TSN’s Darren Dreger was back on WGR550 radio yesterday and he once again spoke about Matt Duchene’s future with the Colorado Avalanche. Dreger makes it sound as though Duchene and his agent are putting pressure on Joe Sakic to get a trade done before training camp starts in two weeks.
“It’s the same company that represents Matt Duchene that represents David Pastrnak. We’re talking about CAA Sports here. They try to manage things as quietly as they can, as efficiently as they can, and as respectful of the team, the organization as they can.
Matt Duchene is a veteran player. He doesn’t want to leave the Colorado Avalanche with crashing waves and all kinds of bad blood. He wanted this situation remedied a long time ago and he’s still hoping that that’s the case in the days leading up to the Colorado Avalanche training camp.
So I would say that while this has seemingly been a back-burner situation for quite some time – several months, in fact over a year – I think it’s now shifted into a front-burner situation and there’ll be a some heat on Sakic and the Avs to get this done in the next 14 days.
I think it’s taking so long because Joe Sakic does, again, have a level of expectation that’s much higher from Matt Duchene than what he produced last year. And Matt Duchene himself has a higher level of expectation of his performance and I’m sure that he’s trained accordingly and vows that he’s going to have much bigger numbers this year moving forward. But if you’re an NHL general manager with interest, and there’s a handful of teams that still remain interested in Duchene, you’re trying to make a deal based on numbers from last year – not projections of what he might be moving forward, or what he’s been in the past, which is a star NHL forward”
Dreger then started to talk about the idea of a trade from the Avalanche perspective, what sort of return the team would need and how it makes sense to get something done soon. He is really pushing the idea that Duchene’s presence at training camp will be awkward and provide a distraction for the team.
“I guess I would look to the Avalanche though and say, ‘Who’s playing defense on that team?’ They’ve got to get some bodies in there sooner rather than later. They were looking for a left-shot, top defenseman as part of a package for Matt Duchene leading up to the draft. Just take a defenseman. There’s got to be a Top 4 or 5 guy that maybe Nashville or another team with interest is willing to part with.
I do think that there is a timeline on this because even though you’re talking about a pro in Duchene and Sakic and all of that, I mean how awkward is that going to be if he has to go back to the Avalanche dressing room, back to that camp, face the media, and all of those things. I suppose he’ll have to do it, but it’s going to be awkward.”
A lot of what he is saying seems to be speculation based around his knowledge of the player. Dreger is definitely connected to the situation and many believe Duchene’s agents are using him as a mouthpiece to get the discussion moving. Insiders in Columbus have also mentioned that talks were going on in recent weeks, leading to further speculation that the Avs are actually getting close to finally trading their long-time star.
Don't be at all surprised if something big breaks sometime over the next few days.