Avalanche add former Penguins forward to help replace loss of Kadri
Sep 12, 2022, 9:20 AM
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Evan Rodrigues is coming off by far his best year in the NHL.
The former Pittsburgh Penguins forward is now a member of the Colorado Avalanche. The team announced on Monday morning they’ve signed Rodrigues to a one-year deal. Several reports say it will be worth about $2 million.
Rodrigues was the only member of the Penguins to play in all 82 games a season ago, tallying career-highs in goals (19), assists (24) and points (43). He skated on a line for most of the season with future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby.
Rodrigues produced five points in seven playoff contests for Pittsburgh, finishing tied for third in goals and leading the Penguins with three power-play points.
The Avalanche had a very solid offseason after winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 2001, but did lose center Nazem Kadri to the Calgary Flames. While Rodrigues isn’t quite the offensive threat of Kadri, this is key depth for the Avs as they figure out their top two lines.
Obviously those will consist of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin and Artturi Lehkonen, but Rodrigues is now an option as well. Who plays the center position on the second line remains to be seen, but Joe Sakic and Chris MacFarland have added another weapon.
The Avs open up their title defense a month from tonight at Ball Arena against the Chicago Blackhawks. A banner will be raised to the rafters as they look to do it all over again, with Rodrigues now in the fold.