AVALANCHE

Avs make a trade to finally solve their second-line center problem

Jun 24, 2023, 12:46 PM

The Colorado Avalanche might have finally solved their second-line center problem.

The team announced on Saturday they’ve acquired Ryan Johansen from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, who sparingly played for Colorado a season ago.

Johansen has played in 842 NHL games with Nashville and Columbus, recording 555 points on 189 goals and 366 assists. The Avs have been looking to fill the void since last summer, after the beloved Nazem Kadri departed in free agency.

Johansen is 30-years-old and 6-foot-3, 218-pounds. He has 54 points (19 goals /35 assists) in 67 career playoff contests.

“Ryan is a talented, veteran center who helps our top six,” Avalanche GM Chris MacFarland said in a release from the team. “He gives us size in the middle of the ice and brings leadership and experience to our roster. We look forward to adding him to our team.”

ESPN reports the Predators are retaining 50 percent of Johansen’s $8 million salary over the next two seasons. Nashville appears to be rebuilding, and was willing to eat some of the salary to make the deal work.

The Avalanche are coming off a disappointing Round 1 exit to the Seattle Kraken, unable to defend their Stanley Cup in 2022. They’ll look to give it another go next year, with Johansen in the fold and hopefully a healthier roster overall.

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