The Colorado Avalanche continue to check items off their summer to-do list and announced the signing of three remaining Restricted Free Agents in defensemen Mason Geertsen, Ryan Graves and goaltender Spencer Martin to one-year contracts for the upcoming 2018-19 season. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed but they are believed to be two-way deals within range of their qualifying offers with perhaps a small bump in salary at the AHL level as all three are coming off of their Entry Level Contracts.
All three are expected to primarily bring veteran experience and depth to the Colorado Eagles at the AHL level with still the possibility of a call-up to the Avalanche. Geertsen spent his first full season in the AHL last season and contributed nine points in 72 games as a steady stay-at-home defenseman without as much fighting.
Graves was brought in to the organization at the late February trade deadline from the New York Rangers system in exchange for Chris Bigras and posted five points in 21 games with San Antonio. It seemed like Graves did not progress much and got worse once he entered a bad situation in San Antonio but he will be looking for a fresh start this season with the Eagles.
Martin should continue to get starts at the AHL level but most likely as back up to the newly acquired Pavel Francouz and will need a strong season to see another call-up to Colorado. Martin received three starts for the Avalanche in the ill-fated 2016-17 season and though he was brought to Colorado several times in the 2017-18 campaign he did not see any action. The Avalanche are hoping Martin can improve on his 3.10 GAA and .893 save percentage from last season in the AHL.
Now the Avalanche have only one remaining player to get under contract and that is defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who filed for arbitration with a scheduled hearing date of August 4th. The wait might be long on this one as the Avalanche might hold firm on a one year deal for Nemeth after signing a group of extra defensive depth this offseason. Following the resolution of Nemeth’s contract the Avalanche will stand at 46 contracts and will largely have their roster set heading into training camp.