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Avalanche pick up P.A. Parenteau for four seasons, $16 million

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

One of the more popular free-agent forwards out there this summer is now under contract. The Colorado Avalanche signed P.A. Parenteau for four seasons at $4 million per season.

Parenteau was a late bloomer in the hockey world but enjoyed two very solid seasons with the Islanders playing alongside John Tavares on Long Island. He has been busy racking up assists while chipping in some of his own goals, including 18 this past season for the Isles.

Now he leaves Tavares -- the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft -- to play with Matt Duchene, the No. 2 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. It will be interesting to see how much of the production for that top line of the Isles and Parenteau was because of P.A. or because of Tavares. The Avalanche obviously believe it was because of Parenteau.

A bit of a journeyman before coming to the Islanders two years ago, Parenteau has put together two solid seasons to show he's worth this kind of contract. All things considered, from where some other free-agent deals are showing up, it's not a bad contract for either Parenteau or Colorado. At $4 million per season it's pretty reasonable for the Avs when you consider what some other players are getting.

From the Avalanche's perspective, it's their third -- not fourth -- signing of the day. Earlier they picked up Greg Zanon and John Mitchell, signing each to two-year deals. They also announced the signing of Matt Carkner on their official Twitter feed, only he didn't sign with the Avs. Ironically he signed with the Islanders.

The Avs had a bit of money to spend to reach the salary floor this summer and they appear to be spending it wisely. Of course time will tell on that, but so far the money seems to be going to good use.

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