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EXCLUSIVE: Rodrigues on Pittsburgh Return, ‘Awesome’ Experience in Colorado



Rodrigues Avalanche nhl

The Colorado Avalanche waited out the market this summer before signing Evan Rodrigues in September.

Their patience has paid off.

On a one year, $2 million contract, the 29 year old Rodrigues has given them a lot of bang for their buck. With 26 points in 37 games, and on pace to break his career high set last season, it’s been a match made in heaven.

It only makes sense for that match to continue beyond this season, right?

“Kind of letting the year play out,” Rodrigues told CHN after practice. “But at the same time, it’s been an awesome experience for me, and my family has loved it. I’ve loved it. The locker room is, again, a great group of guys.”

Is he open to an extension?

“That’s definitely something I’d be open too.”

On Tuesday, he’ll return to Pittsburgh for the first time since leaving in free agency. He broke out last season with 43 points when injuries required him to step into a bigger role.

He’s looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

“It’ll be fun. Definitely be fun,” he said. “I like a lot of guys in that room. It was a great group of guys. It’ll be fun to see them and fun to compete against them.”

The last time the Avalanche came back from a break, they lost seven of eight games. They know they’ll need to be better coming out of the All-Star break to carry on the momentum they built for themselves before the All-Star break.

“You gotta learn from it,” Rodrigues told me. “You got to play the same way we were before. I think that’s how we’re going to have success. I think from that stretch of good hockey, we kind of learned what makes us a good team and what makes us successful.”

With just 34 games remaining, there is very little margin for error.

“It’s time to kind of focus on doing all the little things right.”

News and Notes

  • Josh Manson will go on the road trip with the team, but will not play.
  • With the return of Byram, the Avalanche will still run with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. “It’s all we have right now,” Bednar said after practice. That means the team is unlikely to call up a forward like Ben Meyers, at least for now.

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