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Did the Avalanche strip Matt Duchene of his ‘A’?

It looks like the Avs don’t plan on having Matt Duchene serve as an assistant captain this year

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

By now, you’ve almost certainly seen the picture of Matt Duchene during Colorado Avalanche media day - you know, the one where it looks like he was just told he can never fish again.

Yeah, that’s the one.

This one picture set off a fire storm on social media about Duchene’s attitude towards the team. He definitely looks like a man that does not want to be in Denver. He looks upset, almost like he’s sulking - leading to talk about Duchene being a distraction for an Avalanche team that can’t afford to have any.

Thanks to this picture, Duchene is being painted as a malcontent by many in the media as well as the fan base. But what if this isn’t on the player? What if the team did something to upset him just before he put on that slick new Adidas jersey?

Notice a difference? Besides this year’s jerseys being infinitely nicer than last season’s.

There is no ‘A’ on Duchene’s chest. Has the team decided to replace him as an alternate captain? Did Duchene learn this yesterday morning before taking this picture? Does it mean the team is certain he won’t be around for long? Will he be traded before it matters?

I have so many questions.

One thing we do know for sure, this isn’t the byproduct of the team leaving letters off the jerseys for the promo shoot because Nathan MacKinnon had the ‘A’ on his chest.

So maybe Matt Duchene wasn’t sulking because he wants to be traded, maybe he was upset that the team he’s spent his whole life cheering for told him they don’t want him in a leadership role anymore.

One thing is for certain, this isn’t a situation that is going to go away. With the entire roster hitting the ice for the first time today, talk about Duchene’s future is going to be around the team until he eventually moves on.

For the sake of the Avs season, it’s probably best that Sakic puts an end to all this and trades Duchene sooner rather than later.

(H/T to Reddit user OlivierLapi for pointing this out)