Avalanche reach deal with defenseman Francois Beauchemin
DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche fortified their blue line by signing defenseman Francois Beauchemin to a three-year deal.
The 35-year-old Beauchemin averaged a team-best 22 minutes, 44 seconds of ice time per game for Anaheim last season. He also ranked second among Ducks defensemen with a career-high 11 goals.
Colorado general manager Joe Sakic said the signing of Beauchemin on Wednesday brings ''toughness, leadership and a veteran presence to our blue line.'' The team is trying to beef up its defensive corps this offseason.
Beauchemin also brings postseason experience, having played in all 16 playoff games for the Ducks in 2014-15 and averaging 25:24 of ice time.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Beauchemin was a third-round pick by Montreal in 1998. He's played in 673 NHL games with Montreal, Columbus, Anaheim and Toronto.