The Colorado Avalanche have signed Duncan Siemens, Felix Girard and Gabriel Bourque to one-year, two-way deals for the 2017-18 season. The team did not release any financial details on the contracts. All three players were restricted free agents this summer, and though Siemens and Bourque were both arbitration eligible neither filed.
Siemens is perhaps the most interesting and confounding player of the trio, an 11th-overall selection who has still yet to make an impact at the NHL level. His professional career to this point has been a huge disappointment, but a glimmer of hope yet remains. At the end of last season, Siemens played three games with the club and actually showed he may still have some potential as a Mark Borowiecki-type physical presence on the back end. Though the offensive upside he showed in junior has all but disappeared, the 10 hits he recorded in three games (including six in a single contest) gave fans some hope.
Girard and Bourque, both former Nashville Predators prospects came to the Avalanche in the past year to try and take the next step in their careers. Bourque signed with the team last summer on a professional tryout which earned him a contract, while Girard was the return for Cody McLeod in a mid-season trade. At very different points in their careers, Bourque is trying to hold onto the last strings of his NHL career while Girard is just trying to earn a promotion for the first time. Both will see substantial time in the AHL next season.
That leaves the Avalanche with three restricted free agents, in three very different circumstances. One, Matt Nieto filed for arbitration and will have a hearing on July 31st should the two sides not find a common ground. Two, Rocco Grimaldi is hoping for a deal to prove that his big time AHL scoring talent can translate to the NHL if given the chance, and three, Nikita Zadorov and a potential long-term deal to keep one of the Ryan O’Reilly trade pieces in Colorado as a young building block. That all comes under the shadow of the KHL for Zadorov though, as rumors have persisted that he has a deal in place with CSKA Moscow should he be unable to reach a contract with Colorado.