While the countdown to salary arbitration continues for the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and several other NHL teams, the Colorado Avalanche won’t have to worry about those often-awkward proceedings. They signed two restricted free agents who were headed to salary arbitration today, locking up forward Kevin Porter and defenseman Ryan Wilson to one-year deals.
Porter will make $850K while Wilson shall receive $1.275 million for their efforts during the 2011-12 season. Porter is 25 years old while Wilson is 24.
Porter achieved career highs in goals (14), assists (11), points (25) and games played (74) in the 2010-11 season while averaging 13:49 minutes per game. He also had 27 penalty minutes and a -11 rating last season.
Wilson’s 2009-10 stats (21 points and +13 rating in 61 games played) look better than the 16 points and -8 rating he earned in 67 games in 10-11, but that is likely as much a reflection on Colorado’s success in those respective seasons as Wilson’s play. He enjoyed a bigger role in 10-11, averaging 19:49 minutes per game after receiving 16:16 per contest in 09-10.
These two players aren’t the kind of guys who would break the bank during arbitration hearings, but it’s probably best for Colorado to maintain as much positivity as possible after their locker room seemed to crater in 2010-11. Wilson and Porter will gain an opportunity to prove that they can be pieces of the puzzle for the Avs because they’re around the age when mid-level prospects either work out at the NHL level or become journeymen players.