Avs Re-Up Pickard
On July 5, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Calvin Pickard to a 2 year, $2 million contract. Pickard will earn $975K in the first year and $1.025 million in the second year for a cap hit of $1 million.
Calvin Pickard split the past season with the Avs and San Antonio Rampage. The 24 year old netminder posted a 7-6-1 record with a 2.56 goals-against average (GAA) and .921 save percentage (S%) with the Avs. With the Rampage, Pickard notched a 9-8-4 record with a 2.75 GAA and a .917 S%.
The Colorado Avalanche 2010 2nd round pick who has become a fan favourite in Denver the last 2 season will backup Avs starter Semyon Varlamov and is expected to push him for minutes.
Avs Ink MacKinnon to Long Term Extension
On July 8, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they inked star forward Nathan MacKinnon to a 7 year, $44.1 million contract. The contract begins at the start of next season with a cap hit of $6.3 million annually.
“[MacKinnon] is going to be a key part of our team for many years to come,” said Avs General Manager Joe Sakic. “It was important to secure his rights moving forward.”
The 1st overall pick in 2013, Nathan MacKinnon finished his Entry Level Contract this past season. In 3 seasons with the Avalanche, MacKinnon played in 218 games scoring 59 goals and 153 points.
“I wanted to be in Colorado for a long time,” said the 20 year old MacKinnon. “It’s nice to be secure and Denver be my home for the future. I know where my home will be for the next 7 years.”
On how he sees the Avs for next season and beyond: “The pressure has definitely risen. They are making a point on having me help us get back to the Stanley Cup.” MacKinnon added “I think everyone on the team has a chip on their shoulder to be better. I feel I still have a lot to prove in this league and be better.”
Barrie, Grigorenko Heading to Arbitration
With the signings of Nathan MacKinnon and Calvin Pickard, the Avs still have 3 restricted free agents to sign in Tyson Barrie, Mikhail Grigorenko and Duncan Siemens.
On July 5, it was announced that Tyson Barrie and Mikhail Grigorenko and their respective agencies are taking the Colorado Avalanche to arbitration. It appears the Avs and the players have difference of opinion on regarding new contracts for them.
The specific date for Barrie and Grigorenko’s arbitration cases are not yet known but all arbitration cases happen between July 20 and August 4.
Though Grigorenko is important, everyone will be looking at what happens with the Tyson Barrie situation. The Colorado Avalanche and Barrie’s agency Newport Sports have had a long history of not seeing eye to eye on player contracts. Most notably and most recently, the Ryan O’Reilly situation which ended with the Avs trading O’Reilly to the Buffalo Sabres.
Since Barrie has elected to take the Avs to arbitration, Barrie cannot sign an offer sheet with another team. However, from now until arbitration the Colorado Avalanche can decide to trade Barrie if they find the right trade. If it does in fact go to arbitration, the Avalanche get to select the term on the contract, either a 1 year or 2 year deal. Barrie does still have 3 years left as a restricted free agent before he can go unrestricted.
The Avs currently have $7.76 million in cap space according to General Fanager and still have to get Tyson Barrie, Mikhail Grigorenko and Duncan Siemens signed. Interesting to see how this plays out.