Duchene, who was drafted 3rd overall in the 2009 draft by the Avalanche, was set to be a free agent at the end of the 2013-14 season, but there was no way Joe Sakic was going to see that happen. “Matt already is and will be a big part of our team’s nucleus for the long term,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “We all felt that it was important for us to secure his rights for several seasons. With his great skills, speed and character, he represents the identity we want the Avalanche to be.”
Duchene, who’s part of the young talented nucleus that Joe Sakic mentioned that includes the likes of Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, and Jamie McGinn, is ready to get back on the ice. “I have been working really hard again this summer,” said Duchene, “and I am looking forward to the upcoming training camp and season.”
The 4-year center hopes to improve upon his nearly point per game performance in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, the season that followed his injury-shortened season in 2011-12. His left-knee and right-ankle injuries in that season in which he only played 58 games, was likely the reason behind his 2-year extension in 2012 that was only worth $7 million. That smaller contract had a lot to do with those injuries, and his new extension has a whole lot to do with his 193 pts (82G, 111A) in 266 career games.
But with his bounce-back season in 2013, Duchene gets the extension he was looking for with the Avalanche. “I have worn this uniform with pride in my first four professional seasons in Denver, and I appreciate the organization believing in me for the long-term future.”
Duchene’s contract is a five-year deal worth $30 million, and his contract is the first domino to fall, as the deals of Gabriel Landeskog (Restricted), Ryan O’Reilly (Restricted), Semyon Varlamov (Restricted), Jamie McGinn (Restricted), and Paul Stastny (Unrestricted) are all up in 2014.
But it’s good to know that Duchene is locked up for the future and a member of the Avalanche for years to come. He’s one of the young and promising scorers in this game, and the investment in a formerly high-draft pick is a good feeling for Avalanche fans.
The quotes in this story are courtesy of ColoradoAvalanche.com.