2011 Cap Hit:
General consensus entering last season's free agency frenzy (and pretty much all year long for the past several seasons) was that the Avalanche needed to add top flight wingers to compliment their growing strength down the middle. In steps Chuck Kobasew! Never a true top 6 guy, Kobasew was a band-aid on the Avs gaping goal-scoring gash. Chuck was never going to solve the mile high migraine of putting pucks in the net, but in a bottom 6 role Kobasew fit in well with the team's style of aggressive forechecking and physicality. He was tied for 12th on the team in hits with 62, despite only playing in 58 contests. All that combative energy got #17 into trouble too often though as he racked up 51 PIMs (good for 5th on the team), and also received disciplinary action for some of his less than cordial moments.
More than a couple of his penalties were avoidable, stupid, or just plain dangerous, but the biggest problem with Kobasew is he doesn't have a defined role - or a future - with this team. The Avs likely brought him in as a hard working veteran who maybe would return to his 20-goal scoring ways at bargain prices, but that did not happen in 2011-2012. Kobasew is one of ONLY 3 (?#!*) forwards signed through next season so look for him to have a better showing in his upcoming contract year, but please remember to manage all expectations and make sure to say your goodbyes before the trade deadline.