If it seemed like things moved very quickly between the Colorado Avalanche and Carl Soderberg this offseason, that wasn’t an accident.
The former Boston Bruins forward told the Denver Post that he didn’t really want to deal with the process of being a free agent, which explains the quick turnover between being traded and signing a five-year, $23.75 million deal.
“I was waiting for Boston to come back to me,” Soderberg said in a phone interview from Sweden. “When they didn’t have room for me, my agent told me Colorado was interested in me. There was no doubt for me. Colorado is a great hockey club. I said go ahead, and then everything went really fast.”
Then again, when you consider the circumstances, the 29-year-old probably would have been foolish to drag his feet.
Most obviously, it’s a significant raise for a player – valuable or not – who hasn’t racked up crazy offensive numbers thus far.
The on-ice situation seems pretty positive for the Swede, too. While it’s worth noting that line changes come fast and furious in many situations, Soderberg’s penciled into an enviable situation as the center of a line that features Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon. (He called the assignment “inspiring.”)
Honestly, it’s tough to imagine his situation getting any better than this, but we’ll have to see if the happiness and excitement lasts.
The Colorado Avalanche signed Mikhail Grigorenko – a significant part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade – to a one-year contract on Thursday.
This isn’t official, but word from Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater is that the contract is one-way and worth $675K.
As you may remember, the Buffalo Sabres weren’t pleased that Grigorenko insisted on a one-way deal, so that factor is pretty significant. The 21-year-old was part of a trade package that also sent the 31st pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, Nikita Zadorov and J.T. Compher from Buffalo to Colorado.
The 12th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft endured a bumpy start with the Buffalo organization, as he struggled at the NHL level with the Sabres but put up often-impressive numbers in the QMJHL and AHL over the years.
Grigorenko probably needed a fresh start, and Colorado could very well be a nice fit for the Russian. His development will likely play a key role in how that trade his viewed a few years down the line.
Just over a week after filing for arbitration, Phil Varone has avoided the hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Sabres.
The contract is of the two-way variety.
Varone, 24, split last season between the Sabres and their AHL affiliate in Rochester, appearing in a career-high 28 NHL games while scoring five points. With the Amerks, he had 15 goals and 44 points in 55 games — and it was the AHL part of his contract that led to the original arbitration filing, per the Buffalo News:
Varone had a pro-rated NHL salary of $595,000 last season and made $62,500 in the AHL. The Sabres tendered him his NHL qualifying offer by last week’s deadline, which would push his NHL salary into the $655,000 range. He’s likely looking for a much bigger salary for the AHL portion of his deal, given the large minor-league salaries the Sabres handed out last week in free agency.
Buffalo will be paying former Utica Comets captain Cal O’Reilly $700,000 next season to play in the AHL, while defenseman Matt Donovan would make $400,000 with the Amerks, defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti would make $300,000 and forward Jason Akeson would be at $250,000.
Varone will be in tough for minutes with Buffalo next season. The team will be dramatically different at center, with Ryan O’Reilly as the new No. 1 and both Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart looking to crack the roster and be full-time contributors.
GM Tim Murray also added some depth in veteran David Legwand, acquired from Ottawa in the Robin Lehner deal.