IIHF World Championship: Avalanche Matt Duchene


Six Colorado Avalanche players are representing their countries in the IIHF World Championship. Zach Redmond is the lone Team USA represent since defenseman Erik Johnson is still recuperating from a knee scoping procedure.

Defenseman Jan Hejda is not only representing the Czech Republic, he has been named an alternate captain.

Four Avalanche players are going for Team Canada, including centers Ryan O’Reilly and Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Tyson Barrie.  And, of course,  there’s center Matt Duchene.

Matt Duchene is no stranger to repping Team Canada in world championships, including the IIHF World Championship. That doesn’t stop him from being excited,  though:

IIHF Championship Practice in Denver

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Duchene and the other Colorado Avalanche players have been preparing for their international competition. Indeed, according to Denver Post writer Mike Chambers, Duchene, MacKinnon and Barrie were at the South Suburban Ice Arena participating in practice drills. With them was Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn, a good friend of MacKinnon’s who’s also heading to Prague.

What do you do when you’ve got three forwards and a defenseman who need to practice getting pucks past a goalie but no goalie? Well, luckily our local Denver University has such a strong history of hockey. The shooters enlisted the help of DU Pioneers sophomore goalie Evan Cowley.

That can’t have been a lot of fun for Cowley — those four represent some high octane firepower.

Haliburton Pride

Matt Duchene is from a relatively small Ontario town, Haliburton.  He’s the only NHLer from Haliburton,  and a pretty big fish in those waters.

The local newspaper,  The Haliburton County Echo, contacted both Duchene and his mother, Chris, about his trip to Prague to rep Canada. Duchene remarked that, of course, Team Canada has probably the deepest talent pool in the world. Indeed, he’s so delighted to represent Canada that he accepted on the spot when he got the call.

Chris, naturally, was a little more reticent:

"“We are all very disappointed that he isn’t playing in the NHL playoffs with the Avs and that will be his primary focus in the offseason. However this is an honour for him to play again for his country and compete for another medal.”"

IIHF World Championship Lines

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that star center Sidney Crosby would be joining Team Canada for the IIHF World Championship. The Penguins were eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Rangers late last week, freeing Crosby up.

Duchene and Crosby have been teammates at world championships before,  most notably in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. They weren’t linemates, though.  Sid the Kid and Dutchy on a line together,  perhaps with Tyler Seguin,  wold provide a speedy whirlwind of offensive power.

No bad lines for Team Canada, though. In fact,  the coaches might opt for team chemistry instead. An all-center line of Duchene,  O’Reilly and MacKinnon would never work for the Avs, but it would be intriguing at Worlds. O’Reilly and MacKinnon have both successfully played wing to Duchene’s center.

Players are making their way to Europe now with the IIHF Wold Championship running May 1 to 15.

Next: Matt Duchene: Avs Fan Dreaming of a Stanley Cup

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