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Avalanche avoid arbitration, sign Jamie McGinn for two years

Jul 13, 2012, 6:45 PM EDT

Anaheim Ducks v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

Despite the sort of breakout run that might encourage some teams to splurge, the Colorado Avalanche avoided the awkward salary arbitration process and signed Jamie McGinn to a two-year, $3.5 million contract, according to Adrian Dater. (That means he’ll receive $1.75 million per season.)

McGinn saw his development explode once he was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Avs. In just 17 games with Colorado, McGinn scored eight goals and 13 points – making more than a few Sharks fans wonder if the team got fleeced in the process.

McGinn is the latest example of the Avalanche making cost-efficient deals with their many free agents this off-season. Matt Duchene struggled mightily at times last season, but a two-year, $7 million pact is an enticing investment considering his skill set. Steve Downie was surprisingly affordable as well, costing Colorado just $5.2 million for two seasons. However you feel about Erik Johnson, his flaws are a lot easier to stomach considering that he’s a big-minutes defenseman (with still some potential to improve) at just $3.75 million per year. The jury’s out on whether P.A. Parenteau can approach his 80-point breakthrough during his final season with the New York Islanders, but four-years and $16 million is very economical if you factor in the unruly nature of the free agent market.

(About the only deal I don’t really like is David Jones‘ four-year, $16 million contract, but that’s still not a disaster. Probably not, at least.)

According to Cap Geek, the Avalanche would have $54 million committed to the salary cap with McGinn’s deal factored in. If the floor remains at $55 million once the new CBA wraps up, the team won’t have to add much more salary to meet minimum requirements.

Colorado certainly wasn’t dominant last season, but they picked up steam with additions like McGinn and Downie. If those players can maintain – or even improve – their solid work from last season while Duchene and others improve, the Avs can be an interesting dark horse in the West.

  1. sjsharks66 - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Sharks never should have gotten rid of you. I hope you have a great career Ginner!

  2. jernster21 - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Umm Parenteau only had 67 points last year, you must have read his 80 games played at points. The cap hit is 1.75 but year one’s salary is 1.65, second is 1.85 on McGinn.

    ANYWAY. Huge signing for the Avs to get this guy wrapped up without having to go through arbitration – that would have left a bad taste in the mouths of both the Avs and McGinn I’m sure and for a player that only played 17 games with a new team, I don’t think you want to give the “what are you going to do for me?” impression just yet. Two years gives him plenty of time to prove the tear he was on wasn’t a fluke just in time to land a big contract as a RFA. I’m looking forward to watching this kid because he has all the makings of a dominant Chris Stewart (minus the lack of motivation/laziness) I hope.

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