Looking to free up a protection spot ahead of next week's expansion draft, the Colorado Avalanche have decided to buy out defenseman Francois Beauchemin.

Beauchemin, 37, had one year left on his contract at a cap hit of $4.5 million, but his no-movement clause would have necessitated the Avs protecting him. By exercising the $1.5 million buyout, they can shield a younger player from the Vegas Golden Knights.

In his second season with Colorado, Beauchemin had five goals and 13 assists. He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

The Avalanche finished last in the league last season and could make quite a few moves this offseason.

 

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