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How to fix the Matt Duchene situation

Without trading him

Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers<br> Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Hey guys. Matt Duchene is still a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Who had this whole thing dragging into August in the office pool?

In a recent interview, Duchene seemed resigned to the fact that he doesn’t know what the future holds. He talked about “training blind” and being unable to envision himself playing with certain players because he doesn’t know where he’ll be playing next year. He didn’t outright say he was “divorced” from the team, but he hinted at it.

None of this sounds good if you’re an Avs fan holding out hope that Duchene returns to the team next season. How can Joe Sakic make this right? Trading him is the obvious solution, but as the days drag on, a trade seems less and less likely.

Sakic needs to do something to smooth things over with Duchene. I have some ideas.

Talk To Him

Matt Duchene, like all of us, just wants to be wanted. Has Sakic just told him, “Hey, you’ll be here to start the season”? Because I feel like that would solve a lot of problems. It might upset Duchene, who seems ready to move on, but it at least puts him at ease.

Plus, it’s a classic “under promise, over deliver.” Sakic is promising him that he’ll start the season being miserable because he’s still playing for the worst team in the league. Then, when he eventually trades him in November, Duchene can’t be that upset. Sakic kept his promise of keeping him to start the season and then sent him to a better situation. Matt should definitely send Joe a Christmas card if this happens.

Move The Team To Nashville

If Duchene had his choice, he’d probably want to go to Nashville. Who wouldn’t want to play for the team that was two wins away from the Stanley Cup? Furthermore, Duchene is a big country music fan and I hear they enjoy their country music in Nashville.

The problem is, the Predators don’t seem willing to include Mattias Ekholm. Until Sakic or David Poile budges, Duchene won’t be headed to Nashville.

Unless, the Avs move to Nashville.

Nashville is a hockey hotbed right now. There’s no way they could support two teams for more than a year or two, especially when one will be as bad as the Avalanche, but we’re trying to make Matt Duchene happy here. If the team needs to move to his favorite U.S. city, then we’ll make it happen.

This is logistically impossible, but finishing with less than 50 points seemed impossible last year and the Avs managed to do it. All I’m saying is, don’t doubt this team to do something negatively absurd.

At the very least just have more country music entertainment at games. I don’t know if Colorado is a country music town, but I know there are mountains, lakes, pick-up trucks, dogs, and women in Colorado. That’s all country music is about so it’s at least relatable.

Send Him A Wedding Gift

Duchene got married on July 10. We don’t know if Sakic or teammates were attendance, but that shouldn’t prevent Sakic from sending him a nice gift. Not trading him on his wedding day is not a good gift, mind you. A better gift would be something like tickets to a Garth Brooks concert or an autographed picture of the 01 Cup team.

Maybe this whole things stems from Sakic’s lack of a wedding gift. I know I’d be upset if the guy I grew up idolizing, who happens to be one of my bosses, didn’t send me a wedding gift. My cousin who I barely like didn’t give me a wedding gift and I’ve decided that I’m never talking to him again. So, I get how Duchene feels.

Send a gift, Joe. I know you have the money and connections.

Get Patrick Roy To Apologize

My favorite thing to do is to blame Patrick Roy for everything bad that has happened to the Colorado Avalanche over the past few years. That’ll stop on the one year anniversary of him quitting, but until then, everything is Roy’s fault.

Duchene’s lack of confidence can be traced back to Roy criticizing him for over-celebrating his 30th goal of the season. He scored 18 goals in 80 games following Roy’s comments.

Getting blasted by an idol, and then watching that idol quit on the team when he didn’t get his way, is demoralizing. It makes you question everything you knew and loved growing up. Duchene admitted to being “burnt out” by January, knowing the team was out of it in December. Their head coach quit a month before training camp, why shouldn’t they quit three months into the season?

Getting Patrick Roy to apologize might re-boost Duchene’s confidence. He doesn’t have to apologize for quitting or criticizing, he just needs to say, “It’s not your fault” a dozen times. That will set Duchene on a path to being the greatest hockey player the world has ever seen.