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Mikhail Grigorenko signs with the Avalanche for one-year $1.3M

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The young Russian re-signs and gives himself an opportunity to earn a bigger contract after next season.

Anaheim Ducks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Restricted free agent Mikhail Grigorenko has signed a one-year deal with the Avalanche, avoiding arbitration and punting on his opportunity to sign long-term until next offseason.

Grigorenko, 22, was a featured piece in the deal that sent Ryan O’Reilly to the Buffalo Sabres last offseason and shined through numerous stretches of last season, despite getting irregular playing time early on. He finished with six goals and 21 assists last season — good for tenth on the team. It was his first full season in the NHL, playing 74 games, after a few partial seasons with the Sabres.

Naturally, this leads to questions about how much this leaves the team to spend for its upcoming season, not just for any additional free agent targets, but also their big-name RFA, Tyson Barrie. General Fanager estimates Colorado’s cap room at $6.46M, assuming Turner Elson and Rocco Grimaldi are on the roster. Since we can consider both of those players longshots for the Avalanche roster, it appears Colorado should have around $7M left for next season.

What the Avs have left will depend entirely on what Tyson Barrie earns. The 24-year-old defense will have an arbitration hearing on July 29th unless he and Colorado can come to terms prior.