The Colorado have agreed to terms with defenseman Maxim Noreau, per the Denver Post. The team will pay Noreau $1.25 million over two years. He first joined the NHL system as an undrafted prospect out of the QMJHL.
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Noreau’s most recent play came in the Swiss league as a member of HC Ambrì-Piotta of the Swiss National A League. Noreau tallied 8 goals and 24 points in 35 contests. In the last three seasons, Noreau has totaled 89 points in 124 games. It’s that offensive ability that the team is hoping will add scoring depth to a Colorado team that boasted the fourth most goals in the NHL last season, but still lost in the first round of the playoffs.
While Noreau hasn’t played in the NHL since 2010-11, he still has a history of producing points in the pro systems of North America. He was actually second in the AHL in goals for defensemen with 18, and he’d totaled 54 points in 76 games in that last season, per Pro Hockey Talk.
While the Avalanche top four will be tough for Noreau to crack — it includes Erik Johnson, Brad Stuart, Jan Hejda, and Ryan Wilson — the rest of the unit is fairly shallow and poses a great opportunity for Noreau to crack an NHL lineup with his offensive ability.
In a league that’s erring more and more to side of speed and skill, leaving behind the lumbering pylons of old, a player like the 6 foot, 197 pound Noreau poses more value than ever. Like other moves being made at this stage of free agency, this contract offers a low risk, low reward option for a team looking to build depth for another playoff run.