Duchene’s contract could complicate things for Avs

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Any team that acquires Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche will want to keep him for more than two years.

And therein lies a potential problem for Avs GM Joe Sakic. Duchene is only signed for two more seasons, and he’s not eligible to ink an extension until the summer of 2018.

To illustrate, here’s a tidbit from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

If Duchene was eligible for an extension and the Carolina Hurricanes believed they could get it done, my best guess is he’d be there. But the Hurricanes weren’t paying the price for a two-year gamble.

Now, this does not mean that Sakic cannot demand a high price for the 26-year-old forward. Just because the ‘Canes weren’t willing to gamble doesn’t mean every other team will be so reluctant. And in the end, it only takes one team.

But it does add a wrinkle.

Contrast the Duchene situation with, say, the Buffalo Sabres’ situation with Evander Kane. Let’s say Tim Murray shops the 25-year-old winger this summer. May not happen, but let’s say it does. Kane can sign an extension on July 1, guaranteeing that the acquiring team would have him locked up for years to come.

Sort of like what happened when the Avs traded Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

For the record, Duchene believes a trade is likely to happen this offseason.

“There’s probably a good chance something will happen this summer,” he said, per the Denver Post.

But just keep in mind his contract — especially if a deal doesn’t go down.

Related: Fixing the Avs’ defense through trades will prove tough