The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced this week that it has re-signed forwards Cody McLeod and Cody McCormick each to a one-year contract. McLeod agreed to a new deal on Monday, while McCormick was inked on Tuesday.
McLeod, 24, made his NHL debut last season, dressing in each of the final 49 regular-season games for the Avalanche after being recalled from Lake Erie (AHL) on Dec. 16. The Binscarth, Manitoba, native recorded nine points (4g/5a) and finished second on the Avs with 120 penalty minutes. He became the first rookie in Avalanche history to surpass 100 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger went on to appear in all 10 playoff games for Colorado, tallying a goal and one assist.
“Cody brings toughness and energy to our organization,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere. “He was an important role player for our team last season and we are looking for him to do the same this year.”
McCormick, 25, played in 40 games for the Avalanche last season, recording two goals and two assists with a +5 plus/minus rating. He registered 81 hits, fourth among Colorado forwards, and 50 penalty minutes. McCormick also dressed in four playoff games, tallying one assist.
Colorado’s fifth choice (fifth round, 144th overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft, McCormick has appeared in 135 career NHL games, recording 18 points (8g/10a) and 158 penalty minutes.
“Cody is a physical forward who plays the game hard every night,” said Giguere.
In addition, the Avalanche has signed seven other players over the past two days.
On Monday, the club agreed to terms with forwards Philippe Dupuis and Nathan Smith, defensemen Darcy Campbell and Aaron MacKenzie, and goaltenders Jason Bacashihua and Tyler Weiman.
Weiman, 24, began the 2007-08 season with the Avalanche, appearing in one NHL game before being reassigned to Lake Erie (AHL) on Oct. 8. He spent the rest of the year with the Monsters, compiling a 9-19-1 record with two shutouts in 31 games. Bacashihua, who was acquired by Colorado from St. Louis on Nov. 8, 2007, appeared in four games for the Peoria Rivermen and 19 with the Lake Erie Monsters. The 25-year old had a combined record of 6-14-2.
Dupuis and Campbell were both acquired from Columbus on Jan. 22, 2008 and spent the rest of the 2007-08 season with the Lake Erie Monsters. Dupuis, 23, recorded 19 points (12g/7a) in 46 combined games between Lake Erie and Syracuse. The 24-year-old Campbell notched seven points (2g/5a) in 36 combined games between the Monsters and Syracuse Crunch.
Smith, 26, played 13 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season after being recalled on Jan. 28. He spent most of the year with the Wilkes-Barre Penguins (AHL), where he finished third on the team in scoring with 50 points (22g/28a) in 68 games. Selected by Vancouver in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Smith has appeared in 17 career NHL games and also four Stanley Cup playoff contests.
MacKenzie played four seasons at the University of Denver from 1999-2003. The 27-year old has spent the past three years with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL) after signing with St. Louis as a free agent on June 29, 2004. A native of Terrace Bay, Ontario, MacKenzie collected five points (0g/5a) in 55 games for Peoria last season.
On Tuesday, Colorado signed forward Brian Willsie to a one-year deal.
Willsie was Colorado’s seventh choice (146th overall) in the 1996 Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Avalanche in 1999-2000 and went on to spend parts of three seasons with the team, recording 15 points (7g/8a) in 69 regular season games. He also had two points (1g/1a) in 10 playoff contests. The London, Ontario, native has since played with Washington and Los Angeles, appearing in a total of 334 NHL games. He has 51 goals and 53 assists for 104 career points.
Willsie, 30, spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. He had 12 points (4g/8a) in 53 games for the Kings last year after recording 21 points (11g/10a) in 81 games with Los Angeles in 2006-07.
“Brian has NHL experience and is familiar with our organization,” added Giguere.