After adding Ryan Johansen and Ross Colton to be their second and third-line centers prior to free agency beginning, the Colorado Avalanche ensured that if Lars Eller was going to return, it would likely be as their fourth-line center despite the fact that he was their second line center by the end of the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins gave the veteran center a two-year contract worth $2.45 million per year to return to the east coast, paying him roughly the same average annual salary that the Avs gave to Miles Wood earlier in the day.
It has to be considered a bit of a disappointment for Colorado to not bring back a player they traded a 2025 second-round pick for, but the team clearly prioritized both Johansen and Colton as off-season targets, which squeezed Eller out of the picture considering their insistence that Colton is a center. Eller will likely slot in as Pittsburgh’s 3rd line center, as the team has added a lot of new faces today in their quest to get Sidney Crosby another ring(s) before he retires.
Will you miss Eller? Let us know in the comments below!