The Colorado Avalanche and defenseman Patrik Nemeth have agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, reports CapFriendly. The deal allows the two sides to avoid the arbitration hearing they had scheduled for Saturday morning.
The new contract is a pretty substantial raise from the $945,000 Nemeth made last season.
Nemeth was the last player on the Avalanche without a contract. The team now has its full roster with about $12 million in remaining cap space. That leaves a lot of wiggle room if Joe Sakic feels the desire to add to the roster.
In 68 games last season, Nemeth had three goals and 12 assists. He finished third on the team in average ice time - trailing only Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson.
Though he has shown to be a favorite of the coaching staff, Nemeth is likely going to find himself pushed down the depth chart a little this season with the addition of Ian Cole.
Patrick Nemeth & the Colorado Avalanche, who were scheduled for arbitration on Aug 4th, have settled ahead of their hearing on a new 1 year deal at $2,500,000— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 2, 2018
At 26, Nemeth will be an Unrestricted Free Agent when his new deal with COL expires next summerhttps://t.co/VYehErefUr pic.twitter.com/LcRKi3gFfS
Nemeth has become a bit of an arguing point for Avs fans over the last 12 months. There are those who will point to his team-leading +27 rating and insist he is a high-end shutdown defender. Unfortunately, the underlying numbers suggest otherwise. Nemeth was one of the worst even strength defenders on the team - only Anton Lindholm had a CF%.
He is a bit of a case study for eye-test vs analytics. Fans (and coaches) see a big, strong defender that throws his weight around and assume the high +/- means he’s good defensively. The fact of the matter is that last season Nemeth gave up scoring chances against at nearly the exact same rate as Tyson Barrie - a guy that is constantly crushed by those same fans for being a” liability” defensively.
Nemeth will become an unrestricted free agent next July and with Cole in the mix it’s hard to see him being in Denver long term. For now, he is a stop-gap until prospects like Nicolas Meloche, Conor Timmins and Cale Makar are ready to make an impact in the NHL.