NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: John Mitchell #34 of the New York Rangers celebrates scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on November 29, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The Avalanche have reportedly signed forward John Mitchell to a two-year, $2.2 million deal ($1.1 million cap hit per year). Mitchell is a former Maple Leaf draftee who played 63 games last year for the New York Rangers, scoring 5 goals and 16 points. He projects to be a cheaper replacement for the departing Jay McClement - his scouting report lists him as a 2-way, hard working player with limited offensive punch. The Oakville Ontario native is 27 years old and is listed at 6'1, 204. He wore #34 for the Rangers, #39 for the Leafs.
While Mitchell will no doubt get 4th line minutes, it's unknown as to whether he will be able to fill the void McClement will leave on the PK. Mitchell was not used at all by the Rangers on the PK last year and was used fairly sparingly (around 1 minute per game) in Toronto. He also took just 199 draws last year (winning 51.8%). Mitchell did record a solid 89 hits in 63 games.