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Avalanche ink Duchene to 5-year extension

The SportsXchange

The Colorado Avalanche signed 22-year-old center Matt Duchene to a five-year, $30-million contract extension Thursday.

"Matt already is and will be a big part of our team's nucleus for the long term," Avalanche executive vice-president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said in a statement. "We all felt that it was important for us to secure his rights for several seasons. With his great skills, speed and character, he represents the identity we want the Avalanche to be."

Duchene, who was second on the team with 17 goals and 26 assists last season, scored 82 goals while collecting 111 assists in 266 games with the Avalanche since being selected with the third overall pick of the 2009 draft.

"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."

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