Not only are the Colorado Avalanche likely to trade Matt Duchene this summer, but it seems likely that he might ask for a trade as well.
Has anybody watched Matt Duchene in a Colorado Avalanche game recently? He looks like the gas left the tank long ago, and like he no longer cares about the fortunes of the team.
This isn’t the Matt Duchene that fans saw at the beginning of the season, the one that was fighting hard for a team he loved in his younger years. Duchene now looks he has resigned himself to the atrociousness of this season, and a trade involving his name this summer.
This is not a Duchene who wants to be on the Avs roster next season. A fresh start may be the best thing for both sides, anyway.
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There’s only one problem, Duchene’s lack of confidence has caused a HUGE dip in his performance, and trading him is going to be difficult because of it.
Matt Duchene’s Performance is at an All-Time Low
During the 2011-12 season, Matt Duchene posted a points per game (ppg) total of .48, for 28 points in 58 games. That is the only season he’s had a worse ppg than he has this season, where he’s at .53 for 37 points in 70 games.
However, the only reason Duchene’s point total is that high is because he started the season with 32 points in his first 44 games.
Let that settle for a second…
That means, in the last 26 games, Duchene has put up five points. And, really, he put up 36 of his 37 total points in the first 52 games. Which means he has a total of one point — ONE point — in the last 18 games…
So much for the relief of the trade deadline passing.
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Don’t get me wrong, I know the entire Avalanche team is struggling, particularly in the top six, and that it’s hard to single out one player, but that is BAD.
The worst part of it is that he’s not even shooting the puck. During that 18 game stretch, Duchene has been averaging 1.4 shots per game.
It seems like he’s not even trying to get himself out of this slump, as if he’s already dreaming about warm weather and a summer off from playing hockey at the highest level.
The point is, that kind of performance is going to make trading Duchene a real difficult thing, particularly for the asking price that has been cited.
Also, it begs the question if keeping Duchene on the roster if they can’t trade him is worth it. Obviously they would, but how detrimental could his seemingly apathetic attitude be to the Avalanche next season?
This season has been particularly hard on the Avalanche players. However, I imagine it’s been the most difficult for Matt Duchene.
This was the team he grew up loving, the team who drafted him, and the team he wanted to win with.
He was expected to bring this team back to glory too, and he hasn’t delivered yet. The Avs have made the playoffs twice in Matt Duchene’s career, and they haven’t won a playoff series either.
Now, next season will be his ninth season in the league, and the kid wants to win. Maybe he’s starting to realize that it won’t happen in the dreamy way he thought it might.
We all want to see Matt Duchene do well, but perhaps it’s better to see him do that on another team. It might be best for both sides to break the bond and go their separate ways.
Let’s just hope that another team sees the value that Matt Duchene possessed before this atrocious season, so the return is at least satisfactory.