Center Matt Duchene wrote a farewell letter to the Colorado Avalanche and their fans the morning after he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in a three-team trade that also sent center Kyle Turris from the Senators to the Nashville Predators on Sunday.
Duchene dressed for the Avalanche's game against the New York Islanders and played 1:59 in the first period before being removed from an eventual 6-4 loss at Barclays Center.
"I want to thank the [Avalanche] organization, coaching, equipment and training staff for all you did for me in my eight-plus years," Duchene wrote in a message he tweeted. "I appreciate everything so much. It was an absolute honor and privilege to live a crazy childhood dream and play for my favorite team.
"To my teammates, thank you. I truly love you guys and thank you for your friendship. It was great going to battle with you every night. I will miss all of you. All of the best going forward!"
Video: COL@NYI: Rosen breaks down Duchene trade
Colorado acquired defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft from Nashville, and forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, a first-round selection in the 2018 draft and a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from Ottawa, and sent Duchene to the Senators to complete the trade.
Duchene, 26, had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 14 games with the Avalanche this season. He had 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) and was minus-34 in 77 games last season, when Colorado finished last in the NHL with 48 points (22-56-4).
Chosen by the Avalanche with the No. 3 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Duchene has played his entire nine-season NHL career with them. He has 428 points (178 goals, 250 assists) in 586 games.
"To the fans, you guys are unbelievable," Duchene wrote. "The love and support you showed me in my time as an [Avalanche] was incredible, especially this past summer and this season. It was truly humbling and I'm so grateful for you. Thank you.
"To Colorado ... thank you. You gave me a dream as a kid, made that dream come true as a teenager and gave me a wife, a dog and a home as a man. I cannot thank you enough for giving me such a blessed life. You will always hold a piece of my heart.
"Thank you so much."
Duchene will play his first two games with the Senators against the Avalanche in the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series. The Avalanche and Senators play Friday and Saturday at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.