Matt Duchene Trade Rumors
The Matt Duchene trade rumors started when Duchene started out the 2015-16 season in a slump. He scored just one goal in all of October. Patrick Roy mentioned Duchene’s slump a few times in pressers, and the media took off with the notion that Roy was trying to get rid of Duchene.
However, unbeknown to us at the time, Patrick Roy actually took Duchene aside and showed him video of his own goals from previous seasons. Roy emphasized the fact that Duchene habitually scored by driving the net or hanging around the slot area.
Duchene said of his intervention:
"“[Roy] pulled me aside and we watched video; he’s very perceptive in terms of the visual sense, and he helped me return to that foundation to what makes me go and what makes me, me.”"
Indeed, Matt Duchene did him, and that resulted in an historic November. In 14 games Duchene scored 11 goals and earned 20 points. Those numbers were good enough to make history. He was the first Avalanche player to score 11 or more goals in a calendar month since Milan Hejduk did it in February of 2003, so first in 12 years. He also broke Claude Lemieux’s record for scoring goals in November — Lemieux scored 10.
The pace of scoring was frenetic. He earned at least a point in 11 of 14 games. He also had six multi-point games, including three three-point nights. Those numbers were good enough to earn Duchene third star of the month for the entire NHL.
Part of that was also Roy shifting Duchene from center — which carries a lot of defensive responsibility — to wing.
Matt Duchene struggled again last season. Where he had a career year for scoring goals (30) under Roy, he managed only 18 with Bednar. Yes, I daresay Patrick Roy would have been able to do again what he’d already done — get Duchene out of a goal-scoring slump.
The slump last season helped spark the trade rumors. However, Roy being the fiery man with reporters that he is, I venture he would have squashed them. He would have stated he was not trading Matt Duchene. Because he knew that a mental Matt doesn’t score goals.
Then, if he felt he needed to, he probably would have traded Duchene at the deadline when his stock was the highest.
Is that dishonest? Yes. Is that kinder to Dutchy than having the trade rumors thrown in his face at every turn? Also yes. A quick pain is better than torment, which is why you rip a bandaid off rather than peel it.
But you’ve got to have balls to pull off a move like that. Then again, I don’t think there’s a lot of people who would claim Roy doesn’t have balls.