Colorado Avalanche Sign Matt Duchene to Smart 2-Year Contract

Kevin Goff@@BrgBrigadeKevinContributor IJune 24, 2012

DENVER, CO - MARCH 03:  Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center on March 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Penguins defeated the Avalanche 5-1.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

As the second day of the NHL draft began, Avalanche fans were greeted with the news that Matt Duchene had just signed a new two-year contract with the Avalanche.

The deal, as I mentioned, is two years for $7 million. This number seemed like it wasn't quite right at the start.

Why would the Colorado Avalanche not give a player who is clearly a part of their future success a longer contract that has more dollars? Why not lock him up for the long haul?

Well, the short answer is because it wouldn't have been the smart thing to do.

Think about it, Duchene did not have that great of a year. Part of that had to do with injuries, and part of it was the fact that he just plain struggled with putting the puck in the net.

Yes, this year was probably an aberration, and Duchene is the type of player who would want to bounce back regardless of a contract, but this deal provides him a little extra incentive.

Duchene is represented by the same agent that represents fellow 2009 draftee John Tavares. Tavares just received a five-year extension at the beginning of this season worth $5 million a season.

Matt Duchene is a competitive guy, and you know that he wants to get a contract that's similar, if not better, than Tavares'.

Now not only is he motivated to show that he can provide better numbers, he's motivated to earn a bigger, better contract that would prove he's the elite player that he wants to be.

The Avalanche were very savvy with this signing because it's minimum risk for them, as well.

Duchene hadn't had any injury issues before this season, and it seems that a summer off should be good enough for Duchene to come back at 100 percent.

Still, as an organization, you don't want to risk mortgaging your franchise to a player who ends up having injury issues.

This two-year contract is a very simple way for the Avalanche to see if Duchene will turn into an injury problem or become the stable scorer whom they need him to be.

All in all, this contract was genius from Greg Sherman. If the Avalanche end up getting what they want out of Duchene, then Duchene will end up getting what he wants out of a contract.

Everybody is happy.