Colorado Avalanche Negotiating with Mark Barberio **UPDATED

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Mark Barberio #44 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a J.T. Compher goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center on December 18, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Mark Barberio #44 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a J.T. Compher goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center on December 18, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

UPDATE: The Colorado Avalanche have signed defenseman Mark Barberio to bring him back next season. We’ll see how that works out for the lineup.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio seems ready to return for the team next season. As reported in the Journal de Montreal (in French, of course), Barberio spoke about negotiating with the Avs.

He told the Journel that he was “currently in talks to renew my contract with the Avalanche.” The 28-year-old defenseman is coming off a two-year contract worth $1.5 million. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

More from Mile High Sticking

Barberio probably didn’t have the season he wanted duration-wise. He missed 36 games to injury, mostly with an undisclosed lower body injury that kept him out of the lineup for all of February and March. He did play all six playoff games, though.

Production-wise, Barberio made a decent showing. He recorded three goals and 10 assists in the regular season and one assist in the playoffs. The Avalanche picked Barberio up on waivers from the Montreal Canadiens in February 2017.

In fact, according to the Journel, Barberio feels like he blossomed here in Colorado over Montreal:

"“I played well when I was given my chance in Montreal, but in Colorado I have better opportunities because I won’t have to go back to the stands after every game I play. I am quieter and more experienced [now], and all that is thanks to the Avalanche that gave me my chance.”"

As I said of Barberio in a previous post, we didn’t know what we were missing with his play until he came back from his long absence. His skill set of smooth skating and puck handling stood out in contrast from some of the journeymen we’d been watching. Barberios is a skilled puck-mover.

That said, I wonder what kind of term Colorado is going to offer Barberio. It’s not that 28 is so old even for a defenseman. It’s just that the Avalanche have committed to their youth movement. They’ve already got positions filled by Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, Samuel Girard and Nikita Zadorov. They have Anton Lindholm and Mark Alt already in the system and Conor Timmins set to join the team next season and Cale Makar the following year.

The Avalanche recently signed Mark Alt to a three-year deal, but that’s two-way. And he’s only 26. I’m guessing the maximum Barberio gets is two — GM Joe Sakic isn’t going to make the same mistake of handing out lucrative three-year deals to pending vets that take development time away from his young players.

UPDATE: He did not. According to Avs insider Adrian dater, the contract is for two years at $1.45 million each year.

Next: MacKinnon Forceful About Next Season

According to the article, Mark Barberio has been resting up since the end of the season. However, he plans to return to his training “very soon” so he can be prepared for next year.

We already know the Colorado Avalanche have strict conditioning expectations, which Barberio will want to meet.