© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
This often happens. The “returning player” storyline is an irresistible one to media people. It makes for an easy story. Just ask “What are your thoughts on XYZ former player/teammate returning to play you guys”, transcribe the tape recorder, post it online and, voila, easy day at the office.
Most players you ask about it, though? Couldn’t care less. Players don’t care about guys they don’t play with anymore. They don’t care.
Players’ No. 1 concern – and I’ve said this for a long time, after lots of observation – care about the following things in their career, in order, in my opinion: 1. Their own career. 2. Their health. 3. Their contract status. 4. Whether the team is a winner or not. 5. Their teammates.
“What I think about a former teammate coming in for a game” ranks approximately 924 on their care lists.
So, I’m not going to bore you with a lot of transcribed stuff from the Avs’ locker room today, on the subject of Matt Duchene returning to Denver tomorrow to play here for the first time since the trade of last year. The players don’t care about it. It’s just another game to them. They don’t give two hoots about Matt Duchene. That’s not to say they hate him or anything. They just don’t care about him.
But it’s part of their job description to answer questions posed to them, and most of the questions posed to them today – at least at the start – were about Matt Duchene.
To a man – and maybe the Avs were coached a little on this by PR beforehand – Avs players practically had to stifle yawns when asked questions about Duchene. That included coach Jared Bednar, whose basic attitude was, well, “I don’t care about Matt Duchene anymore.”
I’m just going to leave the audio here of about a 5-minute interview with Erik Johnson. You’ll get the picture on what I’m saying if you listen to it. Johnson did have some fairly interesting things to say about what it’s like to play in your old building again, that first time, after a trade.
Some quick-hit Avs updates before I post that audio: Philipp Grubauer in goal tomorrow. Bednar may make some other lineup changes, or he may not. Still deciding on that. Most of practice today was spent trying to teach players how to attack the net better.
See you tomorrow…