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Columnist: Avs should consider dealing Duchene

Jul 9, 2012, 12:27 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Lightning v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

Over at the Denver Post, Mark Kiszla offers up an idea that would’ve sounded crazy two years ago:

Should the Avalanche think about trading Matt Duchene?

Duchene, 21, is less than two years removed from a 24-goal, 55-point debut season (at age 18, no less) that saw him make the NHL’s All-Rookie team and finish third in Calder voting.

He followed that up with a solid sophomore campaign — career highs in goals, assists and points — before last year’s frustrating, injury-riddled campaign.

According to Kiszla, Colorado’s issue isn’t so much with Duchene as its wealth of talent down the middle.

The Avs also have first-line center Paul Stastny — on the books for $6.6 million annually until 2014 — and Ryan O’Reilly, who had a breakout season in 2011-12: 18G-37A-55PTS, finished 14th in Selke voting.

From The Post:

Duchene is the center who makes the most sense for the Avs to trade.

His flash would be an easy sell for a GM in another market. At 21 years old, his potential stirs the imagination. His new two-year, $7 million contract is easy to digest under the salary cap.

It’s as obvious as the grimace on the face of coach Joe Sacco that Duchene is simply not the type of player the Avs thought they were getting with the No. 3 selection in the 2009 draft. I like Duchene. But isn’t it apparent Colorado management likes O’Reilly more?

Duchene quietly signed his deal on Day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft, a move that raised eyebrows because 1) it was so short, 2) it was relatively cheap and 3) it had a Kyle Turris-ian feel to it — a young guy inking a cap-friendly contract that could facilitate a trade further down the road.

(Of note, Turris signed his two-year extension with Phoenix on Nov. 22. On Dec. 17, he was traded to Ottawa.)

If you’re wondering what potential trade partner would be willing to dance, Kiszla brings up a good match in Anaheim — specifically, a move for Bobby Ryan.

The Ducks could use depth down the middle (Saku Koivu or Andrew Cogliano project to be the No. 2 center) and the Avs could certainly use a goalscoring winger to play alongside Stastny and/or O’Reilly.

  1. jernster21 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Kiszla is a troll and a bitter old man who should never be taken serious, nor should he write anything ever again.

  2. tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Buffalo Sabres!

    • dhawks19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Good idea but 4 who

      • tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:10 PM


  3. ct14flyers - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    He’s still too young and talented. Who’s to say O’Reilly doesn’t coming crashing down next year? They need him.

  4. sjb48 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I think they would be crazy to trade him. He is only 21 and could be great.

    • polegojim - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      At 25th in the league, the Avs could use ANYBODY who can score a goal, PERIOD! They’re just above COLUMBUS… WHOO HOOOO – at least there’s that!

      Avs they have sweaters in the lineup, but ‘depth’??? I hope they deal Duchene, for his own sake.

      So far, the Avs have ZERO evidence that they can develop young players. Guys like Duchene have actually gone DOWNHILL while in the Avs Player UnderDevelopment program.

      Paul Stastny is a first-liner… but his overall league ranking is 82nd and -8, right about where other teams DEFENSEMEN start showing up in typical offensive rankings.

      I really LIKE Stastny, but see him as a victim, another woefully underdeveloped player…who is now 26 and 7th year in league. He has the potential to be in the top 20.

      Just like Duchene, Paul could be SO much more under a true ‘development’ system.

      • jernster21 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        He’s gone downhill? Last I checked he’s only played 3 seasons, 55 pts, 67 pts and 28 pts as a result of knee and ankle injuries (can’t do much on the ice when you can barely skate, and considering Duchene’s speed is his biggest asset…). Not to mention when he was healthy he wasn’t playing with anyone worth a crap and continually getting flip flopped around because Sacco doesn’t know how to use him properly. They went out and got Parenteau to play with Duchene – next year should be pretty telling year for a Duchene who wants to prove all the nay sayers wrong and shut people up. We shall see.

      • polegojim - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        My point EXACTLY!!!!!!

        His performance has gone down… because of Avs system, not lack of talent. I have NO confidence in Avs staff or system.

        Bluntly, I believe Duchene is wasting his talent by spending time in a ‘Sacco Dog House’, where he does NOT belong.

      • jernster21 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        I think the system is fine as long as you have the right personnel to complement the stars on your team. Stastny and Duchene aren’t the type of players that are going to grind in the corners and win those battles – they need the McGinns/Jones/Downies/Landeskogs of the team to win those battles and get the puck to guys like Duchene. The problem with Duchene is that he needs other players on the ice to create space for him – when you have someone as skilled a Duchene but you pair him up with scrubs, he’s never going to have any time or space, thus, he becomes pretty easy to stop, not to mention, he tries to do it all himself…pair him up with equally skilled players and he’s not going to have to feel like he has to do it all himself.

      • polegojim - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Again – Agreed!!!

        But what you described is a broken ‘system’ of coaching, player personnel, and linemate decisions.

        You can’t say the system is fine… but they just don’t know how to manage it. Sacco and Co ARE the system. Their decisions MAKE UP the system. IE- I say the system is broken and mismanaged.

        The reason I’m sooooo passionate? I used to have great respect for the Avs.

        Minnesota was even worse than the Avs last season…. look what they did to shore up performance!!!

        For the last 8 years, I’ve painfully watched them flounder and flop around like dying seals on the ice. The commitment to winning seems to have evaporated.

      • southstands1 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        I think you’ll see Landeskog-O’Reilly on one line and Duchene-Parenteau on another. Two quality guys on each line to make both very potent. Add in guys like Jones, Downie, and McGinn at the other wing and I think you’re in business.

      • polegojim - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        I think you’re VERY optimistic…. but good for you.

        I hope you’re right.

  5. southstands1 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Everyone in Denver knows that Kizla is an idiot. Nobody bothers reading his garbage because he just throws out a couple of paragraphs of controversy without having the first clue what he’s really talking about.

    Duchene is an anchor for the Avs and will be for years to come.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      Not an Avs fan but as a Broncos loyalist I check the DP website all the time and it took my about 2 seconds to realize that you never trust anything written by Woody Paige or Mark Kizla (Klis is pretty borderline too) Paige is just a loudmouth fan with a soapbox who doesn’t really seem to know much about sports and it’s getting worse as all of his “insiders” with the Broncos have whittled away. Meanwhile Kizla is just a jackass who wants to get people talking about him so he says the exact opposite of popular sentiment (or common sense) in a hope that it will create a buzz, I still remember him saying the Broncos should trade their entire draft to move up and get Mike Williams from USC, who he decided was going to be one of the all-time great receivers…how’d that turn out Mark?

  6. emperorzero - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    The one thing I have learned from the Avalanche over the last couple of years is you can’t just expect players to necessarily improve (see Stastny, Paul). There is no guarantee that O’Reilly, Landenskog, Varlamov, and Johnson. will take the next step in development. I would wait to see how the team plays for the first two months and then decide if a move needs to be made or not. It’s still a very young team and the Avs need to see how the team plays beofre deciding if Duchesne or anyone else needs to be moved.

    • jernster21 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      If they fail to make progress the only move that should be made is the firing of Joe Sacco. He’s going to have a pretty short leash now that David Quinn is an assistant, maybe that alone pushes things in the right direction.

      • emperorzero - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Which with the talent the Avalanche appear to have would be the correct move.

  7. sergeikremlin - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Gotta write about something in the dog days of summer. Foolish idea

  8. jovocop2112 - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Look at what signing a new coach did for St. Louis. If any center should be traded, it’s Stasny – but really more then anything getting Sacco out would be the best thing the Av’s could do

  9. dhawks19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    To Toronto 4 a good winger

    • lolnowhy - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      but Toronto doesn’t have any good wingers

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