Matt Duchene is coming off the worst full season of his career, in which he posted his lowest point total since 2011-12 (41) while blowing away his previous worst of minus-12 with a minus-34 rating that tied teammate Tyson Barrie for last in the NHL. He was far from the only Colorado player to struggle during the Avalanche's forgettable 2016-17 campaign, so it's possible that they will bounce back as a group and play more like the team that averaged 86 points per season over the previous two. At just 26 years of age, Duchene certainly has time to get back on an upward trajectory and should once again feature on the first line and top power-play unit. He should be the second Av off the board after Nathan MacKinnon - assuming he's still in Denver come October.
Duchene will report to training camp while the team continues to look for a trade partner, Darren Dreger of TSN reports. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Duchene is looking for a way out of the Mile High City after the club's disastrous 2016-17 season. The Avs appear to be in full rebuild mode, while the 26-year-old clearly wants to be on a winner. Where he ends up will be the subject of speculation through the rest of camp -- as will the return on investment Colorado can get for a player of his caliber.
Duchene is expected to be in training camp for Colorado amid ongoing rumors that he could be traded, The Denver Post reports. The prolific scoring winger surprisingly made it through the expansion draft, regular entry draft, and a July 1 free-agency signing bonanza without moving on from the lowly Avalanche. While he still has two years and $12 million left on a five-year contract, many hockey pundits thought he'd be long gone by now. Regardless of his destination, Duchene's focus will be improving upon a lackluster 2016-17 campaign in which he posted 41 points -- his lowest since an abbreviated 2011-12 season -- and a career-worst minus-34 rating.
Duchene ended his nine-game point drought with a goal and two assists Tuesday against Chicago. He also finished with five shots on goal, the fifth time he's done so this season. Duchene needed a big game in a bad way, having been mired in the worst slump of his professional career; he'd taken just eight shots over the course of that nine-game skid. He's on pace to finish with the worst offensive numbers of his career, but Duchene will at least make it five straight 40-point seasons. It's certainly been a very disappointing season overall for Duchene and the Avs, but an offseason retooling of Colorado's roster could lead to a bounce-back in 2017-18.
Duchene is mired in an 11-game scoring slump. He's minus-11 in the same span, so Duchene's forgettable season continues. He appears simply to be playing out the season for an awful Avs squad. Duchene's minus-28 is perilously close to the number of points he has on the year (36). Yikes. The bench is the only place for him in most fantasy formats.
Duchene scored a goal and added an assist in Sunday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Lightning. Duchene is a remarkable talent, but his season has been running on Gravol. It's no secret he's on the trade block; he'll assume a top-line role no matter where he lands. And that means Duchene's value will go up fast.
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