Colorado Avalanche Holding Onto Matt Duchene Not a Bad Idea

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 27: Matt Duchene
DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 27: Matt Duchene /

The Colorado Avalanche seem likely to hold onto Matt Duchene at this point, and is that really such a bad thing?

The Colorado Avalanche have been wrapped up in the Matt Duchene saga seemingly since the end of the 2015-16 season. Media won’t loosen their vice grip, Joe Sakic won’t shake loose his asset and Duchene waits by as the phones keep ringing.

But, those phones may have stopped ringing finally, or at least dwindled to an echo in an empty room. The foregone conclusion of Matt Duchene being traded has become what seems to be a certainty that he stays with the team. And, is that really such a bad idea?

Is it really a bad idea to keep a 26 year old center who has broken 65+ points twice? It can’t be a bad idea to hold onto a former 30 goal scorer, can it? It’s certainly not a bad idea to keep a player that bleeds Burgundy and Blue, right?

With Matt Duchene on the roster, the Avalanche have a scary good (in theory) top six, comprised of the following likely lines:

Line 1:  Sven Andrighetto                     Nathan MacKinnon                     Mikko Rantanen

Line 2:  Gabe Landeskog                       Matt Duchene                              Tyson Jost

A lot of that success will depend on Tyson Jost’s growth this summer and throughout the season. However, if Jost is not up to snuff, then Colin Wilson can fill in until he figures it out.

With Matt Duchene, the Colorado Avalanche get to roll out three and maybe even four lines — if you’re an optimist — that are formidable threats in the NHL today. Without Matt Duchene, the Avalanche have a glaring hole in their forward lineup, and no one to fill it, depending on the trade.

Keeping Matt Duchene May Make More Sense Than Trading Him

Have you looked at the Colorado Avalanche prospect rankings recently? Have you opened the cupboard and taken a look inside? The Avalanche have one of the deepest pools of defensive prospects in the NHL. That is a fact right now.

Cale Makar and Conor Timmins are leading the way in talent, and players like Nicolas Meloche and Chris Bigras are floating around in the second tier. Andrei Mironov is set to make his NHL debut, and Duncan Siemens, Anton Lindholm and Sergei Boikov could all challenge for roster spots.

More from Mile High Sticking

At this point, it may be in the best interest of the Avalanche to hold onto to Matt Duchene, and get him signed to a longer term deal when those defensive prospects are starting to make an impact.

We may actually need to trade a defenseman in the near future. The right side of the Avalanche defensive roster is now overrun. Makar, Timmins, Meloche, Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson are all  right-handed defensemen, and all have the potential to play in the top four.

So, call me crazy, but I vote for the Avalanche to make sure they start the season on the right foot with Duchy. They need to make sure that all animosity has been cleared, and then move forward. Joe Sakic may even need to come out and say that Matt Duchene is no longer available.


Matt Duchene is a great player, he may even still be the best player the Avalanche have. If he returns to form next season, which he will, then the Avalanche may have an extremely potent offense.

Mikko Rantanen should be ready to pot even more goals. Nathan MacKinnon may finally have that breakout season we’ve all been waiting for. Tyson Jost looks poised and ready to contribute at least 15 goals. J.T. Compher and Colin Wilson should bring some stability to the third line. And, Carl Soderberg is likely to play on the fourth line; the Avs have a lot of talent in the bottom of their lineup.

Next: A Talk With Joe Sakic, And a Farewell

Without Matt Duchene, the Colorado Avalanche suddenly have some serious questions at offense. And, they will still have one of the best defensive prospect pools in the entire NHL.

Good things are coming in Avalanche Territory. Matt Duchene will still be in his prime when those good things come. So, is it really such a bad idea to keep him around? Is it really such a bad idea to make sure he’s on the team come October? I don’t think so.