Avs sign three of their six free agents
The Avalanche announced the signings of three of their six qualified restricted free agents Tuesday. Forwards Gabriel Bourque and Felix Girard and defenseman Duncan Siemens agreed to oneyear, two-way contracts for next season.
Defenseman Nikita Zadorov and forwards Matt Nieto and Rocco Grimaldi remain unsigned RFAs. Zadorov and Nieto played regularly with Colorado last season and are expected to make the Avs’ opening-night lineup in October. Bourque, Girard, Siemens and Grimaldi are probably bound for San Antonio of the American Hockey League.
Zadorov, 22, played in 56 games for Colorado last season and is considered a cornerstone defenseman for the team. But according the Russian news outlet Sport-Express, he has agreed to terms with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. Zadorov would prefer to re-sign with the Avalanche, SportExpress wrote, but is waiting to the end of July to get a better offer from Colorado.
Former Avalanche forward and fellow Russian Mikhail Grigorenko recently signed with CSKA. Grigorenko, 23, who was not given a RFA qualifying offer by the Avs, joined Colorado, along with Zadorov, in the 2015 six-player trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.