Avalanche to buy out Beauchemin

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The Colorado Avalanche will buy out the final year of Francois Beauchemin‘s contract.

The Avs will still be stuck with a $4.5 million cap hit for the 37-year-old defenseman, but they’ll save $1.5 million in actual dollars.

Beauchemin also had a no-movement clause, so the Avs will no longer be obligated to protect him in the expansion draft.¬†That leaves them free to protect Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, and Nikita Zadorov, plus seven forwards. (Or, they could protect another defenseman — perhaps Mark Barberio, or even one they add in a trade — then only protect four forwards.)

Beauchemin played 81 games for the Avs last season, averaging 21:31 of ice time. He had five goals and 13 assists.