As the wait for a Matt Duchene trade keeps turning more and more into the hockey version of “Waiting For Godot”, Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic seems utterly unfazed by impatient fans (and media) screaming for him to “Do something!”

As far as Duchene is concerned, he is a member of the Colorado Avalanche hockey club now and will be until he isn’t. The rest is just Twitter noise, and Sakic doesn’t have an account nor does he check out what the latest tweets are on the subject.

“I don’t have much to say about the rumors. I don’t create them,” Sakic replied to a question by BSNDenver on a conference call Saturday afternoon, on a day when the Avs added Jonathan Bernier and Colin Wilson to their lineup. “You guys will know if we make a move to help our club.”

That hasn’t stopped the Twitter machine from going into overdrive with various Duchene trade rumors. The ones currently most in vogue involve a possible deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

But, sources tell BSN, Sakic simply will not cave in on his demands to get, at least, a bona-fide, top-four young defenseman back in any deal involving Duchene. Teams can come at Sakic all they want with names, but unless they’re in the top-four and already established, and young, they can forget about it.

The fact is, Duchene remains a young, established top-six, NHL all-star forward who has won a gold medal for Team Canada. He’s not going out the door in some distress sale. Sakic, sources tell BSN, will keep Duchene moving forward unless current offers improve.

Asked if he does want to upgrade the team’s current defense, Sakic said:

Sakic praised the incoming Wilson, the veteran from Nashville, as a “Big body who can go to the net”, who will complement Gabe Landeskog and A.J. Greer on the left side (the fact that Sakic mentioned Landeskog puts to rest any trade rumors that might have involved him).

Sakic praised Bernier as a goalie who had a “good season” for Anaheim, who will give the Avs a solid “1-2 punch” with Semyon Varlamov, who will be “100 percent healthy” by training camp.

Sakic also said the team has decided on who will be hired as new assistant coaches, but that they won’t be announced until “we can get them all together.”


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, 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.

  • MikeL

    Joe doesn’t really want to trade him and probably won’t. Not taking the Isle’s offer was probably indicative of no offer will be good enough.

    • The Heretic

      The Isle’s offer was indicative of nothing. All it showed was you can’t pay in credit when the sign says “cash only”.

      It’s been made very clear that Joe want a young (under 25) d-man. That is a proven top 4.

      It’s not Joe’s fault that the Isles thought enough picks and prospects would be enough. Joe made it very clear he is looking for a d-man that can help now.

      • OCMS

        I took a look at Cap Friendly and filtered by defense and sorted by age. Under 25 already established top 4 player is almost non-existent. Most of them have never even played a game in the NHL. A quick look at their stats, virtually none are “established top 4.” Most have a stat line identical to Chris Bigras and Anton Lindholm.

        If this is Sakic’s asking price, all of this seems more like a publicity stunt than anything else, because teams just don’t trade top 4 D-men very often, especially if they are under 25.

        • The Heretic

          And those same teams that won’t trade top 4 d-men are the same teams that try for years to aquire a top line center and fail every year.

          Despite the narratives number one centers are just as valuable as top 4 d. Duchene is a valuable asset that we should be more than happy to utilize if the price isn’t met.

          • OCMS

            The main problem is the “under 25” requirement. Those are much harder to come by than a young center.

            Yes he is a valuable asset and it would be great if the Avs could use him for years to come. Unfortunately, Sakic and Roy have completely messed with his head and I am concerned that his ability to produce here is over. The Worlds was a perfect example of this.

          • The Heretic

            That’s why you should start praying Bednar is the coach we need. That’s what I’m doing.

      • WorkingMan

        …”you can’t pay in credit when the sign says cash only”.

        That’s one of the best was to describe the situation I’ve heard. People seem frustrated because nothing has been done. But I haven’t heard of one deal that the Avs should have taken. Harmonic and a first is the best I’ve heard, but even the draft pick being included is being debated. Sakic should hold out for a good offer and if nothing happens just make nice with Duchene.

  • OCMS

    Joe holding firm on what he believes Duchene’s value to be might end up being a genius move. Maybe opening day rolls around and we all look back and see that Joe pulled it off.

    Or maybe not. Maybe we get to opening day and Duchene is either still on the roster or he ended up being traded for an offer that wasn’t as good as Sakic could have gotten at the last deadline, on draft day, or July 1. If this turns out to be the case, then there was never stronger proof that Sakic needs to go.