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7-year, $35M extension for Girard

July 31, 2019, 1:26 PM ET [16 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Avalanche announced Wednesday they have signed defenseman Samuel Girard to a seven-year contract extension that will begin in the 2020-21 season and run through 2026-27.

The extension is worth $35 million for an annual average value of $5 million. Girard is entering the final year of the three-year entry-level contract ($728,333 per) he signed with the Nashville Predators.

“Samuel has been one of our best all-around defensemen since joining the Avalanche,” general manager Joe Sakic said in a news release. “He plays important minutes and is someone our coaches count on to play against other teams’ top lines. He has an exceptional ability to skate and move the puck. As a member of our core, we felt it was important to sign him to a long-term deal and we are excited to announce this extension.”

Girard, 21, finished second among Avalanche defensemen in scoring last season with 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) while playing in all 82 games. He averaged 19:53 in ice time, sixth on the team, and 17:44 at even strength, which was third. He had two assists in nine playoff games; he missed three games with an upper-body injury.

The Avalanche acquired Girard from Nashville on Nov. 5, 2017 in the three-team, multiplayer trade that sent Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators. He was Nashville’s second-round pick (No. 47) in the 2016 NHL draft.

Girard had 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in 73 games in 2017-18, with 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 68 games with the Avalanche following the trade.

He has 50 points (eight goals, 42 assists) in 155 career NHL games.

The Avalanche will depend heavily on Girard, Cale Makar and possibly 2019 first-round pick Bowen Byram to fill the offensive void left with the July 1 trade of Tyson Barrie to Toronto. Barrie, the highest-scoring defenseman in franchise history, had 14 goals and 59 points last season. He added a goal and seven assists in 12 playoff games.

Barrie is in the final year of a contract worth $5.5 million this season, after which he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. The Avalanche agreed to pay half that amount as part of the trade that brought Nazem Kadri to Denver.

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