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Dater’s Daily: Devon Toews contract situation explained




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.

$20 Dollar Bonus Voucher!

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.
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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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Why would they trade 2 2nd’s for a guy and only give him a 3 year deal? Seems like if you give up that much on a non deadline deal you’re committing to someone long term.

Matt Briggle

I would think the 3 year deal part would have a lot to do with MacK’s contract expiring in that time. They will also have Kaut’s contract expiring and (if he makes the team this year) Byram’s. Obviously, MacK is basically going to be handed a blank contract and asked to fill in the numbers (only partially joking), but the unknowns on D in how well Byram, Timmins, and Barron develop also raise some uncertainty there. They’re also in win now mode so giving up the two picks is reasonable to maximize the chances of winning a Cup before the… Read more »


If they think they’re going to have to trade a D in the next 3 years that’s even more reason to sign him long term. His trade value will be diminished if he’s not under team control. A 2nd round pick is a likely NHL player who is cost controlled for at least 3 years (ELC) and team controlled for at least 6 years. You don’t trade 2 of those (unless your renting a superstar at the deadline) for a tweener 1st pair/2nd pair D and then sign a contract that walks him 2 years into UFA. I doubt very,… Read more »

Matt Briggle

When you look at the system as a whole, Toews makes a whole lot of sense for a few years, but likely not much beyond that. To you point on contract length, he is 4 years older than Girard so the long term deal for G makes a lot more sense as he will be 29 at the end of the deal while Toews would be 33 if they signed him for 7 years. With Makar likely making $9 mil or so on a long term deal starting a year from now, Byram, Timmins, and Barron coming in over the… Read more »

Scott Wilson

Yes the Avs have nearly $6m in cap space but they also have to fill 4 roster spots. If 3 of those are $900k players like Timmons, Bowers, etc that removed $2.7m and leaves less than $3.3m for Toews.
Yes they should sign him for a few years but it will be tight. Still feasible tho.
This move would not have been possible without getting Chicago to eat $1m of Saad’s contract. Again Joe working 2 steps ahead.


There’s nothing requiring them to have a 23 man roster and the vast majority of the time since having the AHL team in Loveland they haven’t carried 23 players. Also, there’s plenty of things they can do to free up cap space when needed, other teams work with much greater restrictions. Here’s a 22 man roster that buries Bellemare for a million in cap savings, signs Toews for 5 years at 4.5, promotes Kaut, Byram and LOC and is cap compliant. If they don’t want to run so close to the cap they could flip someone a pick to take… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by takuma

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