The Colorado Avalanche needed someone to defend, so they went out and got a defenseman who established a career-high in goals last season when they signed Francois Beachemin to a three-year deal worth a reported $4.5 million per season.
This, however, will be a good addition for the Avalanche, at least in the short term. Beauchemin is a veteran defenseman who can help stabilize the blueline corps in Colorado. The 11 goals last year was nice, but the Avs don't necessarily need him to score that way with the likes of Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson providing much of the offense they need from the back end.
The Avalanche took an enormous step back last season after making the playoffs and many people saw it coming. Much of the reason for that is they were a terrible possession team that benefited from great goaltending. The Avs faltered last season because they didn't address their defensive shortcomings. They've done that with Beauchemin. Despite just having turned 35, Beauchemin has been able to log significant minutes and, without the need to produce offensively, can focus his efforts on being more of a shut-down defenseman.
The potential downside here is the Avs are committing a pretty significant term and a substantial amount of money to a player who is 35 years old and is showing signs of decline. Beauchemin had been a good fit with Anaheim and its stable of defensemen, but there is real concern over whether or not he can play top-four minutes at his age.
The Ducks, meanwhile, should be fine. Beauchemin had essentially priced himself out of Anaheim and, knowing that would likely be the case, Ducks GM Bob Murray went out and got Kevin Bieksa from the Vancouver Canucks on a cap hit of $4.6 million next season and $4 million in 2016-17 and '17-18 for a player who is one year younger.
"It was really tough to leave," Beauchemin told TSN. "I spent most of my 10 years in the league with Anaheim. I just never really felt Anaheim wanted me back."