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Sakic’s retirement might just open the door for Duchene

Terry Frei
The Denver Post

Shortly before the Joe Sakic retirement news conference began Thursday, a pack of young players filed into the Inverness auditorium and took seats in one of the back rows.

Only one of them, winger Ryan Stoa, a second-round 2005 draft choice who signed with the Avalanche last spring, was born when Sakic played his first NHL game in 1988.

Sakic’s announcement came roughly four hours after the highly touted Matt Duchene, the No. 3 overall choice in the June 26 entry draft, took the ice for the first time at the Avalanche’s practice facility.

The Avs’ determination to cut payroll, get younger and rebuild through the draft was in evidence when they traded Ryan Smyth to Los Angeles over the weekend. Sakic’s retirement – something the team had known was coming for about two weeks – provides further emphasis that the winds of change are reaching gale-force status.

For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_12806402


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