Good morning all. Coming off the mayhem of the draft and trades last weekend, the Avs kept rolling with a couple of free agent signings this week.
- Right off the bat on Wednesday, Colorado signed former Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin to a 3-year contract to slot into the top pairing next to Erik Johnson. Even though some Avs fans are skeptical of the choice, EJ indicated his enthusiasm on twitter so I'm good with it.
- The Avs also signed versatile 29 year old winger Blake Comeau from the Penguins. I like this one too, Comeau can score and kill penalties plus provide badly needed depth to the bottom-6.
- A massive side benefit to all the moves we've seen in the last 10 days is that with a fully healthy team, one of Clish, Guenin or Bordeleau will have to be waived and either lost or buried in the minors.
- Contrary to bogus reports from the Denver Post and others, the Avs did not qualify all of their Restricted Free Agents save Jordan Caron. Markus Lauridsen, Tomas Vincour and Mitchell Heard also did not receive a QO from the team. The list of retained players reads:
- Sami Aittokallio will not be signing his qualifying offer. He signed a 2-year deal with Karpat in the Finnish Liiga and will remain under the Avalanche umbrella for a few more years if they ever feel the need to bring him back.
- Avs 7th round pick Gustav Olhaver was taken in the 1st round of the CHL import draft by the Seattle Thunderbirds. Olhaver will report to former Avs player and Coach Steve Konowalchuk in a couple months for the 2015-16 WHL season. Love this move, brings a bunch more hope to what appeared to be a throwaway pick.
- Avalanche Development Camp happens this week. True to Avs form, we won't get a list of participants until it's well underway but you can count on this year and last year's draftees plus a few of the more experienced recent pros. We've also heard a couple of non-roster invitees will be there:
Raphael Maheux - an 18yo D from the Remparts
Jan Mandat - a 19yo Czech forward, currently playing for Val d'Or in the Q
Justin Hamonic - a big (6'4 210#) defenseman and former captain of the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. This looks like a real tryout, Hamonic played a few games in the ECHL at the end of last season and is eligible to play in the AHL if the Avs wish to sign him.
- Also, a former Avs player signed a contract extension with his new team. Yowza.
* * * * *
The Summer Doldrums officially begin this week, but we'll have news from Dev Camp and the usual features of course. Enjoy!