Numbers Game: Avalanche add Parenteau

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Scott Cullen
7/1/2012 5:26:50 PM
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Colorado bolstered their forward lines by adding the third-leading scorer among unrestricted free agents.

Numbers Game looks at the addition of PA Parenteau.

The Avalanche get: RW PA Parenteau.

A 29-year-old winger who, as a late bloomer, only has two-plus seasons of NHL experience, Parenteau is one of three free agent wingers to have scored at least 65 points last season, tallying 67 in 80 games for the Islanders.

The big question when it comes to Parenteau's production is whether or not he can score as much if he's not skating alongside John Tavares, who was the offensive engine for the Islanders. by playing with Tavares, however, Parenteau frequently faced the opposition's top defensive units and that may not be the case quite as often in Colorado where there is more forward depth.

In Colorado, Parenteau may not be playing with Tavares, but an opportunity to skate on the wing with Matt Duchene could be a similarly enviable position.

Maybe Parenteau never duplicates his 67-point season again, but if he scores over 50 points for the next four seasons, that will be enough production to justify Colorado's investment of four years and %16-million.

One area in which Parenteau could improve in his new home is in terms of discipline. He had the second-worst penalty differential among Islanders forwards (via www.behindthenet.ca, only Marty Reasoner was worse) and his 13 combined slashing and tripping penalties was third-most among all NHL forwards last season.

What's puzzling is that the Islanders are a team so far below the salary cap that they may have to make some aggressive moves to reach the salary floor, yet they didn't seem particularly interested in keeping their third-leading scorer.

It will be up the Islanders to find a way to replace that lost production, whether it comes from a free agent signing, a prospect like Ryan Strome or an increased offensive role for Kyle Okposo or some combination thereof.

In the initial assessment, the Colorado Avalanche are a better team by adding a skilled forward like PA Parenteau and the Avs easily have the room to fit his contract into their salary structure which is far below the salary cap.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

PA Parenteau Matt Moulson Aaron Ness  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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