McLeod had seen his role with the Avalanche diminish considerably under new head coach Jared Bednar this season. He has played in just 28 games this year, scoring once while adding 52 penalty minutes. His average ice time had also been cut nearly in half from 2015-16, dropping to just 5:53 per game.
In his career, McLeod has played in 659 NHL games, all with Colorado after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent back in 2006. He has 66 goals, 51 assists, and 1,359 penalty minutes in that span. He has one season remaining after this one on his contract with a cap hit of $1.33MM. The Avalanche will retain 40% of that, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun (Twitter link).
With the Preds, McLeod will likely contend for a spot on the fourth line. With the team battling injuries up front, long-time AHL player Harry Zolnierczyk is currently in the lineup so McLeod should be able to step in and play right away. As for the Avs, they had been carrying 14 forwards lately so it’s unlikely they’ll bring someone up from the AHL to take their place. Instead, one of John Mitchell or Joe Colborne should get back into the lineup on a more regular basis.
As for Girard, he was Nashville’s fourth round pick (95th overall) back in 2013 and he has yet to play at the NHL level. He has played in 35 games this season with AHL Milwaukee, scoring eight points (3-5-8). The Avalanche have already assigned him to their minor league affiliate in San Antonio. Girard is in the final year of his entry-level contract and carries an NHL cap hit of $631,667.
Interestingly enough, McLeod may not have to wait too long to face his former team as the Predators will be in Colorado tomorrow afternoon.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.