Random Acts of Ducheneness


The Avs Nation knows Matt Duchene as a dynamic center, a breakout artist with a sniper’s shot. Many Colorado Avalanche fans have also noticed that Duchene is taking a real leadership role this year and has been vocal with both the media and in the locker room. Hardcore Dutchy fans may even be aware that he loves fishing, country music and his dog, Paisley.

It may not be such common knowledge, though, that Duchene is altruistic. Hockey has a venerated tradition of organizing charitable works, and the Avalanche have many events throughout the year in which Duchene participates. However, Dutchy takes it farther than that — he partakes in Random Acts of Ducheneness.

Bruins Jersey for Bullied Girl

Hockey players like to golf in the off-season, and they often participate in charitable golf tournaments. In fact, Duchene and his Avs teammates participated in the annual charity golf tournament at the beginning of the preseason.

This particular golf tournament, however, was taking place in August, 2013. Part of the event including auctioning off memorabilia. Wayde Greer, father to 8-year-old Trista, wanted to win a Bruins jersey signed by captain Zdeno Chara. The girl was suffering from bullying at school, and Greer thought the jersey would cheer her up.

Well, bless people’s charitable spirits, they really open up the wallets when it’s for a good cause. Unfortunately for Wayde, that meant the jersey quickly exceeded his budget. He realized he wouldn’t be able to get his troubled daughter the cherished gift.

That’s when Dutchy stepped in. He whispered to Wayde to keep bidding to get the jersey for his daughter. Even though the price kept climbing — two times, three times, four times Wayde’s budget — Duchene urged him to keep bidding.

Sold — the jersey went for $2,000, and Duchene footed the bill. He’d never met Wayde before and didn’t even meet Trista until a year later, but he knew a good cause when he saw one.

Petition for Boy with MD

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Back in March, 2014, Dutchy’s Twitter followers started noticing that he was tweeting all the time about signing a petition. Political? Of course not. Turns out there was a boy in need of meds — and 100,000 signatures to approve the medication.

9-year-old Ryan Dunne is afflicted with muscular dystrophy, and there iss a new drug awaiting FDA approval. Unfortunately, as tends to happen with government agencies, approval was taking a very long time. Ryan’s parents started a “We the People” petition to hurry up the approval. The petition required 100,000 signatures to get to the necessary bodies in the White House. However, just eight days before the deadline, only 65,000 people had signed.

Apparently the family contacted Duchene, and that’s when his Twitter game went into overdrive. Dutchy has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, and more fans even than that. He started tweeting about the boy needing help, and his disciples responded. Five days later, the petition had more than enough signatures.

It’s too soon to tell if the meds are going to be fully helpful for Ryan, but at least he’s got a fighting chance thanks to Dutchy.

Hockey Kits for 50

Hockey is an expensive sport — skates go for around $800 and, no, those aren’t necessarily top of the line. Unfortunately, the cost of equipment often makes hockey an unobtainable sport for many.

Dutchy isn’t content to see that happen in his hometown of Haliburton, Ontario. Recently 90 boxes of new hockey equipment landed at the Haliburtin Highlands Secondary School. It was enough to kit out 50 players in the Highland Storm Minor Hockey Association.

The equipment came via the NHL Players Association Goals and Dreams and was funded by Duchene.

The donation is already making a difference. Derek Little himself never got to play organized hockey — which would be like an American kid never having the opportunity to play baseball. However, now his children will get that opportunity, thanks to Dutchy.

Derek told The Echo in Haliburton County of his kids’ reaction:

"“The best part is there is a smile on their face. They’re probably the poorest players out there right now, but they’re loving every second they’re out there.”"

This is just a smattering of the Random Acts of Ducheness our Dutchy has committed.  So, as we perhaps lament missed shootout goals or occasional lapses in play here in the Avs Nation, we also remember that our guys are some of the best in the league both on and off the ice. And Matt Duchene is leading the way there as much as in the locker room and in the media.