The Colorado Avalanche have finalized the biggest deal — financially speaking — of the young free agent period, inking ex-Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau to a four-year, $16 million deal.
In keeping with the theme of the day, Parenteau gets a massive raise. The 29-year-old winger has signed six contracts during his NHL career — all of them one-year deals, none of them worth more than $1.25 million.
A former ninth-round pick of the Ducks in 2001, Parenteau came out of nowhere to score 120 points over the last two years, including 67 in 2011-12 (which was more than Brad Richards, Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin, to name a few.)
The knock (or concern) about Parenteau is that his offensive spike was tied directly to playing alongside John Tavares on Long Island. To that end, he’ll have no shortage of talented centers to play with in Colorado — Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly make for one of the league’s best young collection of centermen and should allow Parenteau to slide up and down the lineup.
Interestingly, the Parenteau contract is very similar to one Colorado gave to another late bloomer, David Jones. The 27-year-old power forward also scored a four-year, $16 million deal after scoring 47 goals over the last two seasons — Jones was originally drafted by Colorado in 2003.