No matter how you slice and dice it, Sakic and the Avalanche’s handling of Matt Duchene is a prime example of how not to handle a player and trade situation.
Now those who still wait with bated breath for Duchene to land on the NY Islanders… don’t.
Per source, that chance is less than 1%
The teams who are far more likely to be at least ahead of the Isles in paying for Duchene are Carolina, Columbus, Montreal, and Nashville (perhaps in that exact order).
Now, according to Darren Dreger, Ottawa Senators are now in the hunt as well. But even then…
“As many as eight teams over the last stretch of days talking with Sakic about Duchene.” – Dreger
“But the reality is none of these teams think they’re getting him. Dorion has been among the more aggressive. But I’m pretty sure Ottawa doesn’t think that they’re getting Matt Duchene.” – Dreger
He listed some interested teams like Montreal, Flames, Canucks, Kings, Predators, and Columbus.
Notice anyone missing? No Isles.
If all those possibilities fell apart for those
four five seven teams: THEN the Isles would have a shot. Otherwise, don’t waste your time thinking that he is coming OR that John Tavares signing somehow pivots on his addition. It doesn’t. JT’s resigning awaits the Belmont RFP being awarded.
In fact, despite reports of ongoing discussion with the Avs and the NY Islanders a few weeks back…. there has been NO discussion. Simply put: Isles don’t have players Avs want.
The issue throughout this process is that Avs GM Joe Sakic is acting as though Matt Duchene is a “superstar”.
In other words, other teams need to pay a “superstar price” for Matt Duchene.
According to NHL sources, GMs have offered the Avalanche a return as if Duchene is the Avs best player. BUT: will not pay a superstar price. Nobody will.
If he was a superstar: Avs would be a better team last year. That is what a superstar does. He makes the team better. Duchene is NOT that kind of player.
So therein lies the snafu Sakic has created. He has boxed himself in an impossible situation.
Nobody has increased trade offers to meet Sakic’s “superstar” demand and that will continue. Many in the NHL think he has placed himself in a losing situation…. where it doesn’t matter what he is moved for. He has already lost and Duchene’s value continues to deplete versus the reality of supply and demand.
Sakic’s only real shot of extracting ANYTHING out of all of this is if he went to the 5-6 interested teams and asked for their Best Offer with a short (24-hour) deadline. Then at that EXACT time… making an actual decision. Maybe then…. as teams see what they have for the upcoming season… someone might ante up a touch more in knowing it was do-or-die to retain Duchene’s services.
That would be a scenario where Sakic took back control of his team and the Duchene situation… creating a quick auction to wash his hands of it. Even after that, nobody will ever believe he got the best value now compared to the NHL draft or last year’s trade deadline. And… they are probably right.
Till then…. there is NO control. Matt Duchene sits unhappily on a team who publicly burned bridges and whose asking price is still out of whack with the reality of what teams are willing to pay. Sakic didn’t just get burned. The match burnt up the matchbook, blew off the hand, and smoldered off the entire limb. The entire organization is now affected by his handling. It not only depletes moral, it tells others that they could be next to be left hanging before the ship is righted. It certainly remains a huge distraction.