Devon Toews and the Avalanche have avoided arbitration and agreed to a four-year, $16.4 million contract.
The 26-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent and had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday. Toews was acquired earlier this month in a trade with the Islanders that sent a pair of second-round picks in 2021 and 2022 to New York.
“We’re excited to have Devon under contract for the next four years,” said Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic. “As I said when we acquired him, Devon is a smart, two-way, puck-moving defenseman who is a durable defender and is excellent in transition.”
Toews suited up for 68 games last season with the Islanders, scoring six times and adding 22 assists. He was the team’s best possession player on defense in his two seasons in New York (51.04% Corsi, via Natural Stat Trick)
The signing solidifies the Avs’ blue line with their three pairings now under contract. Toews joins Sam Girard, Erik Johnson, and Ryan Graves as the teams’ blue liners signed through the 2022-23 NHL season. Cale Makar will join them soon as he’s due to become an RFA after the 2020-21 season. (Bowen Byram and Conor Timmins also will factor into possible spots on the defense as the season goes on.)
It’s been a busy offseason for Sakic, who also added Brandon Saad in a deal that sent Nikita Zadorov to the Blackhawks. While he’s preparing for another Stanley Cup run, the GM also has his eye on the summer of 2021. Next offseason is when extensions can be had for Makar, Saad, Philipp Grubauer and captain Gabriel Landeskog. If the salary cap ceiling does not go up again or increases slightly, he only has — as of now, per Cap Friendly — a little over $26M in space to work with.