With the Avalanche season officially drawn to a close, it’s time to turn our attention to what is sure to be an interesting offseason. According to CapFriendly, the 2020-21 Avs squad has 14 members currently signed on next season, leaving some decisions for GM Joe Sakic to make on some of his uncontracted players. With an estimated cap hit of roughly $59.1 million for next season’s Avalanche, and with the NHL salary capped at $81.5 million, Sakic and Co. have roughly $22.4 million to work with…with plenty of work to do.
Colorado Hockey Now will work its way down that list of a few of the unsigned Avalanche and make a case for and against re-signing the prospective free agents, providing stats, analytical insights and opinions on the matter ahead of the opening of the NHL’s free agency period beginning on Oct. 9.
A couple of days ago, we weighed the pros and cons of re-signing Tyson Jost. Today, we’ll turn our attention to another restricted free agent for the Avalanche, one who is likely the only other player on the Avs roster that is more polarizing than Jost… Yes, I’m talking about Nikita Zadorov.
The 25-year-old Avs defenseman is coming off a one-year, $3.2 million contract, in which he tallied his lowest numbers since the 2016-17 season. Of course, it was a pandemic-shortened year, and let’s be real, his job was never to put up points anyway. He’s no Cale Makar. Points matter very little in his case — it’s just an observation. His main job is to aggravate, shutdown and be an all-around pest to the opposition on a nightly basis. Something he does fairly well…for better and often times for worse.