The Colorado Avalanche will be adding some Stanley Cup experience to their blue line next season, as multiple reporters including Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet expect the team to sign Ian Cole today. The deal will be for three seasons at an average annual value of $4.25MM. The team is also expected to sign Matt Calvert, who will get a three-year deal with an AAV around $2.8MM.
Cole, who was a depth defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins during their previous Stanley Cup Championships, was traded twice this season before the trade deadline. The Penguins sent him to the Ottawa Senators as part of the Derick Brassard deal, who then flipped him a few days later to the Columbus Blue Jackets for their playoff run. The 29-year-old blueliner fit in well for Columbus as he saw a slight uptick in minutes. In total, he put up five goals and 20 points in 67 games. With Colorado, he’ll continue to be a significant defensive presence in the Avalanche’s top-four and could also prove to be a valuable veteran addition for the eventual addition of 2017 first-rounder Cale Makar, who the team hopes to bring in for the 2019-20 season.
As for Calvert, much was expected out of the 28-year-old winger after he put up 11 goals in his rookie season. However, Calvert failed to improve on that mark much as his career high was 13 goals back in the 2014-15 season. Since that year, he’s steadily declined with the Blue Jackets, posting 11 goals, then 10 and finished up last season with just nine goals. He averaged just 13:23 of ATOI last season. With the Avalanche, Calvert should get an opportunity to provide depth and fight for a potential spot on the team’s second or third lines.