It hasn’t gone unnoticed by a lot of fans that recently-acquired Avs defenseman Devon Toews doesn’t have a real contract yet for next season. And, that he’s slated to have an arbitration hearing one week from today in case he and the Avs can’t agree on a deal themselves.
If Toews and the Avs actually do go to arbitration, Toews can only get a one-year deal, because he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this coming season (even though Toews still doesn’t have a ton of NHL experience, he can be a UFA because he’ll be 27 in February). A one-year deal at an arbitrator’s number, followed by the prospect of Toews being a UFA when that deal is over, wouldn’t seem like a great scenario for the Avs.
But my sources on the situation say something will get worked out, and that fans shouldn’t worry. Yes, however: the Avs probably will have to spend a bit more on a new multi-year deal for Toews, as a premium for such a deal extending into his UFA-eligible years.
Toews, by the way, just got back Thursday from his honeymoon.
The Avs, according to PuckPedia, have just under $6 million left under the cap of $81.5 million. That’s plenty to fit Toews in for this coming season, at least. I wouldn’t expect Toews to get much more than $3 million per from an arbitrator on a one-year deal. I think the best thing for both sides would be something like a three-year, $12 million deal. The team gets cost certainty for three years with a good D-man, and the player gets the same thing, without having to worry about breaking a leg or something and ruining his market value in a final year of a deal.
Some other thoughts and links and whatnot on a Saturday:
- Where will the remaining top UFA sign?. A Hockey Now roundtable, which includes yours truly (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
- A scout gives his take on some UFAs still out there (San Jose Hockey Now)
- 10 teams in salary cap hell (Sportsnet)
- I’ll have a podcast later next week with John Hayes, CEO of Ball Corp., about the new naming rights deal on the former Pepsi Center. Hayes, you might recall, owned the Denver Cutthroats, which played in the Central Hockey League from 2012-14.
- I read the new book by Brian Burke, and it’s good. I recommend it. There is a chapter largely devoted to the Steve Moore-Todd Bertuzzi incident, and while Burke said Bertuzzi did a “dumb” thing and that it’s something both he and Bertuzzi will always regret about their time in Vancouver, he also said Bertuzzi was treated unfairly in the aftermath and said he was/is a good person. He also said he chastised Brad May for his “bounty” comment about Moore.
- It’s starting to sound like Denver might not be a top choice as a potential hub city for a bubble-start to the next season. One thing that really hurts in this department: No big hotel next to Ball Arena. It’s not helping that Colorado is setting records again for coronavirus cases.
- But Denver is still a good geographical location as a potential hub city. That’s probably the best thing it has going for it in potentially being a hub city.