Running on about three hours sleep here, so not gonna get too fancy on the keyboard. For some stupid reason, I decided to rent a car to get around New York (and Philly) over the weekend, including the very stupid decision to drive into New York City yesterday while the New York City Marathon was still going on. I swear, I don’t know how anybody lives in New York. I mean, I love New York and all, but it’s truly terrifying trying to drive there. Everybody is a maniac behind the wheel, everybody will cut you right off and not think twice about it and it takes about 16 hours to go one mile. I got up at 6 a.m. today in North Bergen, N.J., and left for LaGuardia Airport, about 12 miles away. My flight was at 10:35. It took two hours to get to the airport, because of traffic.

Thing is, I am a former New York City resident. From 1965-69 or so, ages zero to four, I lived down in the Greenwich Village area. So, I can gripe a little.

But now that I’m back on my couch in Thornton, I can relax a little and commune more about the crazy night that was Sunday night in Brooklyn. Definitely have never seen a night quite like it, with Matt Duchene getting traded during the first period, then staking him out by a freight elevator to get his parting thoughts.

Now that it’s over, let me add some quick-hit type of things, stream-of-consciousness style.

  • Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion revealed this morning that he thought he had a deal with the Avs to get Duchene on Saturday. He was so confident the deal would be done that the Senators had a plane waiting in Philadelphia to take him away. So, that better explains why Duchene was so irritable looking during the day, especially after the game with the Flyers. I tried to make some happy small talk with Duchene after the 5-4 shootout win, complimenting him on his play even. Duchene mostly just grunted and stared straight ahead, not talking much with me or anyone else from the team.
  • I was of the mindset Saturday that any deal involving Duchene was shelved again, maybe for a while. But another thing Dorion mentioned today: A chance meeting between Avs assistant GM Chris MacFarland and Nashville assistant GM Paul Fenton over the weekend helped revive talks. Things happened fast after that.
  • Duchene will wear No. 95 with the Senators, because 9 was already taken by Bobby Ryan.
  • I think it will be a much happier locker room now with the Avs. Does that mean they’ll be a better team? Maybe not. Duchene is a very good player and he was doing a lot of good things for a team that was 8-6-0 with him in the lineup. But if better chemistry makes for better teams, maybe they will. Even though the Avs lost to the Islanders last night, there just seemed to be a lot of relief on the faces I saw. It’s up to them now, though, to show more leadership without Duchene, to prove that this is their team.
  • A lot of people have talked about Erik Johnson’s comments about Duchene last night (video of them here). I definitely don’t think there was a lot of love lost between Johnson and Duchene these last couple years. Not saying they were enemies, not saying everybody has to sing songs around the campfire to be a good hockey team. Just sayin.’
  • I can’t wait to see Johnson’s first shift against Duchene this weekend in Sweden. (I won’t be going to Sweden, but BSN’s own Jesse Montano will be, so keep that mouse pointed right here at BSNDenver.com for the coverage).
  • The Avs plan to have Samuel Girard jump right in to the lineup starting this weekend. With Anton Lindholm out indefinitely with a broken jaw, there’s a bit of wiggle room still in the top 6/7 D. This probably means Chris Bigras or Nikita Zadorov might be back on the bench, with Bigras the more likely of the two.
  • Patrik Nemeth didn’t play in the third period Sunday, but I’m told he should be OK for the weekend.
  • I’m also told that J.T. Compher should return from his broken thumb. He will be the replacement for Duchene in the top six, at center. Tyson Jost (lower body) made the trip to Sweden, but it’s not clear yet when he’ll return. Blake Comeau will be further evaluated Tuesday. Jared Bednar said early indications were that his head injury wasn’t serious, after getting hit with a puck behind the left ear. But you never know how head injuries will develop.
  • Carl Soderberg, a Swede, didn’t take the team charter to Sweden. His wife is expecting a child, so he’s back with her in Denver. No word on whether he’ll journey to his homeland by Saturday or not yet.
  • There have been rumors that the Avs hope to flip goalie Andrew Hammond in a new trade. We’ll see.
  • Alexander Kerfoot, who scored two goals in the last minute of the game last night, wrote a blog from Sweden.
  • I’ll be doing a new podcast with A.J. Haefele Tuesday, to talk more about the last couple days. Check out his own breakdown of the trade in a solo pod he did, here.
  • Here is the full video of Joe Sakic’s meeting with the media last night:

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Adrian Dater

Adrian Dater is a staff writer with BSNDenver. He started his journalism career way, way back in 1988 as a proofreader with the Concord Monitor as a kid out of college (Keene State College), and has wended its way since with a 25-year stop at The Denver Post, 20 of which were spent as the beat writer of the Colorado Avalanche, from its inception in 1995. Adrian has also worked as a primary hockey writer with Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The Hockey News, Versus.com and Bleacher Report. He is the author of seven sports books, including the best-selling “Blood Feud: Colorado Avalanche v. Detroit Red Wings, The Inside Story of Pro Sports’ Nastiest and Best Rivalry of Its Era” and “100 Things Avalanche Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die”, which was published in October, 2016.

  • Thark

    Thanks AD and BSN for your continuing coverage. My new home for Avs-related news.

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    Not a hockey comment, but if it makes you feel any better, AD, I think I can top your car rental stupidity by a huge margin. I have been fortunate to have traveled to more major world cities than you would want me to list in this post, both in the U.S. and abroad. These include metropolises that have the reputation of being among the craziest automobile-driving centers in the world, such as New York, Chicago, and Rome. Here’s the truth as I see it: Nowhere I have been to comes anywhere CLOSE to the insanity that is London, England. Even if it weren’t that they drive on the opposite side of the street from us (try getting used to that in swarming traffic), it would still be a matter of taking your life in your hands. But here’s the kicker: I RENTED A CAR THERE, AND DROVE! It was terrifying in a way that NYC could never be, believe me. I’m just thankful that somehow I made it through the experience alive and am here to warn my fellow man. Your error was child’s play compared to mine. Cheers.

    • Try Jakarta. Never driven there myself but everyone I know who has (including people from there) say it’s the worst in the world.

      • OCMS

        Try riding a motorcycle in Ho Chi Minh City. (well after the war)

        • I’ve been there. The motorcycles are insane. I think anyone who claims western countries have the worst traffic probably haven’t lived in Asia.

          • OCMS

            Yup. It was quite an adventure learning the rules of the road there. Sold the bike when I got to Hanoi to a Swedish guy looking to ride south.

      • Av-a-dabba-doo

        You could very well be right, Mark. I will say this, though. When they learned that I had rented a car in London, two or three different people (I think two of them were Brits!) said the same thing to me: “You’re braver than I am”. !! Ha ha.

    • dp10

      One thing to note – New York is not really a car city. Just consider the fact that between the 2 bridges and the 2 tunnels connecting NJ and NYC, you have barely over 30 lanes to get across the Hudson River. And it certainly hasn’t improved since Uber and Lift unleashed their fleets.

      Regarding the aftermath of the trade, a lot has been revealed that so far had only been speculation:
      1) While it was more or less established that Duchene wanted to be traded, I don’t think the media ever picked up on the fact that he had approached Sakic to be traded??
      2) His request to be traded coincided with the 6 game losing streak (including a 6-0 shutout at home to Toronto, which I believe was the same game where Mackinnon made some very desperate comments about the chemistry of the team).
      3) There has been quite a bit of speculation that Duchene was particularly affected by Roy’s departure. This seems to be supported by his comments in the immediate aftermath at the Barclay Center as well as during the press conference in Ottawa, where he generally spoke highly and appreciative of Roy and also Sakic.
      4) With this trade, Tyson Barrie is the only remaining piece from their 2009 draft picks (arguably their best draft year in the past decade), which is really quite astounding.

      • Chris DeMott

        Well said. You are the first that I have seen to have brought this up. The coverage has been presented as the opposite. Namely, the Avalanche looking to move him strictly out of motivation to improve the team and/or “blow up the core”. When in fact, Matt told Joe that “he couldn’t go through another rebuild”. As to Roy, I think to some degree he was in the same boat. Without Stastny and O’Reilly, he was essentially coaching a rebuild and clearly Roy wasn’t willing to do that either.

  • I was away on holiday and avoiding hockey news until I’d caught up on the games, so I just heard about all this.

    I’m very happy with the deal. A whole bunch of picks and prospects for our 2nd line center (I like Duchene but that’s what he was on this team) is a great deal. Hopefully the kids work out, but a deal like this isn’t about certainty. I think Ottawa got fleeced in this one.

    Also, I think it’s quite poetic that one of the pieces from the last big deal (J.T. Compher) is now going to be our 2nd line center as a result of this deal. I hope he ends up putting up more points than O’Reilly.

    • OCMS

      Ottawa got the best player in the trade. Hard to call that fleeced. They are looking for final pieces, so trading away assets makes sense for them now. Sakic did well, but let’s not fall all over ourselves trying to make sure Joe “won the trade” rather than see this for what it was. A good deal for three teams with different needs who look to have gotten hose needs met.

      • It’s not hard to call it fleeced when you give up too much to get the best player in the deal. If Colorado traded MacKinnon, Rantanen, Jost, Makar, EJ and Barrie for Crosby, would it be fair to say Colorado was fleeced? That’s an extreme example of course but it shows that getting the best player does not automatically mean you didn’t get fleeced.

        I never claimed the deal didn’t make sense for Ottawa. I’m claiming they gave up way too much to get Duchene. They gave up their #2 center (Turris), their most recent 1st round pick, their next first round pick, and a later 3rd. In return they get our #2 center (who is definitely better than Turris) and got rid of Hammond’s contract. So a essentially a top six player and two first round picks for one top line player. That’s a really high price.

        I’m not out to try to make this trade anything I don’t genuinely see it as. Ottawa overpaid, Nashville got a fair deal, and Colorado got a great deal. Yes, every team got what they wanted and needed, but that doesn’t mean every team paid what they should have to get it.