The Avalanche and Ryan O'Reilly avoid arbitration agreeing to terms on a two-year deal worth $12 million.
The Avalanche and O'Reilly have been working on a deal for awhile, and while it wasn't the long-term deal that O'Reilly was seeking, but the $6 million per year, is a huge raise for the 23-year-old. He had a great 2013-14 season, posting 28 goals and 36 assists (54 points) in 80 games. The most impressive thing for O'Reilly was he only took one minor penalty in the entire season. He will play a big role in the Avs' top-6 this season, where he will shoot for his first 30-goal season.
The Avalanche have signed Jarome Iginla to a three-year deal worth $16 million.
Iginla had 30 goals and 31 assists (61 points) with a plus-34 rating with the Bruins last season. It was Iginla's 12th 30-plus goal season and I'm sure the Bruins would have loved to bring him back, but were unable to because of cap issues. The Avs have locked him up until he is 40-years-old and they are hoping he has a few more 30 goal years left in him.
The Avalanche have re-signed Nick Holden to a three-year deal worth $4.95 million.
Holden, 27, had a strong season with the Avalanche in 2013-14. He scored 10 goals with 15 assists and a plus-12 rating in 54 games in his first full NHL season and first with Colorado. He should be amongst their top-6 blueliners in 2014-15.
The Avalanche acquired Daniel Briere from the Habs in exchange for P.A Parenteau and a 2015 fifth-round pick.
Briere, 36, scored 13 goals with 12 assists (25 points) in 69 games with Montreal. He found himself relegated to the fourth-line for much of the season and playoffs. The trade adds an experienced forward to a young and up-and-coming team. Briere will be entering his final year of a two-year $8 million dollar deal.
Hishon will replace Brad Malone in the Avalanche lineup for game 7.
Hishon did not play any regular season games for the Avalanche this season, but had 10 goals and 14 assists (24 points) in 50 games with Lake Erie (AHL). He was a healthy scratch in game 6 after playing in games 4 and 5. He is averaging seven minutes a night through his first two playoff games, but could play more tonight as he suits up on the third line with Max Talbot Jamie McGinn.
Varlamov surrendered three goals on 21 shots in the 5-2 game 6 loss in Minnesota. The home team has won every game in this series, so the Avalanche have that going for them, but the will need to be much better than they were on Monday. Varly was a bit off in game 6 and has not had all that much success in his first three game 7's--he has gone 1-2 with a 2.99 GAA and .857 SV%.
Varlamov allowed three goals on 32 shots in a 4-3 overtime win in game 5. The Avalanche will look to finish the Wild's season tonight in Minnesota. They get a big boost with Matt Duchene (knee) returning to the lineup. Varly has a 2.33 GAA and .931 SV% in the first five games.
Duchene (knee) will return to the lineup in game 6.
Duchene hasn't played since March 29 because of a knee injury. He missed the final eight games of the regular season and the first five in this best-of-7 series against the Wild, which the Avalanche lead 3-2. Duchene skated on the fourth line with Brad Malone and Maxime Talbot during pregame warmups. It was a different line than he practiced with during the morning skate, when he was between Ryan O'Reilly and PA Parenteau. Duchene led Colorado with 70 points (23 goals, 47 assists) during the regular season.
Duchene (knee) will be a game-time decision for Game 6 tonight.
Duchene took part in the Avalanche's morning skate and was on a line with Ryan O'Reilly and P.A Parenteau which suggests that if he plays, he will not be on the fourth line like head coach Patrick Roy had originally indicated. Duchene has not played since March 29th, but is the Avalanche's top offensive threat and definitely boosts their chances at eliminating the Wild tonight if he is in the lineup.
Duchene (knee) may return to the Avalanche lineup for Game 6.
The early word from the Avs is that Duchene is likely to return on Monday, but head coach Patrick Roy has not confirmed that. Roy said that if Duchene does play, he will likely play on the fourth line and power-play, but I find that hard to believe. The Avalanche will hit the ice for their morning skate shortly, so we will have word on Duchene's availability soon thereafter.