Today, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they have signed defenseman Ryan Wilson to a new, three year deal. (With an increasing salary: $2 million the first year, and 2.375 million the next two years.) I am personally delighted by this news, as Wilson is my favortie defenseman. However, I think this news is good for the Avalanche, even when I take off my rose-colored glasses. Wilson is not the most offensive player, but he is good for 20 or so points a year. His plus/minus has been one of the best on the team in each of his three seasons in Colorado. He’s a feared hitter, and he can drop the gloves too, when necessary.
While Wilson had some struggles after his concussion this year, I have faith that he will only become a more consistent player with each year.
Also announced today were the RFAs who received qualifying offers. Erik Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly, Jamie McGinn, Steve Downie, and Mark Olver all received offers, and Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter did not receive an offer. I’m not surprised about Porter, who seemed to fall out of favor this season. I am surprised about Mueller, but cautiously optimistic that he could still remain in the Avalanche system. I don’t understand enough about the legalities of contracts in the NHL to give a full summary, but I do no that a team must include at least a ”minimum increase” in their qualifying offer (though sometimes the contract will be re-negotiated back to the previous year’s figure). Mueller made $2.5 million last season, which is a large contract for a player who suffered through several unpredictable injuries. If he does end up re-signing, I am sure it will be with a sufficient paycut, as there is no guarentee about his health. It is unfortunate situation, but I understand where the team is coming from on the business side of things. Also, it is possible that they are letting Mueller go believing that will open up more cap room to (hopefully) sign Zach Parise to a very large, impressive contract come July 1. If Parise comes to town, Mueller might have ended up as a surplus winger, something that a player as talented as he should never go through.
One final announcement made was the signings of forwards David Van Der Gulik and Patrick Bordeleau. Bordeleau spent all of last season with the Lake Erie Monsters, while Van Der Gulik split his season between the Avalanche and the Monsters.