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With money to spend and holes the fill, the Avalanche have been quite active in free agency. They picked up a solid defenseman in Hejda, who played last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 33-year-old suited up in 77 games during the 2010-11 season, scoring five goals and dishing out 15 assists. He also averaged more than 21 minutes of ice time.

Jan is a defensive defenseman with size,” Sherman said. “He will fill an important role on our blue line and will help our penalty killing unit.”

Hejda’s signing comes on the heels of the team agreeing to terms with defensemen Ryan O’Byrne and Matt Hunwick on Thursday.

The 29-year-old Kobasew was with the Minnesota Wild last season. He had nine goals and seven assists in 63 games. Kobasew was originally a first-round pick by Calgary in 2001.

Chuck is a talented forward who can provide scoring to our lineup,” Sherman said. “We are expecting him to add depth and speed to our offense.”

Another addition to the offense could be the return of forward Peter Mueller, who sat out all last season with a concussion.

“We are certainly hoping and all indications are that Peter is progressing well,” Sherman said. “He’s had a good summer of training, of getting up to the levels where an elite athlete has to train, symptom-free. We’re looking forward to him being cleared to play in camp and hopefully getting him back for the season.”

As for what’s next on the free-agent front, Sherman said the team may take a breather.

“Been a very busy day,” Sherman said. “Certainly, with the moves we made today and the number of players we’ve added to a roster that we already feel strongly about, right now, it’s a scenario where we continue to focus on our remaining restricted free agents and get ready for camp.”


AP Sports Writer Joseph White in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.


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