Avalanche signs veteran center Evan Rodrigues to one-year, $2 million deal – The Denver Post

With the start of the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup title defense just weeks away, the franchise made a big addition with the signing of veteran center Evan Rodrigues on a one-year deal.

The Avs announced the signing Monday morning, with the 29-year-old Toronto native set to make $2 million for the 2022-23 season, according to a team source.

Rodrigues is coming off a career year with Pittsburgh, and figures to be in the mix for the second-line center role vacated by Nazem Kadri after he signed with the Calgary Flames in August.

Rodrigues put up career highs in goals (19), assists (24) and points (43) while appearing in all 82 games for the Penguins last season. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound center was fifth on the team in goals and tied for sixth in assists. He was dangerous on the power play with seven goals in 157 minutes of ice time, and he had five points (three goals/two assists) in seven playoff games.

“We are excited to add a two-way player with Evan’s versatility to our group,” Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland said in a news release. “He is coming off his best offensive season and has shown he can play in a variety of roles and help a lineup in many ways.”

With the Penguins’ cap sheet filled, Colorado was able to swoop in and snag Rodrigues just before the start of training camp. Following his addition, the Avs have $1.9 million in available cap space for 2022-23, according to capfriendly.com.

Rodrigues has accumulated 129 points (53 goals/76 assists) in 316 career NHL games between stints with Buffalo (2015-20) and Pittsburgh (2019-22). In addition to his offensive production, Rodrigues contributed to the penalty kill at both stops with 189 minutes of ice time (34 last season).

The Boston University product also played two-plus seasons in the AHL with the Rochester Americans, tallying 70 points (23 goals/47 assists) in 128 games.

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