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Dater’s take: Why the new Ryan Graves deal is a home run for the Avs



Avalanche d-man ryan graves

Good news for Ryan Graves today. The likable kid from Nova Scotia, who came out of nowhere to have a great season for the Avs, leading the NHL in plus-minus, signed a new three-year contract with the Avs, GM Joe Sakic announced.

The deal, which was actually agreed to Sunday night, breaks down like this, according to PuckPedia: Year 1 $2.5 million, $3 million in Year 2 and $4 million in Year 3, for a total cap hit of $3.16 million.

The contract thus avoids arbitration between the Avs and Graves. I think it’s a great deal for Graves, but also the Avs too. I truly think Graves will get even better moving forward, and a $3.16 million cap hit for the next three years, for a top-2 defenseman (which is what Graves was/is) is good economics for a team facing a flat salary cap for perhaps the next three years.

I don’t understand the critics who said Graves had a bad playoffs, by the way. First off, he had to play more minutes after Erik Johnson went down in the second round. He still was a plus-9 in 15 playoff games, with 29 hits and 37 blocked shots. Yeah, he had a couple of turnovers and his puck-possession numbers weren’t out of this world.

But I’ve seen enough of him to firmly believe he’ll be a strong, steady D-man for the next three years and, as I said, get better. I’d like to see him step up and be more physical, especially with the loss now of Zadorov. I think he will.

Let’s not forget about his nine goals and 26 points last year either. That’s pretty good for a D-man.

Superstreak Bonus!

I asked Joe Sakic today, by the way, his thoughts on Tyson Jost staying with the team and it sounds like a fait accompli. Sakic, in fact, said he’s working toward a new two-year deal for Jost.

My thoughts on that: It’s probably too soon to give up on the kid. Here’s the thing: I just don’t see him being more than a fourth-line player right now in this lineup. How is that going to boost his confidence any? How is that going to boost his point total?

I still think there’s a chance he might be traded, but overall it sounds like No. 17 will still stick around a while.

A few other things from Sakic’s virtual presser:

  • Even though Vladislav Kamenev was given a qualifying offer, he won’t count against the Avs’ salary cap right now. That’s because he’s playing in the KHL right now. Only if he wants to come back to the NHL – and actually signs his qualifying offer once the red tape with his KHL club is cleared – would he count against the cap.
  • Sakic said he’d prefer to get captain Gabe Landeskog signed to an extension before his final year of his deal runs out, but if things go all the way until the next off-season, so be it. Landeskog, though, could become an unrestricted free agent after this coming season.
  • Sakic said he initiated talks with Landeskog’s agent, Mark Wallen, during the playoffs.
  • Sakic indicated he will still look around for another defenseman for the top six, but if he can’t find one, Conor Timmins and/or Bo Byram could be that guy. But he doesn’t want to rush either of them if they’re not ready, he said.
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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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> I don’t understand the critics who said Graves had a bad playoffs
It was probably that stretch where he was directly involved in 7 out of 8 consecutive goals allowed by the Avs. However, I hope we can work out a deal with Seattle (or trade Johnson beforehand) so that Graves is protected. I don’t see them taking one of our forwards like Jost if Graves is available.

Mike Fisk

Since you brought it up, is it just me or is anyone else a little disappointed the Av’s haven’t done more to address their goalies during free agency? Or is there something else coming? Grub and Frankie did well in spurts, but in my unprofessional analysis, goal tending is the one area that may keep the Av’s from going where they, and their fans really want to go.

Brady Wise

Who would you like to see them break the bank for though? Pretty risky


People keep ignoring the fact that this was also his first experience in the post season. I think he will learn and grow, evidenced in the fact that he has already shown tremendous growth.

I also don’t expect him to become more of hard hitting player like Z. And frankly, I don’t think that’s what we were missing against Dallas. We were allowing the likes of Benn, Radulov or Perry to muscle themselves into scoring opportunities. You prevent that by standing in their way, overpowering them 1 on 1, not by decapitating them in open ice or agains the boards.

Last edited 2 years ago by dp10

Unfortunately, you just described no one in the present D corps (and that includes Makar, as great as he is, and he is). They absolutely lost to Dallas because of physicality and puck possession, which has been the case the past three years. Failure to upgrade those facets do not make me optimistic that this team as currently constructed will ever be capable of sustained stretches of play necessary for winning four consecutive rounds (or avoiding slumps during the regular season).


Speaking of the Landy contract. I think that Joe should wait to sign him until after the expansion draft. Then expose him. I can’t think if there’s an expansion rule about upcoming free agents re-signing with their former team. But you could throw Seattle a 7th to not take him.

Brady Wise

I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with Josh playing the bottom 6 and playing PK. Honestly the avs pissed me off so much in previous I switched to NFL buuut I do still watch and they need Josh on the PK thats where he looks comfortable. He’s got good stick work and he just looks more comfortable without the puck. Thats not a bad thing if your on the bottom 6 killing penalties. Plus he’s like 21 with 3 years experience. Reminds me of that dude that was a captain with the rangers and then got traded to… Read more »

Brady Wise

Thats why you spellcheck brad. Josh = Jost

Last edited 2 years ago by Brady Wise

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