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Avalanche sign Matt Duchene to two-year, $7 million deal

Pittsburgh Penguins v Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, CO - MARCH 03: Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche prepares for a face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center on March 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Penguins defeated the Avalanche 5-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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Matt Duchene has signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Avs.

The 21-year-old is coming off a challenging season, missing 24 games thanks to injury and scoring just 14 goals and 14 assists while seeing his minutes cut and landing in coach Joe Sacco’s doghouse.

Ideally a player with Duchene’s talent and youth -- he was a Calder Trophy finalist in 2010 -- would wind up getting a longer contract, but the two sides opted to go the shorter route. Adrian Dater of The Denver Post says the move doesn’t quite shock him, but it did pique his curiosity.

Am I a little surprised the contract was so short, and for not that much of a raise from what he was making before? Well, nothing truly surprises me anymore in this game, but I guess I thought it would be longer and for more money.

Is Duchene taking a hometown discount, as Dater suggests, or is there more beneath the surface here? At a $3.5 million cap hit, he’s certainly a lot more attractive on the trade market. Could this be a Kyle Turris situation?

Duchene will become a restricted free agent after his contract is up.