The Avs and Matt Nieto were scheduled for an arbitration case next week in Toronto if they had not come to terms. But on July 25, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they have re-signed forward Matt Nieto to a 1 year, $1 million contract.
Nieto, 24, was claimed off waivers from the San Jose Sharks mid-season. In 43 games with the Avs, the 5’11 190 pound left winger scored 7 goals and 11 points.
Drafted by the Sharks in the 2nd round of the 2011 Draft, Nieto had spent parts of 5 seasons with the Sharks organization, scoring 28 goals and 70 points in 221 games.
Avs Come To Terms With 3 Others
On July 18, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they have come to terms with 3 of their Restricted Free Agents, signing forwards Felix Girard, Gabriel Bourque and defenseman Duncan Siemens all to 1 year deals.
Gabriel Bourque, 26, was signed by the Avs before the start of last season, coming to the team on a PTO (Professional Tryout). After starting the first 6 games with the Avs, Bourque was sent to the minors for the rest of the season where he scored 10 goals and 33 points in 61 games for the San Antonio Rampage.
Felix Girard, 23, was acquired by the Avalanche in January from Nashville in the Cody McLeod deal. The former 4th round pick had his best offensive output of his pro hockey career in his time with the Rampage, scoring 7 goals and 20 points in just 38 games.
Duncan Siemens, 23, was one of two 1st round picks made by the Avalanche in the 2011 Draft. This past season saw the former 11th overall pick set career highs in goals in the AHL (with 2), points in the AHL (with 7) and games played in the NHL (with 3). The 6’3 200 pound defenseman will be looking to make the Avs‘ opening night roster.
And That Leaves Two (WHAT ABOUT ZADOROV!?!?)
The Colorado Avalanche only have two Restricted Free Agents left to sign in Rocco Grimaldi and Nikita Zadorov.
There is zero worry with Grimaldi as he should get done at any time, sometime before the start of training camp.
The big worry is with Nikita Zadorov, the 6’5 230 pound 22 year old defenseman. There are some worried Avalanche fans who think he may bolt to the KHL. Those fears aren’t irrational as Zadorov himself said he would sign in the KHL if he doesn’t get a better contract from the Avs by the end of July.
Is this Zadorov’s way of leveraging the Avalanche into a better and bigger contract for himself? Does he really have interest in playing in the KHL? I guess we’ll find out next week if the deadline imposed by the Zadorov camp is for real.
Nothing new on the Matt Duchene trade front.
I still do think Duchene gets traded. With the Avs glut of forwards and a massive hole on the blueline where a Duchene acquisition would fit, I think it’s only a matter of time before Duchene gets shipped out of Denver.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators remain the front runners.