Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/2/13
Thanks to a restructured front office that oozes a competitive fire worthy of automatic Stanley Cup consideration it has been an exciting offseason for the Avalanche. After winning the draft lottery promoting Joe Sakic as the top day-to-day executive and hiring fellow Avalanche two-time winning Stanley Cup champion Patrick Roy as head coach and No. 2 executive the Hall of Famers made a relatively big four-player trade with the Calgary Flames before deeming electrifying forward Nathan MacKinnon as the best 18-under player in the world and future NHL star in the June 30 draft. The Avs' best move however — which is probably only made with Sakic and Roy in charge — was extending and fattening Matt Duchene's contract this month locking in the devoted burgeoning superstar through the 2018-19 season at $30 million over five years. Duchene has one season remaining on a two-year $7 million deal before jumping from $3.5 million to $6 million and becoming what figures to be the club's highest-paid player. Tuesday morning the San Jose Sharks announced it has extended valuable center Joe Pavelski to an identical deal (five years $30 million beginning in 2014-15). It was natural for the Sharks to extend Pavelski but a little surprising that the Avs set the bar with the Duchene deal.
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