NHL players have some fallback talking points when it comes to potential trades. “It’s part of the business” being the most popular operative phrase.
But he also said a little more.
“I’m open to it,” Duchene said Wednesday. “When I say open to it, I know it’s part of the business, and it’s something that might happen. I’m not hiding from it. I’m not running away. I’m not banging my head. I understand it’s part of what we deal with as pro athletes.”
As we talked, Duchene sniffled and wiped his nose while contemplating a departure from the only NHL franchise he has known. But Duchene was fighting the lingering effects of a nasty bout with the flu, not his emotions. Just to make certain, I asked: Is it tougher to deal with a queasy stomach or the uncertainty of swirling trade rumors?
“The stomach flu. For sure. Big time,” replied Duchene, laughing. “The trade rumor stuff is part of the business. I understand that at this juncture of the season, (with) the way things are going, something may happen, something may not. We’ll see.”
We’re not trying to paint Duchene as some sort of Ryan O’Reilly “anywhere but here” guy, or like he’s asking out or some such. But when you read that, you start to imagine that Duchene has accepted that things in Colorado might get worse before they get better. That his contract ($6 million annually, through 2019 without trade protection) makes him very portable. That he’s never seen the second round of the playoffs. And so on.
All of this is reinforced when Duchene says, via the Post:
“I’m a member of the Avalanche today,” said Duchene, professing great pride in taking the ice in the Pepsi Center. “Who knows what tomorrow holds?”
Maybe a uniform change.
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