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‘Here to honor my contract’ -- Duchene reports to Avalanche camp

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 19: Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche awaits a face off against the Edmonton Oilers at Pepsi Center on December 19, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Oilers 5-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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The Colorado Avalanche opened training camp on Thursday and Matt Duchene was there -- after several days of speculation about whether or not he would report and months of trade talk.

The trade rumors still persist (see here and here) and, despite his contract being a potential hurdle, a deal involving the 26-year-old forward as the centerpiece may some day get done.

But as of Thursday, he’s still a member of the Avalanche and he was back with his teammates.

He even delivered a brief statement, though, per multiple reports, he didn’t take additional questions.

While Duchene reported, there was one notable absence on Thursday.

Defenseman Nikita Zadorov, one of only four remaining restricted free agents across the NHL, was not there for the beginning of camp. While awaiting a new deal with Colorado, there had been rumblings this summer that the towering 22-year-old blue liner could go back to Russia and the KHL.