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Avalanche extend contracts of Mitchell, Berra

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 9:23 PM / News

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Avalanche extend contracts of Mitchell, Berra
The Colorado Avalanche on Friday signed forward John Mitchell and goaltender Reto Berra each to a three-year contract extension.

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche on Friday signed forward John Mitchell and goaltender Reto Berra each to a three-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season. Multiple media reports say Mitchell's deal is worth $5.4 million, an average annual value of $1.8 million, and Berra will earn $4.35 million, an average annual value of $1.45 million.

Mitchell, 29, has seven goals, 23 points and is plus-8 in 65 games this season. He has 42 goals and 114 points in 334 regular-season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Avalanche. Mitchell scored 10 goals and had 20 points in 47 games with Colorado in 2012-13 after signing as a free agent in the summer of 2012.

"John is a proven NHL player who has been a very good addition to our team the past two seasons," executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said in a statement. 'He can play in different situations and we feel his presence and his versatility will continue to strongly benefit our team moving forward."

Berra, 27, was acquired from the Calgary Flames on March 5 in a trade for a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. He appeared in 29 games for the Flames this season, with a 9-17-2 record and 2.95 goals-against average. The native of Bulach, Switzerland, represented his country at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he was 0-1 with a 1.02 GAA in one start.

Berra has been working with goalie coach Francois Allaire and is scheduled to make his first start for Colorado on Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets when the Avalanche end a three-game road trip.

"He was on the top of our list," coach Patrick Roy said. "He's [6-foot-4], a big kid, and he's worked with Francois in the past. Francois is very confident in him. We've been saying all along we don't want rental players. We wanted someone we believe will play for us long-term. He's been very receptive to what Francois wants. He's doing well, and I'm sure he'll be ready for his game against Winnipeg."

Mitchell and Berra would have become unrestricted free agents July 1.

NHL.com correspondent Rick Sadowski contributed to this report.

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