The Colorado Avalanche have quietly had a pretty busy summer. The move that drew the most attention was handing the captaincy over the Gabriel Landeskog. But the move from this summer that could end up paying off the most in the upcoming season was their signing of P.A. Parenteau to a four-year deal.
Parenteau is a pretty interesting case, and was one of the more intriguing names out on the free agent market. A late bloomer, he hadn’t really established himself as a productive player until the past couple of years with the New York Islanders. But he was able to take advantage of a thin free agent class and earn himself a new deal with the Avs.
Parenteau spent most of the season playing with star forward John Tavares. Playing with Tavares in a breakout year helped Parenteau to reach 67 points on the season (18 G, 49 A). It’s the fact that he was playing with an elite player that have led many to wonder if his numbers were inflated.
While there’s no doubt that playing next to a guy like John Tavares certainly helped him get $16 million out of the Avalanche, it’s hard to completely dismiss Parenteau as a very talented offensive player. Though his road to the top level took a bit longer than it takes for many top offensive players, he has 120 points the past two seasons, and it’s hard to call that a fluke.
While Matt Duchene probably won’t light up the scoreboard in the way that we’re expecting John Tavares to the next few years, many have him pegged as a breakout player this season, if there is one. Parenteau will be playing next to him, which should indicate that he’ll be able to maintain the level at which he played last season.
Parenteau may not be a top tier offensive player, but he should be a nice signing for this team. Playing in the top six, he brings skill and plays with an edge. He may not reach the 70-point mark, but I’d expect him to maintain the production we’ve seen from him the last two years.
For an Avalanche team on the cusp of being a playoff contender, he should be a key piece of what they do next year. The fact that this move has garnered such little attention, and could pay off in such a big way, makes this an underrated signing.