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Columnist says Avs should extend Duchene’s deal this summer

Apr 24, 2013, 9:25 AM EDT

mattducheneslidegetty Getty Images

While it’s true that Matt Duchene struggled last season, it was still surprising to see the Colorado Avalanche sign him to a relatively cheap two-year, $7 million contract in the summer of 2012. After a resurgence in 2013, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater is calling for the team to ink him to another contract extension this summer.

Beyond keeping their best player from 2013 (along with P.A. Parenteau) in the fold, Dater argues that it clarifies where Duchene stands among teammates such as Ryan O’Reilly.

By giving Duchene a rich new extension (I’m thinking five years, $30 million to $35 million sounds about right), they’ll make him the top dog on the pay scale again and keep a top young talent locked up for a good while. Because, as we saw with O’Reilly, you never know when things can get sideways at the negotiating table. Better to keep that possibility at arm’s length for as long as fiscally, sensibly possible. Besides, what if Duchene has a monster year next season on the final year of his contract? Maybe that $35 million will look cheap by then.

Dater believes the Avalanche will indeed get something done this summer (they can do so as early as June 22, the anniversary of his last deal).

Before you scoff at handing Duchene, 22, note the disparity between the young star’s numbers – alongside Parenteau’s – and Colorado’s next highest scorers:

Parenteau: 41 points
Ducehne: 40 points
Jamie McGinn: 22 points
Paul Stastny: 22 points

Even when you consider O’Reilly’s holdout and Stastny’s minor injury issues, that’s a stark difference. Some might say that’s enough evidence to get something done as soon as possible.

  1. alicesrightfootesq - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Might be a good idea since he seems like one of the few people in the organization who cares about being an Av.

  2. tfaltin - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    No question, kid’s a rising star. Dynamic scorer with speed to burn.

  3. polegojim - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Totally agreed on Duchene – the guy can skate and score… he’d be incredible with a better supporting cast. Also reason 528 Sacco should be dumped… this is the same kid he tried to run out of Denver.

    As shown by his season results, Stastny performance has been quite disappointing.

    OReilly has proven to be the head case we all suspected… and who didn’t even REMOTELY perform after all that contract and demand drama. The guy performed like a one-year contract, 4th liner.

  4. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    $7M a year might be a bit steep, but I agree they need to get a deal done. I still think they could have got O’Reilly for around $4M a year for two years instead of his large increase next year if they just would have got the deal DONE. Instead they let another team step in and do the bargaining for them…horrible business.

    So it will be interesting to see if the Av’s management learns from their mistakes an actually tries to put a winner on the ice.

  5. profsudz - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I’m sure the Avs would want to sign him, but I doubt that he would want to tie his entire future to a club that has no intention of winning

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