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Avalanche

Avalanche Sign D Andre Benoit

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Andre Benoit #61 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 24, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Andre Benoit #61 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 24, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Avalanche bolstered their blue line on the opening day of free agency, signing defenseman Andre Benoit to a one-year deal on Friday.

The 29-year-old Benoit played in 33 games for the Ottawa Senators last season, scoring three goals and dishing out seven assists.

“He has good offensive skills and puck-moving ability and will be a good addition to our power play,” Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said of the 5-foot-11, 191-pound Benoit.

Before the start of free agency, newly hired Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said the team wasn’t going to be very active since the roster was already full. Colorado recently bought out the contract of defenseman Greg Zanon to open up space.

The team made several more moves later in the day, re-signing forward David Van Der Gulik to a one-year deal. Van Der Gulik spent most of last season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.

In addition, the Avs signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year deal. Defenseman Nate Guenin, along with forwards Guillaume Desbiens and J.T. Wyman agreed to one-year contracts, while forward Colin Smith signed a three-year entry-level deal.

Holden played in two games for Columbus last season. Wyman played in one game for Tampa Bay in 2012-13.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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