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Breaking Down Matt Duchene's New Contract Extension

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 23:  Paul Stastny #26 and Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate after Duchene's game winning overtime goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Pepsi Center on December 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Lighning 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Joey SuyeishiCorrespondent IIJune 23, 2012

When I first heard about Matt Duchene's contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche this morning, my initial reaction was that I wished it would have been for more years and more money.

After digesting it a bit, I'm satisfied with the two-year, $7 million deal that will keep Dutchy under contract with the Avs through the 2013-14 season.

The money is not a huge raise from his incentive-laden rookie deal as a No. 3 overall pick, but he and the Avs probably thought this deal was fair, given his disappointing 2011-12 year. I personally would have been fine with giving him more, given his productive rookie and sophomore campaigns, in which he earned a Calder nomination and All-Star appearance, respectively.

There certainly could be bonuses with this new contract as well.

The best part about this two-year deal, though, is the fact that Duchene will still be a restricted free agent after it's up. The short length of this deal may actually benefit Matty in the long-run if he plays lights out this year and next, and subsequently earns himself a huge payday with a long-term contract on his next deal. Keep in mind he will still only be 23 years old at that time.

I still fully expect Matt Duchene to be the Colorado Avalanche's top center for years to come.  He is the most offensively gifted player on this young Avalanche squad, and is fully capable of making plays and scoring beauties of goals!

Next up will be the other RFAs' new contracts, most notably Ryan O'Reilly, Erik Johnson, Steve Downie, Jamie McGinn, and Peter Mueller. And there's also UFA Shane O'Brien.

Thus far into the draft, things have been pretty quiet on the Avalanche front. There was no trade yesterday to get the Avs back into the first round, but I'm fine with that, as this is supposedly a pretty weak draft class. Last year's was a strong one, and the Avs had two of the top 11 picks.

There is also the rumor involving Zach Parise's rights to the Avs along with backup goalie Johan Hedberg in exchange for J-S Giguere, Chuck Kobasew and picks:

I don't know if there is any substance to this. It seems like way too big of a trade for UFA rights, but who knows? Anything can happen.

Only eight days to go until free agency!

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