Avalanche hope P.A. Parenteau continues progress

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After fighting through the minors and accepting one-year contracts during his NHL seasons, the Colorado Avalanche rewarded P.A. Parenteau with a four-year, $16 million deal this summer.

The 29-year-old forward represents the splashiest move the Avs made during the offseason, but what can they expect from winger?

Two full seasons with the New York Islanders isn’t a big sample size, yet he’s put up commendable numbers so far – including 67 points last season.

Adrian Dater expects Parenteau to line up with Matt Duchene (the third overall pick in 2009) after doing much of his damage alongside that year’s top choice John Tavares.

Having a playmaker such as Parenteau skating alongside Duchene could be a real boon for the struggling should-be star.

After showing outstanding promise in his first two seasons, Duchene fought injuries and uneven play to settle for 28 points in 58 games in 2011-12.

One of free agency’s biggest risks is that players often fail to translate previous successes to a new environment.

Some might argue that a lapse in effort is less likely for Parenteau because he fought so hard merely to be a regular NHL player, though.

Either way, many will view Colorado’s offseason success based on Parenteau’s production.