First off, anyone who wants a signed copy of my book “Blood Feud”, the one about the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry, get yourself to Mike’s Stadium Sports Cards, 4032 S. Parker Road in Aurora today from noon to 2 p.m. I’ll be there with the great cartoonist Drew Litton, who also will be signing posters of his latest work, which has five cartoons on it, all about the Colorado Avalanche winning the Cup. My books are $12 cash (the regular retail price is $17.95), and of course I’ll personally sign them any way you want.
OK, on to some notes, links, thoughts and, to start, my latest on Avalanche free-agent stuff:
- As I said yesterday, I believe a deal that will keep Valeri Nichushin in Denver for a while will be completed soon, at least before the 13th.
- On Josh Manson, my sense of where things stand is this: The Avalanche and his agent are still talking about a new deal. But there are some potentially some moving pieces to this.
- One of those potentially moving pieces is Sam Girard. If the Avalanche move him and his $5 million cap hit, it would obviously free up more money to sign a guy like Manson. The Avalanche have about $25.2 million to spend right now, according to PuckPedia.
- I haven’t actually heard much on the actual Girard trade scenarios, like which teams might want him, etc. But if the Avalanche want to keep a guy like Josh Manson, I don’t see how they do it without getting Girard’s cap hit off the books. Otherwise, I believe, based on my talks, that he’s going to at least test the market on July 13. He could circle back to the Avalanche after that, but once you’re free, on the market, it becomes really tempting to just take some sky-high offer that another team knows it might have to give to make sure the Avalanche can’t match it.
- That leads me to one thing I got wrong recently though: there is no more “wine and dine” period for free agents. Somehow, it slipped my attention that that was done away with on the last extension of the collective bargaining agreement. So, no team can talk to Manson or any other Avalanche free agent until July 13. As they say, we regret the error.
- Nazem Kadri? Everybody in his camp has been quiet. Not even the big-foot national guys seem to be hearing much on him.
- I have not heard of any talks yet between the Colorado Avalanche and Andre Burakovsky. As I’ve said all along, I believe his Avalanche days are done. Never say never, but the odds seem minute at best.
- Jack Johnson? I don’t believe there have been any talks yet with him, based on my digging into things. Yet, I think there’s a chance the Avalanche might offer him something if there is still money in the till when all this other stuff shakes out.
- Darren Helm? Haven’t heard anything on him. Seems like it might be the same situation with Johnson. I think he’s likely done here though. Just my hunch. Don’t forget, the Avalanche have Ben Meyers still coming up, as a depth center.
- Keep in mind too: the Avalanche have to re-sign restricted free agent Artturi Lehkonen too, and that’s likely to eat up at least $3.5 million to $4 million. He’s not going anywhere though, don’t worry. Well, I guess a team could offer-sheet him, but that almost never happens.
- Some stuff from around the league, Vancouver: Just because the draft is over, don’t think the J.T. Miller trade talk will die down. They’re just getting started. Vancouver Canucks trade talk.
- The Flyers’ blue line got better. Tony DeAngelo is coming home. The Carolina Hurricanes acquired second, third, and fourth-round picks spread over the next two years and shipped the high-scoring D-man with a checkered past to Philadelphia Flyers.
- I believe we’ll see a new deal announced for Alexandar Georgiev by Monday at the latest.
- With Ilya Samsonov the only goalie on the roster, there’s plenty of chatter that Washington could chase former Colorado Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper. Washington Capitals rumors.
- The other teams, my sources said, that might make Kuemper an offer: Edmonton, New Jersey, Toronto, Ottawa and Buffalo.
- A potentially scary situation in Minnesota involving Wild star Kirill Kaprizov, who may be trapped in Putin-World in Russia (Sportsnet)