AAA  Jul. 3, 2014 8:37 AM ET
Redmond inks deal with Avs
Chris Dobrowolski, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich. (MCT)
McClatchy/Tribune - MCT Information Services
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TRAVERSE CITY — Zach Redmond’s first experience with free agency lasted just one day.

Redmond ended his short stint as an unrestricted free agent when he inked a two-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, a one-way deal that will pay the defenseman $1.5 million.

“It’s a very exciting time,” said Redmond. “Coming in, this is my first time being an unrestricted free agent, so it was a new experience for me. You never really know what to expect. Everything happened pretty quick. A lot of it, because of the rules, is left up to the team and the agent to talk it all through. I know Colorado had been a team that had showed a lot of interest for a while, and when they came through with the offer it just seemed like a great fit, so we got it done pretty quick, which is nice.”

Getting a one-way deal means the Traverse City native will receive his salary no matter if he’s playing in Colorado or with a minor league affiliate. The expectation with the deal, though, is that Redmond will make a push for a full-time spot.

“Obviously, nothing is ever guaranteed in this game and you need to show up and make a team, but the contract puts me in a position to succeed,” he said. “I just need to play well at training camp.”

Redmond appeared in 10 games this past season with the Winnipeg Jets, scoring three points on a goal and two assists. Most of the year was spent with the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps, where he tallied 25 points on six goals and 19 assists in 40 games during the regular season. He added two goals and 12 assists in 21 playoff games in helping the IceCaps reach the Calder Cup Finals. In 18 career games with Winnipeg Redmond had two goals and five assists.

Winnipeg extended an offer to Redmond to stay with the Jets on Monday, but he opted to instead try his hand at free agency, starting the very next day.

“There’s varying levels of interest,” Redmond said of the teams that were looking into signing him. “There were probably around 10 teams interested, but there was really only three that we were looking at seriously.”

Redmond, 25, joins former Red Wing Brad Stuart as the blue-liners who were newly-acquired by the Avs. Stuart came over in a trade from San Jose for a pair of draft picks. Both were brought in as part of a concerted effort to bolster the team’s defense. Colorado vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told the Denver Post that Redmond came highly recommended by the team’s scouts.

“Zach Redmond, our pro guys feel he could be what Nick Holden was for us last year,” Sakic said.

Holden, who appeared in 54 games with Colorado last season and scored 10 goals and chipped in 15 assists, signed a three-year extension with the Avs on Tuesday.


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