Avalanche, Matt Duchene agree to five-year extension
The Colorado Avalanche and forward Matt Duchene have agreed on a five-year extension that will run through the 2018-19 season, the team announced Thursday.
The deal includes $30 million for Duchene over the next five years and an annual salary cap hit of $6 million for the Avalanche, according to Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press. Duchene had one season remaining on a two-year, $7 million contract he signed last summer.
Duchene, 22, led the Avalanche with 26 assists and tied for the team scoring lead with 43 points last season.
The Avalanche regime of executive Joe Sakic and new coach Patrick Roy sought to make sure Duchene remained a part of their rebuilding plans after missing the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.
“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 skill, speed and character, he represents the identity we want the Avalanche to be.”
Duchene was the team’s first-round pick (third overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft and in 2010-11 became the youngest player in franchise history (20 years, 84 days) to lead the team in scoring with 67 points in 80 games. He was excited to remain with the team that he dreamed of playing for during his amateur years.
“In 2009, I was thrilled to have been selected by the Avalanche, my favorite team,” Duchene said. “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.
“I have been working really hard again this summer, and I am looking forward to the upcoming training camp and season.”