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Former Avalanche Players Get Paid In Free Agency



Avalanche Trenin blue jackets

You can’t keep everyone in the NHL, and based on some of the contracts that were thrown around earlier this week, there was no way the Colorado Avalanche were keeping some of the players that suited up for them last season.

According to CapFriendly, a total of $1,216,580,000 was spent on Monday during the opening day of free agency. That’s an absurd amount of money. It has slowed down since then, probably because teams are now broke, but I imagine we see a similar spending spree next summer when the cap goes up again.

The Avalanche were able to keep Jonathan Drouin around, but the rest of their unrestricted free agents hit the open market and got paid. One of them signed a pretty reasonable deal, especially considering how much money was given to some average defensemen, while Colorado’s fourth line center in the postseason got a hefty raise.

Sean Walker to Carolina – 5 years, $3.6 million per season

When you look at the contracts handed out to defensemen, this one happens to look real good. I would classify Walker as a solid 4/5 on a good team, and that’s what he’ll be in Carolina. He also won’t be attached to Jack Johnson, who dragged down every defenseman on the roster that he played with.

Walker also happens to fit in really well with how the Hurricanes like to play. They want their defensemen to shoot, and he loves shooting. This is a good fit at a reasonable price, as it came in about $1 million less than what he was originally projected to get.

Yakov Trenin to Minnesota – 4 years, $3.5 million per season

When the contract projections came out last month, Trenin was projected to get around $3.3 million. I had a good laugh, because I didn’t think there was any chance he would get that.

The joke is on me, I guess.

Listen. I think Yakov Trenin is a really solid bottom six player. He can kill penalties, he’s got a mean streak, and he has some touch around the net. On top of all that, he’s a fantastic interview. He’s also a guy who is coming off a 17 point season and he isn’t really a center. The Wild wanted to add some physicality to their lineup and I get that, but they also traded away Brandon Duhaime. If they wanted to keep some physicality, they had their guy. I’m not sure this one ages very well.

Brandon Duhaime to Washington – 2 years, $1.85 million per season

Duhaime at $1.85 million per season after scoring five goals last year is kind of a lot, but he’s generally okay at what he does. It did feel like he fell off in the playoffs after looking really solid in the regular season.

The reality is that you should be able to develop fourth line players like this. The Avalanche have struggled to do that, so they have to go out and find guys like this in free agency. Parker Kelly provides about the same things that Duhaime does, and the Avalanche got him for $1 million less. You just have to move on from guys like this.

Jack Johnson to Columbus – 1 year, $775k

This makes a lot of sense. Johnson’s kids have been living in Columbus since he left town, so for Johnson to go back home is great for him and his family. He also happened to pick the team the Avalanche will start at home against, so another home opener with Johnson on the other side.

If he ends up getting traded to the Avalanche at the deadline, will anyone be surprised?

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