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 former first-round pick of the now-Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Vladislav Namestnikov has struggled to find the right fit with an NHL club, and really, any sort of justification of being a former first-rounder. This season alone, the 27-year-old center/wing played for three different NHL clubs in various capacities.
Now in his seventh year in the league, Namestnikov has failed to score more than 20 goals or over 44 points.
When the Avalanche acquired Namestnikov in February, he came out firing in his first few games in Denver, scoring four goals and six points in his first nine games in the Burgundy and Blue. Not bad. His postseason wasn’t terrible either, where he tallied another four goals and five points in 12 games. He was nearly the hero in Game 7 against the Dallas Stars, where he scored two goals, including what would’ve been the game-winner with under four minutes to go in the game.
In total, Namestnikov recorded eight goals and 11 points in 21 games with the Avalanche.