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Excited To Get Things Started

by Kyle Shohara / Colorado Avalanche
For P.A. Parenteau, all the years of hard work and determination culminated in his new contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

P.A., whose initials stand for Pierre-Alexandre, signed a four-year contract with the Avalanche on July 1 after two successful seasons with the New York Islanders.  

Parenteau earned 67 points (18g/49a) and 89 penalty minutes in 80 games last season and amassed 120 points (38g/82a) and 135 penalty minutes in 161 games during his two-year stay on Long Island.  

But the journey to the NHL wasn’t easy, as Parenteau spent parts of seven seasons in the American Hockey League after being selected by Anaheim in the ninth round (264th overall) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

“It’s no secret.  I spent a lot of time in the AHL,” said Parenteau.  “It’s even more special that I got to live a day like [July 1].   It was a long road to get there, but I appreciate it even more now that it happened.”

The native of Hull, Quebec admits he can’t wait to get things going in Colorado.  “I’m just so excited for this new opportunity,” said Parenteau.  “They have so many good young players, like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly.  I thought it was a good fit.  I’m looking forward to this new start.”  

Parenteau will see a couple of familiar faces when he steps into the locker room.  He says he’s good friends with Avs defenseman Shane O’Brien and knows goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere from their days in Anaheim.  P.A. is hoping they can help him find a place to live when he moves to the Mile High City.  “They both texted me and called me,” he said.  “I’m sure they’ll help me out with finding a place to live.”

Parenteau, who scored 20 goals for the Islanders in 2010-11, joins an Avs team that had three players score 20 or more goals last season (Landeskog – 22, Paul Stastny – 21, David Jones – 20).  Also consider O’Reilly who finished with 18 goals and Jamie McGinn who scored 20 (eight with the Avs after being acquired at the trade deadline on Feb. 27).

Although he’s excited for his new start in Denver, Parenteau won’t soon forget his time spent with the Islanders.  

“I had two great years there,” he said.  “I was happy with what I accomplished.  I was lucky to play with two really good players in John Tavares and Matt Moulson.  I’m hoping I can duplicate that with the young guys in Colorado.”

The young guys.  P.A., who isn’t even 30 yet (he’s 29), is now one of the elder statesmen on the Avalanche. 
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