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Avs re-sign Duchene: five years, $30 million

Jul 18, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

Matt Duchene AP

The Colorado Avalanche made a big splash on Thursday, signing Matt Duchene to a five-year contract extension.

According to Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press, the deal is worth $30 million overall, good for an average annual cap hit of $6 million.

“Matt already is and will be a big part of our team’s nucleus for the long term,” Avs vice president Joe Sakic said in a statement. “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, 22, has been arguably the face of the franchise since debuting as an 18-year-old in 2009-10.

As the Avs noted in their press release, he already ranks 30th on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 193 points in 266 career games.

Last year, Duchene tied for the Avalanche scoring lead with 43 points, leading the club with 26 assists.

This new extension is likely a reward for the deal Duchene signed last June.

Eyebrows were raised when he inked a modest two-year, $7 million deal, but it now appears both club and player were on the same page, looking to ink a more lucrative extension down the road.

“In 2009, I was thrilled to have been selected by the Avalanche, my favorite team,” Duchene told the Avs website. “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.”

With the signing, Duchene will become the club’s second-highest paid player — only Paul Stastny has a higher ($6.6 million) cap hit.

He’ll also be making slightly more than fellow 2009 draftee John Tavares (Tavares went first overall, Duchene third), as Tavares pulls an annual cap hit of $5.5 million on his six-year, $33 million deal.

Finally — it’ll be interesting to see how the Duchene deal affects Colorado’s future negotiations. Two big contracts are on the horizon, as both Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog are set to become RFAs in 2014-15.

O’Reilly made $10 million over two years on his last deal (thanks to Calgary’s offer sheet, which Colorado matched). Landeskog will be in the final year of his entry-level deal.

  1. ak5040 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Great move. He will be a beast and help this team, being one of the focal points of this young nucleus.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      One of the most underrated guys in the league.

  2. freneticgarfieldfan - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    “…slightly more…”?
    I don’t know what you make, Mike, but for me is $0.5 million a year more than “slightly more” 😀

    • Mike Halford - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      I make $6.5 million annually, so slightly more than both those guys.

    • blueballzny - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      In terms of NHL contracts, $.5 million is “slightly more”. I’m pretty sure you understood the context of that sentence while you were reading the article. Guess you just felt like being a prick.

  3. jl9830 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Omg John Tavares’s contract is so good for the Islanders.

  4. jpelle82 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    dustin brown gets 5.875 per year and has played almost 700 games plus he has a cup, duchene is 22 yrs old and gets 6 per year….granted duchene will probably score a lot more goals in his career than brown will…but this sets the bar pretty high at 22 years old….crazy.

    • jernster21 - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Wasn’t that long ago that rumors were flying around about shipping Brown out….not sure I would be throwing around 8 year deals if I was questioning him just a couple seasons ago. Duchene is 22 and a potential superstar in the making.

  5. blkeskimo1785 - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Duchene made his debut in the 2009-10 season.

    • Mike Halford - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Typo. Fixed. Thanks for note.

  6. jkulha86 - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    The Avs finally appear heading in the right direction.They just need to find some defensemen, and I think if you put a decent defense in front of Varlamov, he’ll be a pretty good goalie.

  7. tcclark - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    No hometown discounts in Colorado I guess. 12.6 million per year for Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny is a ridiculous amount of money. They have the same cap hit as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and bigger cap hits than Datsyuk and Zetterberg and the Sedin Twins. I’m sure in 5 years this will look better, but right now it looks like a ton of money for two non-superstars.

    • jernster21 - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      You mean the 3.5mm per year that Duchene played on last season and next season wasn’t a hometown discount? Please. He could have got pissed after the O’Reilly situation but he handled it like a professional and finally got paid. Duchene WANTS to be in Colorado and has all along – the same can’t be said for 5 million dollar O’Reilly. To bring up Stastny’s contract is silly; it was offered up by an incompetent GM and of course he wasn’t going to turn it down. Guaranteed he won’t be making much more than 4 with the Avs if decides to resign – if it’s about the money he’ll make more on the open market as a UFA since he’s a #1 center on a lot of teams and no worse than a #2. Time will tell…if he doesn’t get an extension before next years trade deadline, he’ll get shipped out.

      • tcclark - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        Matt Duchene has yet to breakout. Last year was as close as he’s come, but a 67 point season in 2010-2011 hardly garners a 6 million dollar contract, nor does a 28 point -7 rating season in 2011-2012 even garner the 3.5 million that he was making. So, no. the contract he signed was not a discount. It was only a two year deal with the idea of a pay increase after the end of the deal, but the 71 points he’s scored in the 105 games he’s played since signing the contract not only doesn’t warrant a 2.5 million dollar per year pay increase, but it actually represents a decline in play since his first two years in the league. Through his first two years he scored .76 points per game, but only .68 ppg since.

        He was a little underpaid before this contract, but for only 2 years it was a fair deal. The O’Reilly contract is ridiculous, but this deal was made because of it. On production, Duchene deserves about 4.25 million. On potential he earns about.75 million additionally. So essentially, he deserves what O’Reilly got, but they couldn’t give him the same amount as him because he deserves more than O’Reilly. He got paid because Calgary was stupid, and Colorado was even dumber for matching.

      • jernster21 - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM

        You seem to forget that his 28 point season was riddled with injuries and he was still tied for 5th in goals on the. He consistently scores on teams that by all accounts have been bad minus one “down” year in which he played hurt most of the times when he was actually able to play – he probably shouldn’t have, but Duchene at half speed is still better than anything we’ve had in Lake Erie for years. He wasn’t all that far off from being a point per game player this past season (again, on a team that finished 2nd to last in the league) – I guess that doesn’t count since it wasn’t a full season right?

      • tcclark - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:22 AM

        I’m not questioning his talent, just his production. I know Matt Duchene is better than 28 points, but the fact of the matter is he still scored only 28 points that season. If a guy signs a one year deal worth 3.5 million and gets hurt and doesn’t play the whole season, should he get a raise from that 3.5 million? No. So why should a guy who’s making 3.5 million and plays poorly through an injury filled season get a 2.5 million dollar pay increase?

        And no. Close to a point per game for half a season doesn’t really count that much. How many times per year do guys start hot and even out? Last season was a fluke for a lot of players. basing contracts off of a season where there was no training camp and there were 4-5 games per week is nuts. I mean Chris Kunitz finished 7th in the league in points… It was the 3rd highest point total of his career and the other years he played 80+ games. I mean if you want to base his contract off of that year he should be making less money than Kunitz, Mike Ribiero, Jake Voracek, Andrew Ladd, Nazem Kadri, Derek Stepan, and Matt Moulson.

      • blueballzny - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        I agree with tcclark. Avs fans can certainly whine all they want, but no one can say logically that Duchene earned that contract. As an Islander fan, I understand that Avs fans want him to be the savior of the team very badly. And after his first 2 years it looked like he might be. But it has been all down hill after that. Whether it was poor play or injuries, he is not deserving of more than 4 million right now.

      • salvij - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Since his came into the league in 2009 the 55 point season that year, the 67 point season in 2010-2011 and the 28 point season that followed all came under his rookie deal with a cap hit of $3.2 mil. He then signed 2 year deal worth $7 mil, which could be considered a hometown discount for someone with his “skills, speed and character”. Last season was the first of the deal and he had 43 points in 47 games or .91 ppg. So since signing the 2 year deal, he has not delivered 71 points he’s scored in the 105 games, he had delivered 43 points in 47 games.

  8. Plumber 65 - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I’m with jenster, the kid showed that working with Sidney Crosby during the off season on his conditioning has paid off. His game has taken a big step up. I watched Getzlaf throw him down a couple years ago like he was a mite and it humbled the kid something fierce. It’s good to see the AVS headed in the right direction.

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