I knew the Colorado Avalanche weren’t done today – it just took them a couple more hours to iron out the final details.
After signing two unrestricted free agents on the open market this afternoon, they decided to bring back one of their own. And it’s someone we had a feeling would return.
Andrew Cogliano, the veteran winger who was acquired at the trade deadline in 2022, is coming back for one year. He’s also coming back for less money. Cogliano made $1.2 million last season, but will play for $825,000 this year. That’s the reality of the cap world right now, as there isn’t a whole lot of money out there for players to get this summer.
It works out for the Avalanche, though. It was essential that Colorado brought back the veteran. With Erik Johnson and J.T. Compher leaving this afternoon and signing elsewhere, bringing Cogliano back was crucial for a leadership group that will be without Gabriel Landeskog next year. Cogliano suffered a fractured neck on a dirty hit from Jordan Eberle in the playoffs, but is expected to be 100% when training camp opens.
With the signing of Miles Wood this afternoon, Cogliano might be able to return to a 4th line role, which he’s best suited for. Either way, it’s big for the team to get him back, both on and off the ice.
Once Ross Colton is signed, the Avalanche will still need to sign at least one more forward, as well as a defenseman. They should have around $3 million to do that.
As they typically do on July 1, Colorado announced a slew of minor league signings, including one player who is back for his second go-round with the organization.
Chris Wagner, the 32 year old center who has been with Boston the last few years, is coming back on a one-year deal. He’s spent the majority of the past two seasons in the AHL, so he’ll provide valuable depth for the organization.
In addition to Wagner, the team announced the signings of Winger Riley Tufte, defenseman Corey Schueneman, defenseman Jack Ahcan, and goaltender Arvid Holm. Ahcan received a two-year contract, while the rest of them signed for one year.
With that, I think the Avalanche are done for the day. At this point, they may wait out the market and see if they can find someone for cheap, much like they did with Evan Rodrigues last year.
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