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Avalanche send Martin Kaut back to Eagles. Here’s why it was the sensible move



I know a few of you out there might have been surprised at the news this morning from the Avalanche, that they sent Martin Kaut back to the Colorado Eagles, while recalling defenseman Kevin Connauton and forward Sheldon Dries.

After all, didn’t Martin Kaut just score two goals in the past week or so? Isn’t he a first-round pick who not only could (and has already) come in useful in the place of the still-injured guys and maybe as a depth forward for the playoffs?

Yes, he is and yes, he could have. But in this case, Joe Sakic did the smart thing in sending him back down.

The biggest reason why this happened is financial. If Kaut had played 10 games this season, the first year of his entry-level contract would have been “burned”, i.e., he’d be one full year into his free-agency career-ladder progression.

By sending him back, the Avs can play him next season in Year 1 of his contract progression, not Year 2. It’s the exact same thing the Avs did to Mikko Rantanen way back in 2015-16. They played Mikko nine games that season, then sent him back to San Antonio of the AHL. By doing that, Rantanen only is in the first year coming out of his ELC contract this season. Otherwise, he could have been a restricted free agent after the 2017-18 season in which he had 84 points in 81 games. Instead, Mikko couldn’t really cash in until after the 2018-19 season in which he had 87 points.

Capfriendly documents how Kaut had an age and contract that the Avs could “slide” another year:

$20 Dollar Bonus Voucher!

Besides, with some injured guys coming back soon, Kaut’s ice time would have gone down. Now he can go back to the Eagles, play a lot more and still know that he got a nice taste of life in the NHL, had some success and come back hungry to stick next year.



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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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That was the best decision. Looking forward to see him next year!

Jared Moss

how has connautions season been for the eagles? he going to be gone after the season? I get why we traded soderberg but he still has 16 goals this season and all we got pretty much was a third round pick… sad cause we prob could have retained some salary at the deadline and gotten at least a second… 16 goals.. gms kill for scoring at the deadline


It might not be financilly the best decision. If the Avs had played Rantanen for a 10th game and burned that first year of his elc, then they would have signed him for a long contract after 16–17 with much less than what they did now. Or even if they’d signed him a year later. Teams do that now in some cases they burn that year of to bring the money contract season a year closer. Which is smart in my opinion.

But what role did maybe the Seattle expansion play in this?

Luke Waggoner

Unless I’m mistaken, Kaut wouldn’t factor into the expansion discussion because he won’t have enough seasons in the NHL to be eligible to be claimed.

Adrian Dater



Definitely the right decision to make by sending Kaut back to Loveland. He opened eyes and showed he has the abilities to become a solid NHL contributor for years to come with the Avs.

John Mauss

I’d like to go back to AD’s point about the Avs in overtime. He hit the nail on the head that the Avs (actually Coach Bednar) need new personnel and a new plan. I can’t understand why a smart coach can’t see this. The Moose is a great player, but not in OT. He has to be “minus a lot” if anyone kept that stat. And although Mac has won us a couple, I think he has lost us more. The 3 on 3 has changed–its no longer a mad race of high scorers up and down the ice; it… Read more »

Adrian Dater

Great points


AD – Greer in the Organizational Doghouse hence why he hasn’t been called up recently to play bottom four minutes?


I understand all the financial reasons. But if you keep playing for tomorrow, today will never come. Namely, putting the best players on the ice to win a Stanley Cup. The Avs have too many of the same type players – undersized and easily pushed around. Especially when the playoffs start and the game slows down. Kaut is a physical presence in front of the net and can score goals. With Namestnikov available, sit Nieto. Kamenev will be a scratch once players come back from injury. The Avs need more grit and size like Kaut brings. The only caveat I… Read more »

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