Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
"I can honestly say it probably bothered me for about 12 hours," Duchene said of hearing his name mentioned as a player that could be on the block. "And then it was over.
"It was because of the way I found out," he continued. "We won in Boston, and my first interview, first question the guy asked me was about trade rumours. I hadn't heard anything about it. So it was kind of sprung on me weird, and it took me a second ... it took me a little bit to digest it."
Duchene knows trades are "part of the game," but Wednesday morning, he was able to express just how much he wants to remain in Colorado.
"Obviously I love playing here," he said, "and I want to be here as long as possible, as long as we're able to put a winning team on the ice.
"I'm happy here. I want to be here. I want to be an Av. I feel like those two things are in place right now, so when that happened, probably right away it was tough, but after that it was motivation, if anything. I think my game was there before, but I was able to keep it there after, which was a good thing."
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
"We're certainly not happy about the way we've been playing all year," Roy said, despite the fact the Avs began their seven-game road trip 3-0. "We're not happy to be dead-last in the NHL. This is something we talk about and we're certainly not proud of that."
He added: "We should not try to find excuses."
Roy was then asked about goalie Semyon Varlamov, who will return from a seven-game absence and start at Winnipeg. Varlamov missed the last five games with a groin injury. He is 3-6-1 with a 3.26 goals-against average and .890 save percentage — three of the league's worst numbers for a No. 1 guy.
Varlamov is making $5.9 million annually.
"Varly needs to be the Varly of two years ago. For us to win games he needs to be our best player," Roy said. "This is how we view our team."
There’s no question the Avs have a more talented core than the Leafs with Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Landeskog and Tyson Barrie. But being a budget team that operates about $7 million under the cap, Colorado has to save somewhere, and that seems to show up on the third and fourth lines, as well as on the blueline.
Add in a style of play that’s at odds with the way most of the more successful teams are playing, or even a lower-ranked team like Toronto that has made a gigantic swing in the possession game under Mike Babcock, and the Avs just haven’t been getting close to the results they got under Roy in his rookie season.
Which puts executive vice-president of hockey operations Joe Sakic in a delicate spot.
He brought in Roy to bring back the glory in Denver, and the initial results were tremendous. But now, it seems the Avs are swimming against the prevailing current, and Roy either doesn’t want to alter the way the club plays, or can’t with the personnel he has.
-Damien Cox of Sportsnet where you can read more on the Avalanche.
from Mike Chambers of All Things Avs,
I think Duchene — who has scored five goals in his last six games and is tied with Jarome Iginla for a team-high seven — is one of the last players Colorado would trade right now. Did he have a disappointing first 10 games? Absolutely. Did Sakic talk to the Senators about a possible trade during that time? Perhaps. As I have often said, the Avs go as Duchene goes. He’s the spark plug. He’s a key piece to the offense … and the Avs love his character and commitment. He’s accountable. And make no mistake, Sakic and his staff truly appreciate the team player.
Following his entry-level contract, he accepted his modest two-year bridge deal with pride and earned his five-year, $30 million deal through 2018-19. Nobody is harder on Duchene than Duchene. Sakic sees it. And lately, Duchene has been his star player. I absolutely think Duchene — who is 24 and at the prime of his career — will continue to grow with the handful of young stars around him in Colorado.
Where did the rumor come from?
Former Denver Post hockey writer Adrian Dater wrote this piece the other day while talking to Sakic in Boston. Adrian is from the New England area and visiting family and friends.
Apparently, Adrian’s story led to this story from TSN’s Darren Dreger, as a follow-up to his “Insider Trading” segment with Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun. Dreger, McKenzie and LeBrun don’t often miss, if ever, but I have a strong feeling that if there was a genuine conversation between the Avs and Sens about Duchene, it was last month when 9 couldn’t find the net and the team was in turmoil. Right now I believe the Avs have renewed faith in their original plan to build the team around Duchene.
a bit more
The Flyers could use a player like Duchene but...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
If you missed the hit earlier, watch it here.
Dan Rosen of NHL.come answers questions from the fans...
Do you think the Colorado Avalanche deal Matt Duchene this spring?
When it comes to trade speculation I've learned to say anything is possible, nothing will shock me, and there is no way to predict what will happen. All that said, I just don't see why the Avalanche would trade Duchene this spring after trading Ryan O'Reilly during the offseason and letting Paul Stastny sign with the St. Louis Blues after the 2013-14 season. It would take a roster that was rich with talent down the middle and sap it of its depth. That doesn't make sense at all. Center, especially in the Western Conference, is a vital position; Duchene is a legitimate first- or second-line center.
If the larger point here is the Avalanche have to do something to change things up, yes, I agree. They need to address their defense and, frankly, the way they play. They are far too individualistic and that clearly doesn't work. But it doesn't make sense to trade Duchene, who should be a big part of the solution and isn't necessarily part of the problem.
more on Duchene plus numerous other hockey questions...
I don’t know if I would make the net much bigger, but I would maybe make the goal posts smaller. Then, every time it hits the post, it goes in. That makes a huge difference, because there’s a lot of crossbars and posts hit in a game.
“If we want to get the scoring up a bit, I think that would be a good way.”
-Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. More from Roy, mostly on the Avalanche from Frank Seravalli of TSN.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
As the final buzzer sounded Tuesday, what was left of the Wells Fargo Center crowd serenaded the Flyers with loud boos as they skated to the locker room.
It was well-deserved.
Colorado 4, Flyers 0.
The Flyers had talked about bringing momentum home from a nice win Saturday in Winnipeg that ended a 1-3-1 road trip, but apparently, they left it in customs.
"We're embarrassed. They're probably embarrassed," Flyers winger Ryan White said when asked about the boos....
"It wasn't a pretty game to watch," captain Claude Giroux said.". . . We need to play better together, support each other and play as a team. It's definitely not that the guys don't care. We have guys that work hard. They come to the rink every day and they're proud to be a Flyer. One day we're going to come together and, day in and day out, play as a team."
via Adrian Dater tweets,
I think the Avs will trade Duchene this year though.
Things very turbulent right now with Avs brass.This record won't stand without a shakeup.Next 2 weeks will say a lot
Unless Iginla vetoes it, he'll be traded to contender at deadline. A LOT of hockey to be played before then though
I know this: ownership won't buy in to any more "young, developing" meme if this continues. Rebuild 2.0 will happen
Check out his recent timeline for more on the Avs...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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