The Colorado Avalanche have a lot of work to do this summer to retain restricted free agents, but they secured their most important one Saturday.
Matt Duchene, the second pick in the 2009 Draft, signed a two-year contract, the team announced. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported the deal is worth $7 million, so Duchene will count $3.5 million against the salary cap each season.
Duchene had 14 goals and 28 points in 58 games this past season for Colorado. He had 27 goals and 67 points the previous campaign, and missed parts of 2011-12 season with knee and ankle injuries.
The Avalanche have eight more restricted free agents, including center Ryan O'Reilly wing Steve Downie and defenseman Erik Johnson, on the roster. They also have a pair of unrestricted free agents in center Jay McClement and defenseman Shane O'Brien. Even with Duchene on the books, the Avalanche have nearly $43 million in cap space according to capgeek.com.