When the Colorado Avalanche begin to look at their three pending unrestricted free agents at forward, one name should jump out as the obvious choice to bring back. While Chuck Kobasew and Milan Hejduk are veterans on the decline, Patrick Bordeleau is young, tough and very good at the enforcer role for the Avalanche. With a plethora of young talent up front, keeping a heavyweight like Bordeleau around to keep opponents in check will be vital, and with Patrick Roy stepping in as head coach, the odds of Bordeleau staying around should increase.
Bordeleau has great size (6-6, 220) and while his primary role is to use his first, he was able to chip in two goals and five points in 46 games this season. He was also able to take pressure off of Cody McLeod and other players, allowing them to get involved offensively and not worry about fighting. It was a long and hard journey for Bordeleau to make it to the highest level, and he played all season like he did not want to be sent back down to the AHL. He should be relatively affordable, and unlike some enforcers he’s not a liability when on the ice.
In the five seasons before he joined the Avalanche, Bordeleau suited up for five different teams in the ECHL and three different teams in the AHL. He had been with the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Avalanche) for the past three seasons, and chipped in two goals, seven points and 91 penalty minutes for the Monsters during the lockout. If he doesn’t get a deal with the Avalanche, there should be plenty of interest headed his way from other teams.