Colorado landed one of the big fish. While much of the web banter this summer has focused on the Avs (hopefully) landing Ryan Smyth, a lot of speculation has also been focused on defensemen Scott Hannan. Today, Hannan signed with the Avs to the tune of $18,000,000 over 4 years.
I have to admit that I'm still a little on the fence on this one. While I like that we've added size, a ton of minutes, and a strong defensive focus to our blueline...I'm not quite sure that Hannan is the defensive messiah that people might think he is. He's not the big hitter that people might expect (29 hits in 2006-07), and, unfortunately, isn't going to do much to improve the scoring from the D - a deficiency I think could be harmful next year. But, he's a solid shot blocker (140 blocked shots) on an already terrific shot blocking team and he should eat up a lot of minutes. Expect our PK to improve significantly - good news there.
Truthfully, $4.5 million is about $1 million lower than I thought Hannan would command. In that light, I think that's a reasonable amount of money to spend to improve our defense. It probably comes down to who he's taking minutes away from. Skrastins? $4.5 million is a bargain, brother. But if his addition sends Kurt Sauer or Jeff Finger - both more physical defensive defensemen than Hannan at a fraction of the cost - to the sidelines, then I'm not convinced that this is money well spent. It's early, and I'm sure JF Giguere has more moves to make. Until I see those, I'll remain on that fence.