The Colorado Avalanche have stayed out of the dramatic, big-money fray on July 1st, avoiding the massive deals inked by teams like Florida, New York, and Vancouver on the first day of free agent frenzy.
They’ve been making quieter moves, though, and that includes the inking of a one-year extension for forward Colin Wilson and a two-year deal for veteran center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Wilson will return to the Avalanche after spending the last two years with the team in a middle six role, accepting $2.6 million to return for at least another season. Initially a seventh overall pick for the Nashville Predators, Wilson provides inconsistent but acceptable middle-six scoring rates for Colorado while taking some acceptable defensive shifts with the club.
The financials between Colin Wilson and the #Avs are one-year, $2.6 AAV, a source has told The Athletic.— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) July 1, 2019
Bellemare is new to the Avalanche, but will presumably try to fill the void left by the deal sending Carl Soderberg to the Arizona Coyotes earlier in the summer. The 34-year-old veteran forward inked a deal worth $1.8 million per season, giving the Avalanche a bottom six option that wins face-offs and takes on a heavy defensive workload while bringing more veteran experience to the lineup.
Source confirms the #Avs have signed Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on a two-year deal and $1.8 AAV.— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) July 1, 2019
Adds Bellemare gives the Avs a "big-time" defensive center while also winning faceoffs.
With both deals and an earlier-reported four year, $3.9 million AAV deal for Joonas Donskoi, the Avalanche have committed a additional combined $8.3 million against the cap for the upcoming season.
So far, the team has done nothing special with their defense or goaltending, but that’s hardly a surprise. After letting Semyon Varlamov walk and reportedly planning to bring on Pavel Francouz as a backup next year, the Avalanche have seemingly decided not to mess with their crease for the time being — and the addition of Kevin Connauton on the blue line gives them more than enough to work with for now.