Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Avalanche’

The Colorado Avalanche have turned things around in a hurry.

Coming off an historically awful 2016-17, the Avs have reeled off nine wins in a row, currently sit in a Western Conference wild-card playoff spot, and are withing striking distance of third place in the ultra-competitive Central Division.

Following that ninth consecutive victory Saturday over the New York Rangers, defenseman Erik Johnson spoke about the commitment made by the team’s core players to avoid a repeat performance of last year.

“The way things went last year, I think the easy thing to say would have been: ‘It’s not working here, let’s go somewhere else, let’s jump ship,'” Johnson said Saturday, per Rick Sadowski of “The character guys and core guys in this room said we want to figure things out here in Colorado, make it work.”

Earlier this season, Colorado shook up the roster by coming through on a trade request filed last year by Matt Duchene, one made because he was tired of losing.

“I wanted to play playoff hockey,” Duchene explained at the time of the trade, per Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia. “I’ve got eight playoff games to my name right now and that’s not where I want to be at this point of my career.”

Heading into Saturday’s game against Toronto, Duchene’s Ottawa Senators sat second to last in the Eastern Conference, all but out of the playoff picture.


Matt Duchene shed some light on why he requested a trade from the Colorado Avalanche last December.

With the Avalanche mired in a historically awful season at the time, Duchene – who was dealt to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday – saw signs that general manager Joe Sakic was leading the club into a retooling phase. Having been down that road before, the now 26-year-old wasn’t willing to spend his prime years not seriously competing for the Stanley Cup.

As a result, Duchene made the request to management, which he called “the hardest thing I ever had to do” at an introductory press conference in Ottawa on Monday.

“I wanted to play playoff hockey” he explained, per Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia. “I’ve got eight playoff games to my name right now and that’s not where I want to be at this point of my career. I only get one shot at this. I get to play this game for however long my body lets me play it and I felt I wanted to let Joe know it was time to move on.”

Duchene was a Colorado fan as a kid, and dreamed of winning the Cup with the Avalanche. His 586 regular-season games with the franchise only translated into two trips to the playoffs, however, wherein he recorded six assists in eight games.

The Senators came within a goal of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final last season and certainly hope Duchene will add to his postseason totals with the club.

While it’s been well documented that Matt Duchene has wanted out of Colorado for some time now, just how long he’s been waiting to be dealt has been kept on the down-low – until now.

Following the three-way trade that sent Duchene to the Ottawa Senators and Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic explained that Duchene formally asked to be traded last year.

“Matt, last Christmas, he asked me if I could move him just for a fresh start,” Sakic said, according to Stephen Whyno of The Assoicated Press. “I just told him: Be patient.”

Duchene told reporters in January that he was open to a trade, stating he understood that it was part of the business and something that could potentially happen. Evidently it appears he was more than open to a trade.

In all, it took just under 11 months for Duchene to get what he truly wanted. Sakic, however, noted that Duchene is “relieved” and “excited to go to Ottawa,” while reiterating the move was the best thing for the Avalanche.

Everyone can now move on.


The wait is over.

The Colorado Avalanche have traded forward Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators in a three-way blockbuster deal involving the Nashville Predators, the team announced Sunday. The Preds will receive forward Kyle Turris in the deal.

In return for Duchene, the Avalanche will receive prospects Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamenev, and a second-round pick from Nashville. From Ottawa, the Avs will receive prospect Shane Bowers, journeyman goaltender Andrew Hammond, a first-round pick, and a third-round pick.

Duchene, who has long been seeking a trade out of Denver, had 10 points in 13 games this season before being pulled during the first period of Colorado’s matchup with the New York Islanders Sunday. He is scheduled to become a free agent following the 2018-19 season.

Turris was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, but recently inked a long-term extension with the Preds. He has nine points in 11 games so far this season.

Defenseman Samuel Girard, 19, has played five games for the Predators this season, picking up a goal and two assists. He’s just 5-foot-10, but his skating and offensive ability should play well in today’s NHL, and he’s coming off back-to-back 70-point seasons in the QMJHL.

Kamenev, a left winger selected in the second round by Nashville in 2014, has registered 96 points in 136 career AHL games, including eight points in nine games this year.

Bowers was Ottawa’s first-round pick (28th overall) in the most recent NHL draft. A center, he is currently playing at Boston University and has four goals and two assists in 10 games.

Duchene will get to face his former team almost immediately, as the Sens and Avs will square off in Sweden Friday and Saturday.

A trio of NHL teams nearly pulled off a blockbuster trade Friday night.

Talks on a three-way transaction that would have sent Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators ended with no deal, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports.

Kyle Turris would have gone from Ottawa to the Nashville Predators, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Friedman also noted that the deal would have included several draft picks, and may have featured a prospect or two.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has been attempting to land Duchene since mid-September and discussions heated up in the last couple of weeks, according to Dreger.

Dorion aggressively pursued Duchene to no avail earlier this fall, as Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch reported on Sept. 19.


One of the greatest players in the history of the Colorado Avalanche believes the club should do more to address the Matt Duchene situation.

”Doubtful that he should be allowed to play (with the Avalanche),” Peter Forsberg said Saturday on Swedish television, as translated by Expressen’s Robin Lindgren via Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.

“Put him in the stands,” Forsberg continued. “If I were playing with a player that I know doesn´t even want to be in the team, it´s not like he is going to throw himself on the ice and block shots with his head. It is mostly difficult to have a player like that in the team, although he is skillful and is doing his best. I would rather play with someone that wants to be there. I would put him on the bench and trade him.”

Duchene, who has been on the trade block since last season, said he was “here to honor (his) contract,” when he reported to training camp last month.

The center notched a goal and an assist in Colorado’s season-opening win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night, and was held off the score sheet Saturday in a loss to the New Jersey Devils, despite firing five shots on goal.

Forsberg is the NHL’s all-time leader in points per game among qualified Swedish players (1.25), and he ranks second on the Avalanche’s franchise list for points per game (1.28), only behind Quebec Nordiques legend Peter Stastny.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.


The Avalanche are growing hockey in Colorado.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, the Avalanche will have their AHL squad in nearby Loveland, Colo. for the 2018-19 season.

The market is currently served by the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, which will shift to the American Hockey League next season to partner with the Avalanche.

The Eagles play out of the Budweiser Events Center, about 50 miles north of Denver. Founded in 2003, the Eagles were previously part of the former Central Hockey League but transferred to the ECHL in 2011.

Their addition to the AHL will bring the league to 31 teams, matching the NHL after its expansion to Las Vegas.

An official announcement is expected in September.

The Avalanche are currently affiliated with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, which will partner with the St. Louis Blues beginning in 2018-19, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Blues are without their own minor-league team this season, and will share the Chicago Wolves with the incoming Vegas Golden Knights.