The Colorado Avalanche kicked off free agency by adding some grit — we’re just not sure how much.
Within the opening hour of the frenzy, the club announced it had reached agreements with former Rangers center John Mitchell and ex-Ottawa tough guy Matt Carkner.
(More on Carkner in a sec.)
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Mitchell received a two-year, $2.2 million dollar deal from the Avs, representing a nice pay bump from the $650,000 he made last year.
The 27-year-old — who fell out of favor in Toronto — found his groove under John Tortorella, scoring 5G-11A-16PTS in 63 games in a largely checking/defensive role with the Rangers. That said, Mitchell does have some offensive upside and saw time on the New York power play a season ago.
The situation with Carkner has gotten confusing. While the Avalanche tweeted they’d agreed to terms with the 31-year-old tough guy, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports there’s no deal in place (this according to agent Larry Kelly.)
It appears Carkner is mulling the decision over with his family, which makes sense. He’s been with Ottawa since the 2008-09 season and has many ties to the area.