Erik Johnson Gets 4-Year Extension
Sources say the Colorado Avalanche have signed D-man Erik Johnson to a 4 yr $15 million extension. The deal averages out at $3.75 per year. Johnson, a former first overall pick by the St. Louis Blues, was traded to Colorado along with Jay McClement and a first round pick in February of 2011. Last season, his first full year with the club, Johnson led all Avalanche D-men in points, minutes played, and shots while seeing consistent action on both the power play and the penalty kill.
This contract steals two years of unrestricted free agency away from Johnson who under the current CBA would be eligible after the 2013-2014 season. He’ll be 28 years old when the deal expires with the prime years of his career still ahead of him.
I’m told free agent D-man Bryce Salvador is set to sign a contract sometime this morning. He’s spent the last three years with the New Jersey Devils which included a run to the Stanley Cup Finals in the spring. He was arguably the best D-man over the course of the playoffs and would have received Conn Smythe consideration had the Devils pulled it off against Los Angeles.
Woywitka happy to return to St. Louis…
D-man Jeff Woywitka is excited to return to St. Louis where he spent several seasons after coming over in the infamous Chris Pronger trade. Prior to signing he spoke with head Coach Ken Hitchcock and GM Doug Armstrong which confirmed a fit with the Blues. He also received a call from John Davidson, Barret Jackman, and David Backes after inking a one year, two-way deal. He’ll make $700,000 if he sticks with the NHL club.
Since leaving St. Louis, Woywitka spent two seasons with Dallas before joining the Rangers last season. A foot injury limited him to just 27 games played. He’ll give the Blues some experience and depth on the left side and will compete for a roster spot out of camp.
Wellwood Still Looking...
Kyle Wellwood remains a free agent and would be a good fit for teams looking to add some offensive depth. Quietly he put together a solid season scoring 18 goals and 47 points last year with Winnipeg. Sources say Colorado had some interest before signing PA Parenteau to a four-year deal. Word is Wellwood prefers wing over center. I'm told the Jets remain an option should he choose to circle back.
More to come,