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A look at the Avs' first day of free agency

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SAN JOSE CA - NOVEMBER 11:  PA Parenteau #15 of the New York Islanders celebrates after he scored a goal in the second period of their game against the San Jose Sharks on November 11 2010 in San Jose California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE CA - NOVEMBER 11: PA Parenteau #15 of the New York Islanders celebrates after he scored a goal in the second period of their game against the San Jose Sharks on November 11 2010 in San Jose California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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It wasn't quite a "frenzy", but the Avalanche did make some moves yesterday, signing forwards PA Parenteau and John Mitchell and defenseman Greg Zanon. Parenteau is not Zach Parise or Alex Semin, but is an upgrade in the skill department that the Avalanche need. He scored 67 points last year and 53 the year before that. Mitchell is more of a 4th line guy, a replacement for Jay McClement. who signed with Toronto (but perhaps without the PK skills - and that PK is going to be an area of...interest for the Avs next year).

On defense, defensive-minded veteran Greg Zanon joins an already full squad. With the signing, the Avalanche have 7 NHL defensemen locked up (that includes RFA Erik Johnson), plus prospects like Tyson Barrie, Stefan Elliott, Cameron Gaunce and Duncan Siemens on the near horizon. It sounds excessive, but remember that the Avalanche had the exact same group last summer minus Zanon but with the addition of Kyle Quincey and Kyle Cumiskey. That seemed crazy then, but only Cumiskey was gone by the start of the season.

Not mentioned in the list? Defenseman Matt Carkner. Early in the day, the Avalanche tweeted that they had come to terms with Mitchell and Matt Carkner. Carkner's agent turned around shortly after that and said that the contract hadn't been signed (which isn't uncommon at all in these situations). Carkner ended up signing with the Islanders and folks on the interwebs took the Avs PR staff to task for the tweet (which has since been deleted). To me, it was overblown. And I sure hope it doesn't draw the Avs further into their publicity shell...

Back to free agency. The big question is, are the Avalanche done? There are still guys like Matt Carle and Ryan Suter out there, not to mention Semin and Parise. The Avalanche have money (sorry, spoiler alert) but already have 19 quality guys under contract with deals to Ryan O'Reilly, Erik Johnson and Jamie McGinn still expected. The Avalanche can't really add more players without jettisoning someone via trade.

If the Avalanche are mostly done, I feel it's an "okay" day for them, but not "great". Parenteau adds some skill, Mitchell is a hard worker and Zanon is another defensive defenseman to add to the mix. My complaint so far is that these moves all seem really "samey". Parenteau is Peter Mueller or Tomas Fleischmann. Zanon is Brett Clark or Scott Hannan. Mitchell is McClement. They are all more or less similar pieces to what the Avalanche have had in recent years. That's not to say they are aren't good moves, just that they seem like safe, vanilla moves. Nothing here is going to shake up the Avalanche roster, just tweaks here and there - move ahead offensively by upgrading Mueller to Parenteau, fall back on the PK by replacing McClement with Mitchell, downgrade defensively from Quincey to Zanon.

There may still be some big changes to come. For now, I think the Avalanche got a little better today, primarily because of Parenteau. But did they improve enough to transform into a playoff team? I'm not so sure.

Signed Cap Hit RFA LY QO
C1 Stastny $ 6,600,000 O'Reilly $ 900,000 $ 810,000
C2 Duchene $ 3,500,000 McGinn $ 680,000 $ 714,000
C3 O'Reilly *
C4 Mitchell $ 1,100,000
W1 Landeskog $ 3,575,000
W2 Parenteau $ 4,000,000
W3 Jones $ 4,000,000
W4 Hejduk $ 2,000,000
W5 Downie * $ 2,650,000 UFA LY
W6 McGinn * Mueller $ 2,000,000
W7 Olver * $ 600,000 Porter $ 850,000
W8 McLeod $ 1,150,000
F Kobasew $ 1,250,000
Forwards (11): $ 30,425,000
Hishon $ 1,200,000 Stoa $ 803,250
Connolly $ 900,000 Cohen $ 735,000
Malone $ 875,000 Rissmiller $ 525,000
Carey $ 875,000 Mauldin $ 525,000
van der Gulik $ 575,000 Mercier $ 525,000
Walker $ 563,333 Brophey $ 525,000
Sgarbossa $ 540,000
Bordeleau $ 525,000
Departed LY
Lindstrom $ 600,000 Skelleftea (SEL)
McClement $ 1,450,000 Toronto
Signed Cap Hit RFA LY QO
D1 Johnson *R* * Johnson *R* $ 2,600,000 $ 3,000,000
D2 Hejda *L* $ 3,250,000
D3 O'Byrne *R* $ 1,800,000
D4 Zanon *L* $ 2,250,000 UFA LY
D5 Wilson *L* $ 2,250,000
D6 O'Brien *L* $ 2,000,000
D7 Hunwick *L* $ 1,600,000
Defensemen (6): $ 13,150,000
Siemens *L* $ 1,419,167 Newton *L* $ 900,000
Barrie *R* $ 900,000 Holos *R* $ 785,000
Elliott *R* $ 900,000 Liffiton *L* $ 525,000
Gaunce *L* $ 845,833
Chouinard *L* $ 566,666 Departed LY
Richmond $ 525,000 Lahti (SM-ligga)
Signed Cap Hit
G1 Varlamov $ 2,833,333
G2 Giguere $ 1,250,000
Goalies (2): $ 4,083,333
Pickard $ 870,000 Cann $ 875,000
Aittokallio $ 683,333
Patterson $ 627,500
Millan $ 627,500
Departed LY
Desjardins 650000 Montreal
Forwards (11): $ 30,425,000
Defensemen (6): $ 13,150,000
Goalies (2): $ 4,083,333
Total (19): $ 47,658,333
Estimated Cap: $ 70,200,000
Cap Room: $ 22,541,667
Per Player: $ 7,513,889
Estimated Floor: $ 54,200,000
To Floor (3): $ 6,541,667
Per Player: $ 2,180,556