Good Monday to you all. Let’s do some hockey links, thoughts, observations, recipes, etc. etc. Let’s start with some quick thoughts on who might be departing the Avs for the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday, and about the current NHL trade freeze:
- I have no idea who the Kraken will pick from the Avs, but my bet would be on Joonas Donskoi. This is a guy who, despite a moderately expensive cap hit the next two years ($3.9 million) was on the Avs’ first power-play unit in the latter part of the regular season and into the playoffs. He had 17 goals and 31 points in 51 games and is a responsible defensive player. I think he’s a real good player, and his loss would hurt the Avs. But tough choices have to be made.
- J.T. Compher is probably the other most desirable pick of the Kraken, but a mediocre season and less-than-stellar playoffs might make the Kraken have second thoughts on him, especially at a cap hit of $3.5 million. Compher had one point (an assist) and a minus-2 in the six games against Vegas in the second round.
- I’ll obviously be writing a lot more on expansion stuff as it relates to the Avs in the coming days.
- Keep in mind: there is a trade freeze in the NHL until Thursday morning at 11 a.m. Teams also cannot announce any signings of their own in this time. Teams can still negotiate with their own players during the freeze, however. There just can’t be any official announcements of any deals/trades until Thursday. The Kraken is the only NHL team that can do that publicly during the freeze.
- The other guy who I think might really intrigue the Kraken, from the Avs, is D-man Jacob MacDonald. I thought he played pretty well in his time with the Avs and he’s signed next season at a cap-friendly $725k. But, let’s face it, MacDonald was/is facing a tough chore in becoming a regular, everyday top-6 D-man on an Avs team with some good depth there already – and on a team that may be looking to import a veteran within the next two weeks either by trade for free agency (Ryan Suter, I hear, interests the Avs quite a bit).
- Old friend Nikita Zadorov was left unprotected by the Chicago Blackhawks, who reportedly tried hard to trade him before for the freeze to get some assets back, a la the Avs with the Ryan Graves trade last week. But, apparently, the Hawks couldn’t make a deal (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Could Brandon Saad become a Detroit Red Wing? They have a lot of money to spend under the cap. If Saad wants to win a Cup next year, maybe that’s not the best destination. But if he wants a really nice payday – and every player does – that might be a really nice destination (PuckPedia)
- That’s my roundabout way of saying, too, that I have not heard of anything substantial in the way of talks between the Avs and Saad.
- Keep in mind, though: This all could change rapidly, depending on how much cap space opens up for the Avs in the next nine days. The expansion draft Wednesday will start to answer some of that question.
- Pavel Datsyuk is talking about returning to play for a team with a red jersey (Detroit Hockey Now)
- Sounds like the Florida Panthers will lose goalie Chris Driedger to the Kraken (Florida Hockey Now)
- The eight-year contract that Dallas gave D-man Miro Heiskanen is a strong comparable from which the Avs can base talks with for Cale Makar. But I still think Makar will average at least $9 million on his next deal. Again, I think the expansion draft/free agency have been what’s held up his deal some, and I expect something to be done with him finally not too long after one or both of those periods are over.
- Nashville prospect Luke Prokop today became the first active NHL player to come out as gay, saying he wants to live an “authentic” life, and the response from everyone has been refreshing (ESPN).
- Thanks to all the new subscribers of late. I have run a $5 off sale the last few days, and dozens of people have signed up and taken advantage of it. If you’re reading this and want the $5 off deal too – $29.99 to $24.99 for a full year – click here and use the code word 5off in the checkout box (Colorado Hockey Now)
- Yes, I feel guilty when offering a bit of a discount to new subscribers, when many of you longtimers have paid the full $29.99. But if you’ve never run a business before, let me let you in on a secret: you’ve always got to find ways to keep new people coming through the door. I doubt many of you are offended at $5, but hey, I like a deal too.
- At least I’m not raising rates a lot, like some of the competition is doing these days.
- Detroit: The Detroit Red Wings did well to get Nick Leddy from the Islanders on Friday and unload Richard Panik on the Islanders. The Red Wings have plenty of options with Leddy, writes Bob Duff.
- Boston: The Bruns will let Jaroslav Halak walk via free agency
- Nick Ritchie and Jeremy Lauzon will be tempting takes for Seattle. The Boston Bruins unprotected list is one of the best.
- After the Penguins traded Jared McCann to Toronto, their protection list included Jeff Carter, but trade winds are swirling around the Penguins and soon-to-be UFA Zach Hyman. Is this GM Ron Hextall’s queen’s gambit to remake the Penguins?
- As you can guess, things have gone pretty dark on the Gabe Landeskog news front. If I had something new/interesting, you’d certainly have read it by now here. But there’s been an impressive cone of silence from all parties involved the last few days.
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