The story probably will go one of two ways for Cory Sarich: 1) the old guy who had nothing left whose stop with the Avalanche was the last brief one of a long career or 2) the old guy everybody wrote off too soon.

Sarich believes it will be the latter. But nobody is expecting miracles here. Sarich is 35 and coming off a season in which he was sometimes scratched from the lineup of one of the NHL's worst teams. He is projected by first-year Avs coach Patrick Roy to be one of the bottom-three pairings on defense his probable partner being another 35-year-old Jan Hejda.

If Sarich can come close to what he's usually done in a career that started with the Buffalo Sabres in 1998 — play a respectable stay-at-home type of defense — all involved will be happy.
"It's nice to be here and get a fresh chance" said Sarich. "If I can get my game going the way I know I can I think it will really help the club."

A veteran of 915 NHL games Sarich was a top-four defender on the Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. He didn't miss a game for the Lightning from 2003-07 at one point becoming the NHL's reigning ironman for consecutive games played. In 2007 he signed a five-year contract with the Calgary Flames and helped them get to the playoffs his first two seasons with the team.

But beginning with the 2011-12 season Sarich's ice time diminished; he occasionally was a healthy scratch. He was reduced to watching games in street clothes. In the lockout-shortened 2013 season Sarich played 28 games and had a minus-8 rating his first minus campaign in six seasons.

During the summer the Flames traded Sarich and Alex Tanguay to the Avs for David Jones and Shane O'Brien. Sarich is entering the final year of a contract that is paying $2 million. He isn't thinking beyond getting off to a good start with the Avs and letting the rest take care of itself.