Post’s Kiszla says: Trade the Hurricane, Matt Duchene

Pundit opines that an Avs deal for a big UFA like Nash is a no brainer


“If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,
If turnips were swords I’d have one by my side.
If ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans
There’d be no need for tinkers’ hands! (John Ray)

DENVER – IF PUNDITS were wheat, we’d all be well fed.

If writers were prophets, we’re better off dead.

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Who knows? The column postulates that O’Reilly ain’t good enough, Stastny’s too old and Duchene is just right… as trade bait for the likes of a Rick Nash, Photo by Karl Gehring, The Denver Post.

Mark Kiszla is a wistful and enigmatic scribe for the Denver Post; a man with a not so curious compunction to skedaddle and sashay in the wings like an ADHD stage mom with a precocious 8 year old Annie about to  debut on the Great White Way.

Kiszla is a pundit and his soliloquys are his raison d’etre. Just like Hamlet or Holden Caulfield.

This week Kiszla popped a piece of pickled peppered prose about Haliburton’s Hurricane, Matty Duchene.

It’s a telling piece because Kiszla is a knowledgable – if not prescient – insider; and it is important because it educates us to the vagaries of the ingenue in the NHL.

Hockey is business and you’re only as good as your last season. And Matt Duchene’s injury riddled 2011-12 campaign did him no favors. Remember that only three years hence, Matt Duchene was heralded as the second coming of Joe Sakic, his childhood hero.

Kiszla’s column is a rational reckoning of chance as a determinant and serves to highlight some of the more cogent points of Malcolm Gladwell’s treatise on life, luck and lineage, “Outliers.”

Mark Kiszla: Dealing Avs’ Matt Duchene a smart idea

Mark Kiszla – Denver Post

This hockey town isn’t big enough for Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly.

Three outstanding centers are one more than Colorado needs.

Somebody needs to go.

Somebody needs to be bait for the well-known, top-scoring, fed-up wingers on the NHL trade market, Bobby Ryan of Anaheim and Rick Nash of Columbus.

The Avs have a need for somebody to put the puck in the net and a happy surplus of playmakers.

So what’s Colorado general manager Greg Sherman going to do about it?

Whenever the Avs lose two in a row, fans automatically take out their frustration on Stastny, whose rock-solid (and often boring) work on the ice never matches the expectations of his $6.6 million salary.

But here’s a different take: Duchene is the center who makes the most sense for the Avs to trade.

His flash would be an easy sell for a GM in another market. At 21 years old, his potential stirs the imagination. His new two-year, $7 million contract is easy to digest under the salary cap.

It’s as obvious as the grimace on the face of coach Joe Sacco that Duchene is simply not the type of player the Avs thought they were getting with the No. 3 selection in the 2009 draft. I like Duchene. But isn’t it apparent Colorado management likes O’Reilly more?

After averaging 33 goals the past four seasons, Anaheim’s Ryan figures to be entering his prime at age 25.

Put Nash on a line with Stastny, and here’s betting Stastny would stop looking so dull.

The Avalanche has been bashed for thrifty spending, slow rebuilding and not landing free agent Zach Parise, who recently went to Minnesota for a crazy-rich deal one yacht shy of $100 million.

Kudos to Sherman and the Avs for resisting the urge to dumbly overspend on Parise.

Let the intelligent work begin. Colorado needs a scorer. Duchene can be the bait.

The heat is horrific in Denver this time of year.

Now before you get to thinking that Mr. Kiszla has been spending too much time under the Colorado sun without a helmet?

Remember the prescience of one Robert Service:

“There are strange things done ‘neath the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold.
The arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold.”

And keep in mind that the moilers still rule the toilers in the guileless and ruthless gold standard world of the NHL.

Fellow Haliburtons: Send screeds to Mark Kiszla: 303-954-1053, or