Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 7/18/13

DENVER - JANUARY 18: Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers during NHL action at the pepsi Center on January 18, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Colorado Avalanche have signed Matt Duchene to a five-year, $30 million extension. The forward was already under contract for the 2013-14 season (he'll make $3.75 million), but now he'll be under contract with the Avalanche through the 2018-19 season.  Duchene's extension was an expected one. The Avs gave Duchene a two-year, $7 million "prove yourself" contract prior to the 2012-13 season and their forward rose to the challenge. Last season Duchene scored 43 points in 47 games. As Yahoo's Greg Wyshynski states, Duchene had the most successful year of his career at the most opportune moment.  The Avalanche will now pay their skilled youngster $6 million a season starting in 2014-15 and will take on a matching cap hit.  Duchene has expressed his desire to stay with the Avalanche for life. While that's not guaranteed, the Avalanche prove they want him in their long-term plans with this five-year extension. We've criticized the Avalanche plenty of times over the last few years over some of their roster decisions. Specifically, their roster decisions which seem to defy logic and common sense. Remember the Ryan O'Reilly saga? Here the Avs made the seasonable decision by locking up arguably their most talented forward for an additional five years.  Now, about the team's defense... [follow]
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