By this point, many of you have heard the sweet story of how Matt Duchene helped make an 11 year old girl’s birthday amazing. If you haven’t read the whole story, you can head over here, or read my brief summary below.
Trista Greer, a young girl living in Ontario, Canada had a rough time in school this year. Bullying became an overwhelming aspect of her life. When her father, Wayde, saw that a team-signed Boston Bruins jersey was available for auction at the Minden Flood Relief Golf tournament, he called as many family members as possible, so that together they could hopefully win the jersey as a birthday present. His efforts amounted to a weighty sum of money, but items were going for exorbitant prices (and all to help a good cause). By the time bidding reached the $1,100 mark, Wayde Greer had thrown in the towel. Until Matt Duchene, sitting across the table, told him to keep bidding, because he would cover it. Eventually, the jersey went for $2,000, and the money came out of Duchene’s pocket. Duchene made sure to add a birthday card, and Trista got one of the coolest birthday gifts a hockey fan can get.
This story has been receiving attention, as well it should. What Duchene did was extraordinarily kind-hearted, and there are few things as special as the sheer joy you can see on Trista’s face in the picture her father posted. As an Avs fan, and a big Duchene fan, I’ve seen how much he has given back to the community, and I feel very proud of him. He’s the type of guy you want on your team, not just because of his skill (although that’s pretty fantastic by itself), but because he does so much as a recognizable member of the community, for the community. He’s a 22 year old professional athlete, and he has it all together. I know it’s more fun to focus on the stumblings of young players, but every once and awhile, it’s nice to see acknowledgement of the ones who are chugging along steadily.
Also, today was the Avalanche’s turn in the NHL’s annual “30 in 30” previews of teams for the upcoming season. The overall consensus seems to be that they are on the way up, but not necessarily there yet. According to the staff, goal prevention is the team’s number one question mark. (Hmm, you think?) While Patrick Roy is the x-factor. (He always seems to be in the Avalanche world, doesn’t he?) Nathan McKinnon is the top prospect, (because he’s still technically a prospect, even though we’ve been told he’s the third line center for the game on October 2 against the Ducks.) Oh and here’s their lineup prediction, (of course Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau are going to be split up, they only played 47 games together and earned a combined 86 points).