While many have expected the Avalanche to deal center Matt Duchene with him being in the rumor mill dating back to last season, some general managers around the league now believe that GM Joe Sakic is trying to convince Duchene to stick it out in Colorado, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on a segment with WGR 550 in Buffalo (audio link). Duchene’s preference to be dealt has been well-known for a while now so on the surface, it would feel like a longshot for the team to convince him to rescind his trade request now after everything that has transpired; Dreger adds that he still expects a trade to happen at some point. Assuming Sakic could persuade him to stick it out with the Avs, Duchene still wouldn’t be able to sign a contract extension until July.
Despite his unhappiness with his situation, Duchene is off to a nice start this season with eight points (3-5-8) through ten games which have him tied for the team lead with blueliner Tyson Barrie. That will certainly allow Sakic to keep the asking price as high as it has been dating back to last season and afford him the time to try to convince Duchene to have a change of heart if that is indeed the route they’re now trying to go.
More from Colorado:
- Winger J.T. Compher is two-to-three weeks away from returning to the lineup as he continues his recovery from a broken thumb, head coach Jared Bednar told BSN Denver’s Adrian Dater. The 22-year-old continues to skate daily which should help in terms of conditioning when he gets the green light to return. In eight games this season, Compher has a goal and three assists while averaging a little over 15 minutes per night.
- Compher’s replacement now finds himself banged up as well as winger Gabriel Bourque suffered an upper-body injury last night, notes Betsy Helfand of the Denver Post. He left Friday’s loss against Vegas in the first period and did not return. Alexander Kerfoot also left the game in the third period. Bednar didn’t have an immediate update on either player.
- With those two injuries, the Avs announced (Twitter link) that they’ve promoted forwards Rocco Grimaldi and Andrew Agozzino from AHL San Antonio. The undersized Grimaldi has seen NHL action in each of the last three seasons while Agozzino is their top scorer at the minor league level with eight points through the first seven games of 2017-18. To make room for them on the roster, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports (Twitter link) that Bourque and Colin Wilson have been placed on IR.