8:34 pm: CapFriendly reports it’s a two-way deal for Maltsev, earning him $200K in the minors with $250K guaranteed.
11:27 am: The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed restricted free agent Mikhail Maltsev to a one-year deal. The young forward was eligible for salary arbitration this summer but chose not to file. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports it’s an $800K cap hit on the one-year contract.
Maltsev, 24, arrived in Colorado by way of trade last summer, acquired from the New Jersey Devils (along with a second-round pick) in exchange for Ryan Graves. After playing in 33 games for the Devils, he spent nearly the entire 2021-22 season in the minor leagues. In 56 games with the Colorado Eagles, he scored 17 goals and 48 points, as one of the AHL club’s most reliable offensive players.
In 18 appearances with the Avalanche, however, Maltsev was unable to register even a single point, while averaging just eight minutes a night. While he did use his big frame to add some physicality to the fourth line, his fit for the Avalanche is unclear moving forward. In fact, signing a deal like this might even be considered a surprise, given how little NHL playing time he received this year.
With the presence of the KHL looming over the Russian forward, especially given his previous affiliation with his hometown SKA St. Petersburg club, one could wonder how much more time he will spend in the AHL before pursuing other opportunities. One thing that may impact that is the fact that Maltsev will be subject to waivers this year, meaning if the Avalanche want to send him to the Eagles, the rest of the league will have a chance to grab him.