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Friedman: Hurricanes Wouldn’t Risk Duchene Trade Without Extension Assurance

Alternate title suggestion: “Good Lord, Shut Up About Matt Duchene Already”

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Want to blame someone or something for the Carolina Hurricanes not making a more concerted run after Matt Duchene? Looks like the collective bargaining agreement might be the target of your ire.

Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts column this week says that it wasn’t necessarily a case of the Canes declining to ante up for Duchene that directly prevented a deal from being struck. Rather, the deal may have been scuttled by CBA-enforced contract extension restrictions.

Here’s 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.

A bit of background: Duchene is in the third year of a five-year contract that started in 2014. The CBA does not allow for contract extensions to be signed until July 1 of the year before the contract expires, meaning Duchene is not eligible to sign an extension until July 1, 2018.

Upon the expiration of his contract, Duchene will be an unrestricted free agent. Given the reported asking price - a roster player, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick - and with no assurances possible under the CBA that he would commit to anything beyond the end of his contract, the Canes would risk losing Duchene at the tail end of the presumed rebuild and being right back to square one.

So, in other words, unless the Avalanche come down on their price, you can safely put to bed any thoughts of Duchene in a Hurricanes sweater until the summer after next.