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How Gabe Landeskog could be exposed in the Seattle expansion draft, and how that could be a good thing for the Avalanche

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Gabe Landeskog

The Colorado Avalanche have to submit their “protected” list to the NHL and expansion Seattle Kraken by July 17. Sources tell me, that’s about three and a half weeks from now. It won’t be a shock if Gabe Landeskog is NOT on the protected list, and here’s why:

Landeskog can become an unrestricted free agent July 28. The Kraken will pick their team on July 21st.

It’s been an assumption all along that Landeskog would be one of the skaters protected by the Avs (they can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie OR eight skaters and one goalie. Teams usually only go the “eight skaters” route when they have four really good D-men they don’t want to lose).

But what if the Avs and Landeskog came to this kind of informal agreement., which would go something like this:

“Hey, Landy, let’s formally agree to a deal between July 21-28. That way, we can protect another guy we don’t want to lose, you still get a fat new deal with us and we’re a better team moving forward because you left yourself unprotected so we could keep that guy. Win-win!”

If you’re looking at most projected, protected lists right now, they have a 7-3-1 split. The conventional wisdom is that the protected skaters would be: Landeskog, Rantanen, MacKinnon, Burakovsky, Kadri, Nichushkin and Jost, with Toews, Makar and Girard the protected D-men and Grubauer the protected goalie.

Betting with the Barbers!

That list leaves some good players exposed, guys such as Ryan Graves, J.T. Compher and Joonas Donskoi. But what if one of them could be protected, with no worry of losing Landeskog? Well, technically, that could be done – and it would be perfectly legal under the existing rules.

The risk for the Avs would be: Seattle would have exclusive rights to negotiate any deal it wanted with Landy, from July 18-21, and if they came to terms, he would be their selection on July 21. Do you really want to let Landy be wined and dined by someone like Kraken co-owner Jerry Bruckheimer, the famous Hollywood producer? Maybe Bruckheimer offers him a fat contract, plus a movie deal? What if Seattle were to offer a couple million more per year over what the Avs are prepared to pay Landy?

But if the Kraken already know that they have no shot at signing Landy, they wouldn’t take him. Sure, they could take him on July 21. But, if they couldn’t come to a contract agreement by the 28th, he would go unrestricted to the open market just like any other UFA. So, Seattle wouldn’t waste that Avs pick of theirs, in that case.

It’s up for debate as to who the Avs would/should protect, if they were to expose Landeskog. I would hate to lose Graves for nothing, but if you protect him, then you have to do the eight skaters route, thereby exposing another good forward(s). If you do the 7-3-1 split and Landy is exposed (but you know you won’t lose him), now you can protect a Donskoi or a Compher or even a Logan O’Connor.

Bottom line: the Avs need to get Landy signed by July 28, no matter what. You don’t want 31 other teams suddenly able to wine and dine him. You can maybe live with the risk of Seattle doing that for three days, especially if you already have a wink-wink agreement with him to sign between the expansion draft and UFA day.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Enzo

This is making me so nervous! Should we be nervous AD? Captain Landy is such an important, huge piece to this team.. Under no circumstances can the organization afford to let him walk and lose him.. He’s the glue!

Last edited 4 months ago by enzo269
Joshua Canfield

I was nervous about the Expansion Draft to start the year because of how talented this group is. Yet, as the season is finished for the Avs, I’m okay with loosing Graves or Compher. They both have been good role players for the team. However, role players can be replaced. Another thought, is maybe Sakic will make a deal with the Kracken. Some teams went that route to protect certain players they had to leave exposed in the Vegas draft. I agree with AD 100%, hockey is a really unpredictable sport. I wouldn’t worry too much about the draft. Sakic… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Joshua Canfield
Matt Zmuda

Maybe they should also consider doing this with Grubauer if he has a real interest in staying with the team.

hockeyhead

Dater, I think you do not take any chances on losing Landy. Get him signed asap. If the Avs don’t want to lose Graves for nothing, then Sakic should trade him before the protected list are due. Maybe he could get some good picks or a top six forward which would complicate the protected side of the list for forwards. We are just going to lose a good player and hopefully someone with some salary to free us up some cap room(Compher/Donskoi). Or he could trade for a good player/prospect who is not expansion draft eligible. ???

troian

Keeping Graves would be more conducive to making the changes in the roster necessary to achieve the goal of winning the Cup. What AD has proposed would be wonderful (keeping both, as I am not anti-Landy), but if it came down to one or the other, I would keep Graves (just look at the roster, blank him out, and look at the size, or lack thereof, as if that is necessary given the results we’ve all witnessed). Trying to ‘preserve’ what has been, at increasing cost as to those components, leads to…? What is that definition of hell? Find a… Read more »

Matt Briggle

It would definitely be a risk going that route. The way I understand that 3 day exclusive negotiation window is that Seattle can offer 8 year deals during that time instead of the 7 year max deals normally offered during free agency. Any “handshake” deal they might have prior to that would be severely tested if Seattle put an 8 year $9 mil deal in front of him and said we want you to be our first captain. Yes it would be a serious overpay for him, but they can afford to do that right now. If the “handshake” deal… Read more »

Richard Trujillo

What exactly does Landeskog do for this team that makes him such a priority? He is basically O’Reilly without all of the qualities that make O’Reilly special and so many Avs fans basically ran him out of town saying “he isn’t worth the money”.

dp10

This sounds a bit like Islanders/Tavares territory. I have never seen Sakic as that much of a risk taker. In fact the one time he did, he got burned by losing Paul Stastny to free agency.

I think he will play it safe and either make a deal with Seattle or expose our two most vulnerable assets Donskoi and Graves.

ricoflashback

Why would the Avs protect Girard? That makes no sense at all. A small defenseman who got crushed in the Vegas series and who is a physical liability and contractual liability (5 years) as long as he is in an Avs uniform. I do not see any value in keeping Girard. I have no idea on why Dater values him over Graves. Keeping Girard dooms in the Avs of advancing past the 2nd round. You can’t give up half the ice and the front of the net (Girard’s side) and win in the playoffs. Keep Graves. He’s a shoo in… Read more »

Yan Girard

This season, Makar is at the 31 rank in NHL for the even strenght time per game with 19:12. Girard is at the 18 rank with 19:34. Respectively, Makar (60.9) and Girard (60.3) are first and second for the corsi in NHL at even strenght among the defensemen that played minimum 40 games (ref.: https://www.hockey-reference.com/analytics/). You can continue to keep your eyes closed but the numbers are there. It’s not a question to be blind about the game by Girard or his ability. The best form of defence is attack. When you control the puck, you can’t get scored. Furthermore, when a team… Read more »

Yan Girard

The players that want to win will be ready to sacrifice themselves for the team. To have a competitive team, the management of the payroll is very important. For example, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers give a lot money at a handful of players. Result : a rapid elimination year after year. These players crumble under pression of their contract? Otherwise, how much series won after signing the contract of 10 millions and more for Toews and Kane? Where is the depth of their team now? By contrast, the Tampa Bay Lightning has a salary structure well established. This… Read more »

Dwayne Hall

I think if the Avs don’t protect him that would be a sign of 2 things. It’s probably a done deal that just needs signed. If it isn’t that, then it’s the complete polar opposite where they don’t have a deal and they’re nowhere close where he was heading to the open market anyway in which case, why protect him aside from hoping you can get close in a week before free agency opens. As much as I would hate to lose Graves, I’m hoping he’s the guy simply to take that contract off the books and allow the Avs… Read more »

David Westall

Why would you protect Girard? He was AWFUL in the playoffs and he’s not ever gonna be physical enough to be a dependable playoff d man. Unless you think the NHL is going to start enforcing their own rules in the playoffs then he’s expendable.

Yan Girard

This season, Makar is at the 31 rank in NHL for the even strenght time per game with 19:12. Girard is at the 18 rank with 19:34. Respectively, Makar (60.9) and Girard (60.3) are first and second for the corsi in NHL at even strenght among the defensemen that played minimum 40 games (ref.: https://www.hockey-reference.com/analytics/). You can continue to keep your eyes closed but the numbers are there. It’s not a question to be blind about the game by Girard or his ability. The best form of defence is attack. When you control the puck, you can’t get scored. Furthermore, when a team… Read more »

ricoflashback

Right on. Girard is a defensive liability. Too weak, too small and easily muscled off the puck. What folks like Yan Girard (no relation – I think) and even Dater do not acknowledge is that in the playoffs, the game gets more physical, tighter and less open ice. Girard was miserable against Vegas. Absolutely pathetic. He was cowering from contact and getting pounded every shift. He is easily tossed aside in and couldn’t move your grandmother from the front of the net. Protect Graves. Expose or trade Girard. The Avs or any team will not get to the final four… Read more »

Yan Girard

Against Vegas, the Avs didn’t play at his full potiential. Samuel Girard didn’t play as he is able to play. In fact, except maybe Toews, all the players didn’t play well against Vegas including Mackinnon. Mackinnon wanted to do too much. He will learn of that and will come back better in the next playoffs. Also, don’t forget that Makar and Timmins are 22 years old and Girard is 23 years old. Theses players will be better in the next playoffs. To use Samuel Girard as Turk’s Head to explain the elimination of the Avs will not solve unfortunately all… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Yan Girard
Scooty

Who in the Avs organization likes Sam Girard? And why? His offensive abilities don’t override the fact that the dude can’t play defense. Whenever he is on the ice the opposing team just skates right by him. The Avs have other offensive defensemen. We need some tougher back line players. The Avs let a great blue line veteran like Cole go but keep the little guy. Don’t protect him and maybe we can get lucky and he gets picked….

Yan Girard

Joe Sakic won 2 Stanley Cup rings. He knows what it takes to win. He is an intelligent man and knows his hockey. When there was still one year on his first contract in NHL, Samuel Girard then 21 years old signed a contract extension of 7 years at 5 millions per year. Joe Sakic had enough confidence in Samuel Girard to sign him in the long term after only 2 years in the NHL. Joe Sakic recognised of the high qualities in Samuel Girard as his skating skill, speed skating, puck control, good passer, very strong character and IQ… Read more »

Steve Vockrodt

I’m actually OK with taking the risk of losing Graves. He looked pretty overmatched in the playoffs. So did Girard, but I felt Graves’ mistakes were more costly. And at this point, I think any calculation the Avs take with who to keep and who cut loose from the roster has to take into account the variance between any player’s regular season and playoff performance.

Yan Girard

I don’t think that you can over thinking about the performance of the Avs in playoffs. Against Vegas, the Avs didn’t play at his full potiential. Except maybe Toews, all the players didn’t play well against Vegas including Mackinnon. Mackinnon wanted to do too much. He will learn of that and will come back better in the next playoffs. Also, don’t forget that several players as Makar, Girard, Timmins and Rantanen are again very young. Theses players will be better in the next playoffs. The players haven’t been changed of hero at zero between the first round and second round.… Read more »

Bobbyb

Better Graves going than Toews. I would protect Toews after Makar and would give away Johnson if I could.

[…] a good year and a good playoff and really added a lot to the team. But the Avs are going to have to clear some money from their cap hits if they want to afford to re-sign Saad. It could go down to the wire of July […]

rik

This guy thinks they should protect Kadri… what a joke Avs fan comment

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