The Avs announced this morning that defenseman Sam Girard will not play tonight in Carolina because of a lower-body injury. I’m hearing this could definitely be more than just a day-to-day thing. Girard, in fact, is in Denver right now, having flown back for further evaluation, a team spokesman confirmed. That usually means things are serious.
If it is a serious injury, Girard could be put on LTIR, which would allow the Avs to use his $5 million cap space ahead of the NHL trade deadline. That deadline is 11 days away. There is no salary cap for teams in the NHL playoffs, meaning Girard – if he’s not out beyond the playoffs – could return and the Avs would not have to offload $5 million in cap space. Or, maybe he’s traded to a team as part of a big deal, and that team doesn’t need to worry about playing Girard this year. He does have FOUR more years left on his contract with that $5 million cap hit. That makes him a potentially attractive trade piece to a team willing to offload some big players/contracts right now.
We’ll see what happens. Saddle up folks, this could get very interesting.
The Avs, as expected, will start Darcy Kuemper in net tonight. Kurtis MacDermid is expected to play as a D-man tonight. Avs are coming off that bad loss in New Jersey, so I expect a full-bore effort tonight.
The Avs are -115 favorites to win at SuperBook Colorado.