely feels like the Avalanche are in a position to get something done. Joe Sakic recently saying that he’s listening to offers. Now, I think that’s different than where he was at, say, going into the draft because the demand for Matt Duchene to many NHL general managers with interest were just unreasonable. The Nashville Predators definitely had interest and I’m sure do have interest in Matt Duchene, but going into the draft and on the draft floor, they just weren’t willing to give up the defenseman that Joe Sakic felt like he needed to get in return for Matt Duchene as part of a package.”
Aside from Nashville, there were talks out of Columbus that they thought a deal was imminent back on July 1, only to have things fall apart at the last second. Since then things have quieted down, but Dreger believes that with training camp looming, NHL front offices are going to be back in full swing and could re-visit talks from earlier in the summer.
“NHL general managers will be back at work full time and perhaps looking at their roster and recognize that, ‘Okay, Duchene is still available, so let’s make our next push.’”
Though he thinks trade talks are heating back up, Dreger did mention that Joe Sakic’s asking price likely hasn’t wavered.
“Sakic has always looked at a young defenseman as being part of that package, I think that there are teams who would be willing to part with a defenseman, it just can’t be a top-pairing guy or perhaps their top prospect when it comes to their defensive corps or the depth that they have within the organization. But that’s a need and that’s a want of the Avalanche, and it’s my understanding that really hasn’t changed significantly.”
Traning camp is only a few weeks away, and if anything these types of discussions are only going to pick up. Dreger later mentioned how he spoke to Duchene about going back to Colorado, and mentioned that there would likely be some awkwardness on both sides.
“I think that’s real, but I think there’s an equal sense of awkwardness from the organization’s perspective.”
You can hear the complete interview here.