Monday, July 02, 2018

Ian Cole Goes to Denver



The Colorado Avalanche landed one of the pool worthy UFA defensemen on Sunday, signing Ian Cole to a new 3-year, $12.75 million deal.  Cole has been bouncing around a little bit in recent years, but has now found himself a good home with the Avalanche, who are starting to shore up their back end a little bit more, one of the spots they really had to focus on in this off-season.

Cole split last season between the Penguins and the Blue Jackets, playing in 67 games, scoring 5 goals and 20 points, good enough for 98th among all defensemen, just inside of the top 100.

The Avalanche blueline is starting to get a good mix of veterans and young stars, to which Cole should slide right in seamlessly.  He won't carry a great deal of the load, with Tyson Barrie still doing much of that on a day-to-day basis, but Cole will be a good second pairing guy and could certainly help kids like Nikita Zadorov and Samuel Girard.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Nathan MacKinnon 6.300 Erik Johnson 6.000 Semyon Varlamov 5.900
Gabriel Landeskog 5.500 Tyson Barrie 5.500 Philipp Grubauer 3.333
Carl Soderberg 4.750 Ian Cole 4.250
Colin Wilson 3.938 Nikita Zadorov 2.100
Matt Calvert 2.800 Mark Barberio 1.450
Sven Andrighetto 1.400 Samuel Girard 0.728
Gabriel Bourque 0.950 David Warsofsky 0.650
J.T. Compher 0.925
Alexander Kerfoot 0.925
Dominic Toninato 0.925
Mikko Rantanen 0.894
Tyson Jost 0.886
Vladislav Kamenev 0.833
A.J. Greer 0.742

The current 23-man roster above, projected for the 2019 season, is rounding out quite well and is coming in, well under budget.  I currently have the Avs with $15.3 million in extra cap space, heading into day two of the free agency period.  This is already an exciting team and if they can start putting a couple more key free agents in the squad, they could make a real run at a playoff spot next season.
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