As most of us have figured out by now, there is some major rebuilding going on in the Avalanche organization. This is a list of the players being added and subtracted, updated on a daily basis as necessary:
Free Agents (groups 2,3,6 and UFAs) still unsigned from Colorado:
Ben Guite (RW): gone to Tennessee… Guite signed a one year, two way contract with the Predators today. Bummer. He was one of the young ones I was hoping we’d keep.
Kyle Cumiskey (D): the Avs signed Cumiskey to yet another undisclosed deal. Cumiskey played in six games last season before being injured at the end of January. Cumiskey hasn’t put up any stats with the Avs yet and was a -2 when his season ended. Here’s to hoping that will change – we could use another John Michael Liles on the roster.
Brett Skinner (D): signed with the Avs and according to club policy the deal was not disclosed. Skinner made his NHL debut during the 08-09 season, appearing in 11 games with the Islanders. Skinner had four penalty minutes and was a +3 in those games.
Philippe Dupuis (C): re-signed. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Dupuis was brought up from Lake Erie twice during the 08-09 season and led his minor league team in points and assists.
Sakic Update: Captain Joe Sakic will be holding a press conference on Thursday at 1pm (Mountain). The Avalanche website says that he will be making, “a special announcement regarding his hockey career.” He is widely expected around my apartment to announce his retirement.
David Jones (RW): signed a contract with the Avalanche. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
Andrew Raycroft (G): signed as a free agent by the Vancouver Canucks to be backup to Roberto Luongo. Vancouver lost their backup, Jason LaBarbera, last week when he signed a two year contract with Phoenix. LaBarbera has been a solid backup in his career so far – which means Vancouver remains ahead of the goalie game. Of course back in Colorado, we only have two backup goaltenders.
Ryan Smyth (LW): given up in trade to Los Angeles Kings for two young players and a fifth-round draft pick. Smyth had a no-trade clause in his contract but waived it to move to LA, where Smyth said he feels he has a better chance of winning. Smyth was quoted as saying he “wanted the opportunity to go and play with some good young players,” which is perhaps a subtle comment on how Smyth feels the rebuilding is going in Colorado, where staff was given the green light to dump some salaries. Another player that will be sorely missed for his leadership and play making abilities.
Tom Preissing (D): acquired by Colorado in the Smyth trade. The Avs are 30-year-old-Preissing’s fourth NHL team. Played four years for Colorado College. Has two years of playoff experience with San Jose, but only played 22 games last season.
Kyle Quincey (D): acquired by Colorado in the Smyth trade. 23-year-old-Quincey played less than 15 games with the Red Wings before spending his first full season in the NHL with the Kings. Notched 34 assists for a total of 38 points in 72 games; finished the season a -5 with 63 penalty minutes.
Tyler Arnason (C): signed a one year, two-way deal with the NY Rangers. Arnason was equally loved and disliked in Colorado. Many fans felt he hadn’t reached his full potential yet, while many others felt he was wildly overrated and just taking up space. Doesn’t matter anymore.
Lawrence Nycholat (D): free-agent Nycholat signed with his old team, the Vancouver Canucks, for undisclosed terms. Nycholat played only five games with the Avalanche and was a -2.
David Koci (LW): signed a one-year contract with the Avalanche as a free agent. Koci, an interesting replacement choice for Laperriere, recorded 128 penalty minutes in just 32 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightening last season and finished a +3. Koci also played two seasons with the Blackhawks, half a season with Tampa before being traded to St. Lous, and last season again with Tampa. No playoff appearances yet.
Ian Laperriere (RW): signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Had wanted to stay in Colorado, but Sherman & Co. wouldn’t/couldn’t fork over the dough. Quoted as saying he was tired of “playing for a discount,” and rightfully so. You will be missed, Lappy.
Craig Anderson (G): signed to a two-year contract from the Florida Panthers. The Avs were one of the first teams to call on his first day of free agency, and Colorado was his first choice.