Andrew Cogliano, 35, 'a big part of our Stanley Cup championship,' re-signs with Colorado Avalanche

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche re-signed veteran forward Andrew Cogliano to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

One of the feel-good stories in the Avalanche's march to the Stanley Cup, Cogliano, 35, an in-season acquisition from the Anaheim Ducks, didn't make as much noise up front as many of the Colorado forwards did in the postseason, but he made his minutes count.

In 16 playoff games, working primarily on the team's fourth line, Cogliano had three goals and six points while averaging 9 minutes, 41 seconds of time on the ice en route to winning the title for the first time. That came after 18 goalless games in the regular season after the trade from Anaheim.

"Andrew was such a big part of our Stanley Cup championship with his leadership and veteran presence," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "He battled back from various injuries throughout the playoffs and played key minutes for us when we needed it the most. He's a great teammate who works hard on and off the ice and sets a great example for the rest of the group.

"We're excited to have him back for another season."

More decisions are looming for the champs as the NHL draft nears this week, and with free agency opening next week. The Avalanche have unrestricted free agents at every position. There are forwards such as Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin, along with defensemen such as Josh Manson and Jack Johnson, and goaltender Darcy Kuemper. There are also several restricted free agents such as Artturi Lehkonen and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

"The guys that drive the bus every night are still here and are very hungry," Cogliano said over a Zoom call. "We're going to be hungry for more. We've got a taste of it now. With the guys we have on our team who are very driven, I think they're only going to want more of that. I think that's a perfect place to start next season."

The NHL's regular season will begin on Oct. 11.

"Obviously, a short summer, but I think it's exciting. It will go by quick and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing," Cogliano said. "Come back in September and get to work as a team and get back to where we were this year."

A veteran of five NHL teams, after breaking in with the 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers, Cogliano hasn't topped five goals since 2017-18 with the Ducks, but he can contribute on the back end of a forward unit and can likely take on a spot on a team's penalty-kill unit. And as a Stanley Cup champion, he had an addition to his résumé that many other free-agent forwards didn't have.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.