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Avalanche offseason

Artturi Lehkonen Gets 5-Year, $22.5 Million Contract With Avalanche

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Artturi Lehkonen
Phelan Ebenhack/AP

There was never anything to worry about when it came to the question of whether Artturi Lehkonen coming back to the Colorado Avalanche this coming season. As a restricted free agent, the Avalanche controlled his rights. Just now, the Avalanche secured his rights for the next five seasons, signing the 27-year-old Finn to a five-year, $22.5 million deal.

At a $4.5 million cap hit, the Avalanche now get pretty nice cost certainty for five years for a very good forward. We all saw what kind of different Lehkonen made on a club that won a Stanley Cup. I mean, Joe Sakic absolutely stole him from the Montreal Canadiens (though I still think Justin Barron will be a good defenseman in Montreal).

What’s the deal with Nazem Kadri now, you ask? I think there’s still a chance he might re-sign with the Avalanche. But I think the chances are smaller than they were before the market opened at 10 this morning.

The Avs are down to $4.7 million in cap room now. That’s not going to be enough to bring back a Kadri. Colorado would have to move some salary elsewhere.

By the way, Andre Burakovsky and Darcy Kuemper each signed new five-year contracts with Seattle and Washington, respectively. They’ll each be making more than $5 million per. Adieu, Burky and Kemps.

The Avalanche also re-signed a former goalie of theirs, Jonas Johansson, to a one-year, two-way deal. He is expected to play with the Eagles this coming season.

Here is more from the Avalanche release on the Lehkonen signing:

Lehkonen, 27, combined with Montreal and Colorado to set career highs in goals (19) and points (38) in 2021-22. Acquired from the Canadiens at the trade deadline, Lehkonen made his Avalanche debut on March 29 at Calgary and recorded nine points (6g/3a) in 16 regular-season contests for the Avalanche.

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In the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lehkonen recorded 14 points (8g/6a) in 20 games, all postseason career highs, and finished tied for fourth on the team in goals. He led the NHL with four game-winning goals, including the series-clinching goal 79 seconds into overtime to beat the Oilers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final and the game-winning marker in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay to secure the Stanley Cup for Colorado. Lehkonen, who also netted the series-clinching OT goal for Montreal to send them to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, became the second player in NHL history—and first in 83 years—to score an overtime goal to put his team into the Stanley Cup Final multiple times in his career (Gordie Drillon, Game 3 of the 1938 Semifinal and Game 3 of the 1939 Semifinal).

“Artturi was a great fit to our team last season and obviously played an essential role in our championship run,” said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland. “He is incredibly versatile, can play anywhere up and down the lineup. He has a non-stop motor and never takes a shift off. He’s really smart, highly competitive, knows his role no matter what is asked of him.  Getting length and term for a player of his quality was a top offseason priority and we’re thrilled to have him for the next five years.”

Selected by Montreal in the second round (55th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Artturi Lehkonen has totaled 158 points (80g/78a) in 412 career NHL contests with the Canadiens and Avalanche. He has collected 26 points (14g/12a) in 53 total playoff contests.

Prior to coming to North America, the 5-foot-11, 179-pound left wing played two seasons in the Swedish Hockey League from 2014-16, totaling 49 points (24g/25a) in 96 contests for Frolunda and added 25 points (14g/11a) in a combined 29 playoff games. He paced the league in playoff points (19) and goals (11) in 2016 to help Frolunda capture the SHL championship. Lehkonen’s 19 points surpassed Daniel Alfredsson to set a Frolunda team record for playoff points in a season.

The Piikkio, Finland, native also played three seasons in Finland’s top professional league (Liiga) from 2011-14, collecting 54 points (23g/31a) in 96 contests for KalPa and TPS.

Internationally, Artturi Lehkonen helped Finland capture gold at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, serving as an alternate captain and recording four points (2g/2a) in six games. He also represented his country at the 2013 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, leading the team in assists (6) and points (9) to help Finland win bronze.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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dk

Score. That’s what I like to see, the Cup window wide open for several years.

Now to address the 2C spot…

ricoflashback

Merci mon ami les Canadiens de Montreal. OK – where is the Montreal fan who said trading Lehkonen was a good deal for the Habs? Another rock solid move by Super Joe.

dk

You wouldn’t be talking about our local anti-vaxxer, would you?

But on that note…who did we trade for him again? I forget…

Last edited 28 days ago by dk
Charlie Anderson

I for one, can’t wait for my next big business injection into my blood stream. Sure is nice to know that the greediest least ethical people in the world are cooking up things to go in my blood. I feel so safe now.

dk

Whatever man. You do you. But the consequences are yours to suffer. But you know that.

Charlie Anderson

I don’t know how to not wish that we had kept Kemps for that. 5.25 x 5yrs doesn’t seem like alot for a goalie that just won you a Cup. BIG gamble on Georgie. GG Kraken getting Shane Wright from the draft and now Burakovsky. That’s going to help their weak forward core.

ricoflashback

I somewhat agree with you on Kuemper but his game can be real shaky. Periods of brilliance and then juicy rebounds and goals given up. I have to trust Joe’s judgment that Kuemper wasn’t the long term solution. There is something in his game that Joe did not like – – whether it was handling pressure or something else but if Joe wanted Kemps – he would have gone after him. Good for Burky. How many young players can say they already have two Stanley Cups to their name? That being said – – his game can be real streaky… Read more »

Yan Girard

LOL bigger gamble on resigning Sieve. Frankie was 6-0 in the playoffs, and he saved the team and Kuemper!

Yan Girard

Fake account! When the username is red, it is not Yan Girard.

dk

It appears you can figure some things out sometimes. Good job.

hockeyhacker5

Did Kuemper win the Avs a Cup, or did the Avs win him a Cup? I don’t recall him stealing a single game in the playoffs that I thought we should have lost except that we got spectacular goaltending. I do recall some really bad goals. I liked him, but we might forget him pretty quickly if Georgiev plays up to his potential (and he ended the season 8-1).

Charlie Anderson

Georgie’s never even proven himself to be an NHL starter. It just seems kind of weird to me that the FO would gamble so hard at the most important position. Kemps got stabbed in the eye early in the playoff run. His numbers still basically looked exactly like freakin Vasilevskies in the Cup Final. Joe/Chris have taught me not to question them too hard though. Have to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

Karl Keen

Stated well. That’s how I feel. I appreciate his services and would have been ok with another year, but not 5!

Bob Neal

You guys are assuming that’s the same numbers he asked he Avs for. Darcy may have had to drop his request to get a contract with Washington. Either way I agree 5 or 6 years is a long time to commit to a 32 year old goalie. Joe and Chris did a fantastic job today.

Rich

A great signing! Curious what options (if any) are out there if Kadri decides to sign elsewhere?

Ricardo

Seems funny to see “Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland” instead of Joe. Let’s hope that we can make some more good decisions today.

Bob Neal

I’m a happy guy. Lehk and Manson. Joe and MacFarland doing some great work.

Yan Girard

Dump Girard! Surely some team out there would like the little guy!

Yan Girard

Fake account! When the username is red, it is not Yan Girard.

Jarome Dodge

Fake account has better opinions than you! You should take credit for his stuff. At least he understands Girard is a spare

Bob Neal

I’m colorblind but I can still figure out which one is fake. Quit worrying about it. Some great signings today.

sjavsfan

Glad to see the numbers could be worked out with Lehky… he was a significant contributor down the stretch and should be for years to come now.

Charlie Anderson

That Nuke contract looks pretty good seeing what Cirelli got. Manson at 4.5 is another Joe Sakic highway robbery.

Matt Briggle

I said it at the time, but I feel a lot better about trading Barron now that this extension is signed. Probably would have been a good deal if we only got next year out of him, but 5 more years makes it a solid win.

JD16

I’m surprised Burakovsky didn’t get more. I was thinking it was going to be at least $6m. Kuemper for that matter, as well.

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