The Northwest Division just got a lot more interesting!
Today, the Calgary Flames have signed forward Todd Bertuzzi to a 1 year deal worth $1.95 million. This adds some much needed size and power to the Flames.
This also marks the return of Bertuzzi in the Northwest division. In 2006, he was traded to the Florida Panthers in a deal that sent Roberto Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks. A deal that to this day is called one of the most lop-sided transactions in recent memory.
Since leaving Vancouver, he played for the Detroit Red Wings and last season with the Anaheim Ducks. In 68 games with the Ducks, he recorded 14 goals, 26 assists and 97 penalty minutes.
Could this be a new beginning for the struggling Bertuzzi?
He has not been the same since...the incident. What will go down as one of the worst acts commented on the ice. We all remember it. In 2004 at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C., in a divisional game against the Colorado Avalanche, Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punched Avs forward Steve Moore from behind.
That sucker-punch got Bertuzzi suspended indefinitely, but Steve Moore has not been able to come back to the game he loves since then. Now they are in a bitter legal dispute that also involves former head coach of the Canucks Marc Crawford, and the Vancouver organization.
Now with Bertuzzi in Calgary, back in the Northwest division, we will witness some interesting match-up. Bertuzzi will play against his former team the Vancouver Canucks in divisional games. But most interesting, he will be facing the team he was playing when his career went downhill, The Colorado Avalanche.
Calgary vs. Colorado already has an intense rivalry, but Todd Bertuzzi intensifies this a few notches. He will be playing in Denver for several games.
As an Avs fan, I cannot wait to play the Flames!
The Colorado Avalanche have signed Restricted Free Agent Wojtek Wolski to a 2 year deal.
Wolski, who was drafted by the Avs in 2004, was the fourth leading scorer on the club with 48 points in 2007-08 and his 30 assists ranked third among Avalanche skaters. He shared the team lead with six game-winning goals and was 4-for-8 in shootout attempts.
In his rookie campaign, he was fourth among rookie scoring, behind his teammate Paul Stastny, Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.
The Colorado Avalanche didn't waste any time today during the first day of Free Agency.
First, the Avalanche signed UFA goaltender Andrew Raycroft to a 1 year deal worth $800,000. The Avs were looking for someone in net after the departure of Jose Theodore, who signed with the Washington Capitals today.
Also coming to Denver, Darcy Tucker signs a 2 year deal worth $4.5 Million. Tucker is definitely an upgrade of Andrew Brunette, who signed with the Minnesota Wild today.
The deadline has passed, it is now July 1st! (Happy Canada Day to fellow Canadians)
Here's the list of Colorado Avalanche players who are now Unrestricted Free Agents.
F Andrew Brunette,
D Jeff Finger,
F Peter Forsberg,
F Jaroslav Hlinka,
F Joe Sakic,
D Kurt Sauer,
F Wyatt Smith,
G Jose Theodore,
G Tyler Weiman
With free agency just days away, and the news that Jose Theodore will not be coming back to the team, the Colorado Avalanche now have a HUGE decision to make (like they didn’t have enough on their plates).
Their #1 goaltender is now leaving, but shouldn’t Avs fans be relieved by this news?
Jose Theodore, who cost the Colorado Avalanche $6,000,000 per season, has not lived up to his price. He was traded from Montreal in 2006 to Colorado for David Aebischer. Since the trade, Theodore has struggled to regain his “Hart Trophy” form. He was constantly fighting for his #1 position with back-up Peter Budaj.
It wasn’t until mid-way through last season we saw Jose Theodore improve. When the Avs came down with the injury bug, Theodore kept the team into a playoff position. After a stellar first round against the Minnesota Wild, the bad luck seemed to come back. You can blame it on injury, or the flu, or the Red Wings were just too much... but Jose Theodore and the Avs crumbled.
Talks with GM Francois Giguere and Jose Theodore’s agent broke down late last week, and here we are.
So now what? What are the options for the Avalanche?
They can rely with Peter Budaj. He has been there for years and has posted some good numbers. But inconsistency is a fear. Chances are GM Giguere will go shopping for a #1, or back-up to Budaj.
I think they should go after someone cheap. Why not bring back the man they traded away for Theodore, David Aebischer. There’s no doubt he would love to come back after dreadful seasons in Montreal, Phoenix and even the minors. He also comes at a cheap price of $600,000.
Since the Avs love their nostalgic moments, Marc Denis is also available. He would also be a good cheap option.
With the acquisition of “Abby” or Denis, the Avalanche would have lots of cap space to go after more big star names. I hear something about a Sundin available...
One of the classiest players that has laced up skates has a huge decision to make, and he’s going to take his time doing it.
Colorado Avalanche’s captain Joe Sakic, 38, has played his entire career with the same franchise (Quebec/Colorado), but now he’s trying to make the right decision. Will he come back to play next year, or will he call it a career and retire?
Sakic, who becomes an unrestricted free-agent on July 1, has been given time to reflect by the Avalanche organization. He has said himself that a decision will not be made by July 1.
But worry not Avalanche fans, it’s Denver or nothing! As his agent Don Baizley told TFP, “The only option he is considering is the Avalanche.” Signing with another team is not an option for Captain Joe.
General Manager Francois Giguere now has no choice but to wait for his captain’s decision. But he has more work to do. He is currently in negotiations with goaltender Jose Theodore, who came back last season from disappointing campaigns.
Also becoming unrestricted free-agents on July 1 are Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote, Andrew Brunette, John-Michael Liles, and more!
No doubt a busy summer for the Avalanche! But at least they are sure that they will not lose their captain to free agency.
Personally, I think Joe Sakic has more in him. I except to see him back on the ice with the Avalanche next season and giving it his all.
The Denver Post reports that talks between Jose Theodore and The Colorado Avalanche have broke down, and he will be testing the free agency market.