Asking idol Joe Sakic for commerce from Avalanche robust

11:13 AM ET

  • Greg WyshynskiESPN

Matt Duchene stated it was probably the most troublesome request he has ever made.

The Colorado Avalanche, his favourite crew as a baby, drafted him third total in 2009. Duchene spent the following 9 seasons as one of many franchise’s best gamers, scoring the fourth-most targets (178) since they moved from Quebec in 1995. But Duchene felt it was time to go away the crew, earlier than his contract was up in Summer 2019 and earlier than it entered yet one more rebuilding section — so he needed to ask the crew’s common supervisor Joe Sakic, his favourite participant rising up, to maneuver him.

“Asking for a trade out of Colorado, from Joe Sakic who was my idol, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” stated Duchene on Monday in Ottawa, after the Senators acquired him in a three-way blockbuster commerce that despatched heart Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators and 7 property — gamers and picks — to the Avalanche.

Matt Duchene will get a brand new alternative with the Senators. Jared Silber/NHLI through Getty Images

“It was something I sat on for a long time. I wanted to wait and see how things panned out,” Duchene stated. “Last year when it happened, it was around the time I saw the writing on the wall in terms of the future of that franchise, in terms of the rest of my contract. We had a horrific year last year, and I could see a rebuild coming. It was something I’ve been a part of, multiple times, and I just couldn’t do it.”

The largest problem with one other rebuild? That Duchene has barely tasted playoff hockey, particularly compared with John Tavares (24 playoff video games) and Victor Hedman (65), the 2 gamers drafted forward of him in 2009.

“I wanted to play playoff hockey. I have eight playoff games to my name right now. For me, that’s not where I want to be at this point in my career,” stated Duchene on becoming a member of the Senators, who made the Eastern Conference finals in coach Guy Boucher’s first season in 2016-17.

“I only have one shot at this. I get to play this game for however long my body lets me play it.”

It took over a yr for the Avalanche to meet Duchene’s commerce request as a result of Sakic’s asking worth. The 26-year-old star heart wore that uncertainty like an anchor, to the purpose the place Duchene was accused of packing it in within the remaining months of Colorado’s 48-point last-place season. He had three targets and 6 badists in his final 33 video games.

“He didn’t want to be a Colorado Avalanche anymore. The fact that he didn’t want to be a player for the team anymore, I think guys in the room were kind of waiting for it [a trade] to happen too. We all want to play for this team and win in Denver, and he wanted to go somewhere else. That’s his right,” defenseman Erik Johnson advised BSN Denver on Sunday.

Duchene stated final season “was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through” so far as taking part in on a hockey crew that he had requested to go away.

“We went so far down the drain. I struggled. I was dealing with this stuff. I was a maturity process for me, a learning process. I think something that’s made me stronger. If I can handle that, I can handle almost anything,” stated Duchene.

He admitted that he “didn’t expect to be back in that uniform coming into camp,” however Duchene performed 14 video games for Colorado and had 10 factors this season. That effort, based on Senators common supervisor Pierre Dorion, was extra indicative of Duchene’s character than something that occurred final season.

“We all know what was going on in Colorado with Matt. The one thing that really impressed me was that he asked for a trade, but no matter what the tough circumstances were, he went to camp, played well and never said a bad word about the Avalanche. That told me a lot about his character,” Dorion stated on Monday.

Duchene, who will put on No. 95 with the Senators since Nos. 9 and 19 are spoken for, stated he is prepared to show the web page on his previous and begin anew with the Senators, even when the emotional goodbye with this former common supervisor nonetheless resonates.

“It was a relief to have this behind me. It was a long time going through everything. I have nothing but great things to say about my time on Colorado and the people there. There’s no such thing as a perfect human being, but for me Joe Sakic is pretty darn close. He’s a guy I’ve looked up to my whole life,” stated Duchene.

“A lot of people pitted us against each other at times, but it was never like that. We had a great relationship, and we both had a bit of a tear in our eyes yesterday when he talked to me.”


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