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Avalanche offseason

Would Ryan Suter make sense for the Avs? If they lose Ryan Graves and/or Erik Johnson, yes



Ryan Suter
Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire

Most serious hockey fans – and that includes all of you, my loyal and smart readers – already have heard the news that the Minnesota Wild will buy out the final four years of the contracts of veterans Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. The Wild will have nearly $15 million in dead cap space for the next four years. Ouch.

Each player will become unrestricted free agents on July 28. The Colorado Avalanche will be like any other team – free to make an offer for either player, at whatever terms they desire.

Parise almost certainly wouldn’t draw interest from the Avs, given his age and injury history. But what about Suter?

The fact is, despite being 36, Suter is still putting up very good numbers for a defenseman and he will draw heavy interest around the league as a free agent. So, what about a fit between him and the Avs, the team whose NHL odds to win the next Stanley Cup are currently the best of any team in the NHL?

I can see it, but only if the Avs lose Ryan Graves or Erik Johnson to Seattle in the expansion draft, or they’re traded away first (or, in Johnson’s case maybe, bought out too). Otherwise, I can’t see Suter being a great fit on a team that would have a top six of Makar-Toews-Girard-Graves-Johnson-Byram, and that’s not even mentioning Conor Timmins and Jacob MacDonald.

It’s been known for a while now that Johnson won’t have to be protected in the July 21 expansion draft, because he’ll waive his No-Move clause. Seattle has to get to a $60.24 million cap floor by opening night, so they need to take on some pricey contracts. But you have to still think it’s highly unlikely Seattle will take him with their Colorado pick.

That will leave Graves likely to be exposed, and he’d certainly be a reasonably good choice for the Kraken. That would create an opening in the current top six (assuming Johnson is back). Bo Byram should be the logical choice to take that spot. It makes the most sense that he’d take that spot in the lineup (and maybe Timmins too).

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But if the Avs have any hesitation about playing Byram that much, a guy like Ryan Suter would be a hell of a fill-in. Of course, would Suter want to come to Colorado, knowing he won’t be the top guy on the power play anymore (that’s Cale Makar’s job) and unlikely to play as many minutes as he ever did in Minnesota? Maybe he wouldn’t, in which case this was all wasted breath here.

But maybe the Avs are just the kind of team Suter wouldn’t mind coming to and maybe this all could happen.

At least one well-known hockey reporter thinks it could happen:

These next two weeks just got more interesting. Maybe.

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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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This wouldn’t make much sense. The defense is great already. He’d be a good mentor for the young that’s all but would cost some millions after free agency competition. Avs have to spend the money on forwards!


I’d have absolutely no problem with signing Suter and letting Byram/Timmins season a little bit more.
Also that’s just more depth for inevitable injuries.

Matt Briggle

I think the biggest question in this is what does Suter want to do? I doubt the Avs would go much more than $1-2 mil on maybe a 2 year deal. Does he want to make more money or does he want a legit chance to win a Cup? If the Cup is what he wants most then he will pick the team that he feels gives him the best chance and sign for the league minimum if that’s what it takes. He’s a smart guy and knows that he likely won’t be getting PP minutes with any contender he… Read more »


Total agree!

Aaron Hinton

You cannot have enough D. Period. I know Michael Scott would make a cringey joke about that but it’s true and Suter would be an outstanding addition. Byram/Timmins are going to be good but they’re not quite there yet. Suter would love to stick it to the Non-State of hockey and the Avs would be just the place for him to do it. I’m thinking 2 x 2.5.

Matt Briggle

I would think it might be more in the range of 2 years at $1.25. If he wants a Cup he might even play for league minimum as he’s made all the money he will need and the Cup is the only thing missing.

Aaron Hinton

I can see that…would you sign him?

Matt Briggle

If we lose Graves to Seattle then absolutely.


2 years at 2.5/y is to expensive, how about 1 yr at 1- 1.25 like Matt suggested on $ amount.

chippy play

Supposedly not the best locker room guy, but who knows how accurate that is?


Well, certainly an improvement over mini Sam Girard. Wait a minute – we’re protecting Girard and letting Graves walk, right? This is not the type of acquisition that the Avs need. Aging veteran with who knows what is left in the tank. Trade Girard for Suter? In a heartbeat. Otherwise, a waste of time.

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