United States

Return on Duchene trade will help shape Avalanche’s defense for years

Two years ago the perception of the Colorado Avalanche was very, very, very different than it is today. At the start of the 2017-18 season they had missed the playoffs three years in a row and six of the past seven, while one of their best returning players, Matt Duchene, wanted out. It was a wish that the Avalanche management eventually granted him early in the season. It has turned out to be one of the franchise-altering moments over the past two years that has seen the Avalanche become one of the best young teams in the league, one that looks to be on the verge of becoming a fearsome Stanley Cup contender. Nothing has played a bigger role in that rapid improvement Nathan MacKinnon turning into a top-5 player in the league and Mikko ...