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Shane O'Brien Signs Three Year Deal

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Mar 26, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Shane O'Brien (5) celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Mar 26, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Shane O'Brien (5) celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Dater at The Denver Post is reporting that Shane O`Brien has signed a 3 year deal with the Avs. The contract will pay $6 million total for a $2 million cap hit annually. Thats a fair price, and relatively safe term for O'Brien but the Avs are quickly saturating their defensive corps with 2nd and 3rd pairing guys, without addressing their relatively weak 1st pairing. The Avalanche now have $11,800,000 committed to their top 6 defense, and that's before Erik Johnson's new contract.

With the O'Brien and Wilson signings, the Avs could have as many as 10 defensemen vying for just six spots:

Cap Geek's Top 6:
Jan Hejda
Ryan Wilson
Shane O'Brien
Ryan O`Byrne
Matt Hunwick
Tyson Barrie

Pending RFA's:
Erik Johnson (TBD)

On the Cusp:
Stefan Elliott
Duncan Siemens
Cameron Gaunce

It will take time to see the bigger picture here, but if the Avs are planning to roll with those 10 d-men next year, then this deal screams mediocrity. I wouldn't be surprised to see a defenseman or two moved before training camp, but with Greg Sherman at the helm, it's impossible to know for sure.