Colorado Avalanche: Guide to Surviving the NHL Trade Deadline

Feb 7, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate the win over against the Montreal Canadiens at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Canadiens 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate the win over against the Montreal Canadiens at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Canadiens 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are at the center of trade rumors. This can be stressful for Avs fans, who don’t know what to believe and don’t want to see their favorite players leave.

This year Colorado Avalanche fans seem to have more reason than most to fear the NHL trade deadline. Two of our most popular players, center Matt Duchene and captain Gabriel Landeskog, are at the center of trade rumors.

Every time you’ve heard a trade rumor in the last few months, it’s usually involved one or the other. Journalists constantly asking those players questions about trade rumors haven’t helped. What’s really been disheartening is seeing those same journalists twist the players’ own words.

So much of this relates to the Avalanche’s bad season. We all know the story — Colorado is dead-last in the NHL in a year when the draft isn’t even that fabulous. Every aspect of the team’s play seems to be an issue. And at least some of us take issue with the coaching as well.

That’s not the point, though. The point is that this trade deadline is an uneasy one for Avalanche fans.

There’s not one set way to handle this deadline as a Colorado Avalanche fan. It depends on what kind of fan you are. Nonetheless, here are some good guidelines.

Check the Facts

Let’s get one thing straight: Matt Duchene isn’t “open” to being traded and he certainly isn’t “eager.” He’s not asking for a trade in the way Jarome Iginla is (not that we fault the veteran for it).

Read Adrian Dater’s article about how Duchene feels about being traded. Essentially, though, it comes down to Dater asking Duchene if he wants to remain with the Avs. Matt answered:

"“Yeah, I mean, I…uh…I want to win.”"

That doesn’t sound eager to me. “I want to win” — you have to presuppose he thinks he can’t win with the Avalanche to make that statement even contradictory.

As far as Gabriel Landeskog, he’s been pretty clear that he does not want to leave Colorado. Just last month he said the following:

"“I want to be an Avalanche, to stay an Avalanche and be in Denver for a long, long time.”"

Indeed, he just bought a house in the prestigious Park Hill neighborhood of Denver.

So, with that out of the way, let’s look at how to navigate the news over the next 24+ hours.

Check the Credibility of Accounts

Sorry for the profanity, but there are shit-stirrers in this world. They like to throw a fake bomb out and watch everyone scramble. And they love Twitter.

Find the real deal in sports reporters — even if they’re the other kind of shit-stirrers (that say Duchene is eager to leave) and only pay attention to their news.

Here are a few accounts that have been verified as legitimate:

And if someone’s imitating one of those accounts (as happened moments ago with LeBrun and a supposed Duchene trade), the way to tell is whether there’s a blue checkmark by the name. That means the account has been verified as legit by Twitter.


Watch Trades Develop

Another quick way to make sure the news is real — can you see it developing across Twitter? If it’s a blockbuster trade — or even a relatively minor one — you’ll see the rumors starting across multiple accounts. You’ll then see details emerge.

Here’s how Bob McKenzie handles the Brendan Smith trade:

And that’s not exactly a blockbuster like Duchene or Landeskog getting moved. Here’s how Pierre LeBrun reported a bigger trade — Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals:

You’d expect that amount of chatter from numerous accounts in the case of a big trade.

Stay Away from Trade Talk

More from Mile High Sticking

For some fans it’s just too painful to see your favorite player traded away. The man is a person to you, and you’ve spent time cheering him on while he represents your favorite team. You can’t bear the thought of seeing him go to an opponent.

Well, there’s nothing you can do about that unless you have a direct line to GM Joe Sakic‘s ear — and Chris MacFarland already has one of those. You can rant and rail against the people in the news and on social media who act like they want to see the player traded. But it changes nothing.

*Creaky voice: Back in my day, you didn’t have Google Alerts and Twitter to give you up to the second news. You had to read about a trade in the newspaper or hear about it in the news. (True story — I can point out the spot on the Auraria Campus where I read the headline that Rene Corbet had been traded.)

Try to stay off Twitter and away from any alerts. Put your phone in another room, and forbid yourself from checking on your computer (if you have one for work). Trust me, you’ll be a lot more productive.

MORE FROM MILE HIGH STICKING: Finding a New Team for Blake Comeau

That said, I’m going to make my bold prediction one last time — Duchene and Landeskog aren’t getting traded at deadline. Jarome Iginla is going to a contender. Sakic might be able to unload a couple contracts, like Blake Comeau or Francois Beauchemin. But Matt and Gabe are finishing out the season here.

Come the NHL Draft… well, that’s when we start worrying again.