The Colorado Avalanche have decided to secure a little more goaltending depth for the rest of the season. Hunter Miska has signed a one-year NHL contract with the Avalanche, meaning he can be recalled if necessary. Miska had previously been playing for the Colorado Eagles on an AHL deal. The financial details have not been released, but the contract will likely carry a prorated $700K cap hit.
Now 24, Miska became an unrestricted free agent last summer when the Arizona Coyotes decided not to extend him a qualifying offer. That offer would have only been $874K, but with the depth in their system and Miska’s struggles at the AHL level it made some sense. After all, the former University of Minnesota-Duluth goaltender had only posted an .895 save percentage in 25 minor league appearances during the 2018-19 season.
Colorado took a chance on him on a minor league deal, and it appears to have paid off. Miska has been excellent for the Eagles this season, posting a .925 save percentage and 11-4-3 record through 19 games. That has him tied for fourth in league save percentage, with two of the names ahead of him already in the NHL (Igor Shesterkin and Jonas Johansson).
Because his birthday comes just a few days into July, Miska will not qualify for Group VI unrestricted free agency this summer and will now be a restricted free agent under the control of Colorado. That means they will have the same opportunity to issue him a qualifying offer to keep him in the system.