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Dater’s Daily: Colorado Avalanche Free-Agent, Trade Chatter

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Josh Manson

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:

Superstreak Bonus!
  • 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)
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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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Spencer Bradshaw

For $1.25 million, Helm should be back. The fourth line with Helm, Cogliano, and O’Connor proved to be a menace.

slowpokeczech

I like Helm, too, and hope he’s back, but how about a 4th line of Cogs/Sturm/NAK? Every dollar saved goes to Manson/Nuke…and maybe #91?

Donald Victory

Keeper. Crushed Blooooos!

Glendon Gulliver

Good morning AD and thank you for the update. I think everyone has believed that unfortunately the writing was on the wall for Burakovsky. His star was taken by Nichushkin and Lehkonen and he was destined to the 3rd line and he is just too expensive for that role. Good luck to him. He is one of the highest scoring UFA’s, so he should find a good home. Bo Byram’s emergence makes Girard expendable on a defense full of offensive scoring threats. Lots of teams would like a guy who can run the PP and provide offense. I agree that… Read more »

slowpokeczech

I wholeheartedly agree with almost everything you said.

Burky: expendable. Nuke/Lehk > Burk
Girard: Bo takes his place and Manson gets his money.

I’m not sure, however, that Compher fits the 2C. I’m picturing a 3rd line w Comph/Newhook/LOC.

Gaping hole at 2C (am I dreaming that Kadri comes back on the cheap?)

Glendon Gulliver

I think Compher is better suited to 3C, with the ability to move up if necessary. What the Avs are able to do, I do not know. Because money is such an issue, it is unfortunately about priorities. Manson or Girard? Kadri or someone new? I think LOC stays on the 4th line and NAK is on the 3rd line, but that could be reversed. I prospect could also be given their chance in the bottom 6. If the team cannot keep Kadri and Manson, then those are 2 big holes that I think the Avs need to fill from… Read more »

Peter North

I see OskarO making the squad. LOC will be the injury call-up. EJ should retire please oh please. Kadri is about the money, no way he produces again like 2022. Just hope Val does. Many fluke years in the NHL in 2022. Avs should have some room to upgrade Jack as much as I like him he has earned his cup. Chariot is still for the taking. Insurance against EJ getting injured if he stays. Maybe Miakko can be the second line center. Acquire Nino Niedernightrider. Dog – Mac – Val Lek – Mia – Nino New – jtc –… Read more »

Jarome Dodge

Manson >>>>Girard

Yan Girard

AD, trading Girard is nonsense and I would be extremely surprised if he were traded. On the other hand, nothing is impossible. If Wayne Gretzky has been traded, anyone can be traded. Moreover, what I do not understand is only on CHN that we talk about the possibility of trading Girard while on the other platforms, we mention that Girard is part of the core in defense and that he is here to stay. In addition, the main insiders in the NHL make no mention that Girard is on the market. In my opinion, if that were the case, we… Read more »

slowpokeczech

I have been a Girard supporter all along. #49 is absolutely a top-4 NHL defenseman–one of the best smaller, puck-moving D we’ve ever had (Cumiskey, Barrie) but admit that my thinking shifted late this season as Manson rose up and outplayed my expectations. No, Manson doesn’t exit the d-zone as well as Sam, but he proved responsible with the puck, caught on to the fast-pace style of the team, and his bigger body was valuable in the playoffs.

I’d give up Girard to keep some other players and let Bo take his roster spot.

Yan Girard

The chances of Girard being traded are very slim. To understand why girard is unlikely to be traded, I invite you to read the first comment of the article Joe and Debbie Sakic Become U.S. Citizens on Colorado Hockey Now. 

Karl Keen

Oh please Yan. I’ve read about Girard being a trade asset on The Athletic and Sportsnet and on NHL radio. What I will give you is that Sakic may completely agree with you and none of us that he is here to stay as a core player. I’ll also give you that Girard was playing very well after returning from back injury and I was actually concerned for his injury and how it would affect our defense going forward in the rounds. Unfortunately for Girard, Byrum stepped up in a huge way and Manson showed great versatility in his play… Read more »

ricoflashback

I gotta hand it to you Karl. LMFAO at the little arms in the parade comment. But my biggest concern is that Super Joe still sees Girard as a top six defenseman. Especially come playoff time. Joe finally got it right in recognizing the need for greater size in the playoffs with superb trade deadline acquisitions. But he was kicking and screaming at the lack of the Avs toughness comments until this year after two straight 2nd round exits. So – we shall see.

Yan Girard

Just to put things in perspective, the 3 most physical defensemen (EJ, JJ, Manson) played 17 minutes or less in the final game of the Stanley Cup Final while Makar, Toews and Byram played around 25 minutes each. That doesn’t mean it’s not important to have physical defenders in your team.  Again, just to put things in perspective, Sakic acquired Sturm, Manson, Lekhonen and Cogliano at the trade deadline. Have you seen the size of Cogliano and Lekhonen? Sturm played an average of 8 minutes during the playoffs and was not dressed in all games. If Tyson Jost was too… Read more »

Karl Keen

I justified my reasons above for trading Girard in that having a player eating $5 million a year of our cap who hasn’t made it through the end of our playoffs the last two years is a liability. That isn’t childish and it is disappointing to see you Yan stoop to saying things like that. Its a fact. Since Girard came back from his back injury I’ve been very complimentary of his play and was believing he was going to be a key role if he won the cup, BUT he took one hard hit that broke his freaking sternum… Read more »

Karl Keen

Literally no definition in them. I get he broke his sternum and can’t lift, but I doubt there was much to begin with.

Yan Girard

Very interesting article. Many will no doubt recognize themselves… https://insidetherink.com/opinion-why-the-avalanche-shouldnt-trade-samuel-girard/ Pierre Lebrun (insider ESPN, the Athletic) https://nhltradetalk.com/insider-reveals-truth-behind-samuel-girard-trade-rumors/ https://theathletic.com/2485296/2021/03/30/hes-a-top-elite-d-man-avalanche-defenseman-samuel-girard-is-having-a-moment-and-the-nhl-has-noticed/ On Girard :  “He’s really caught my eye,” says Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, who added that Girard is climbing the ladder of top defensemen in the West Division. “If you have a defenseman that can walk the blue line and change his angle of his shot or change the option of an offensive play, that’s when you know you have a great defenseman. Even when wingers come flying at him, he’s got patience, whether he does that spin-o-rama, he does that give-and-go.… Read more »

Yan Girard

Do you know an NHL insider who mentioned that Girard was on the market? If so, who is he and can you tell me the source? Otherwise, they are false rumors. These rumors have already been DENIED by NHL insiders in the past. Do not forget that rumors sell copies. I have nothing against discussing rumours if they are true. On the other hand, to constantly discuss things that will not happen, I find it a waste of time. We can discuss an exchange with McDavid for a long time but we know it won’t happen. If we know that… Read more »

ricoflashback

No. Mentioning the name Sam Girard with Wayne Gretsky in the same sentence is blasphemous. The Avs have proven that they can win without the undersized Sammy who is a liability in the playoffs. Who would you rather have? Manson or Sammy? That’s what it might boil down to. I’d take JJ over Sammy as he played very well against Tampa. Some serious hits and lumber laid on the Lightening by Jack. If Sakic can find a way to trade Sammy and his $5M a year albatross against the Avs cap – – then he should be the favorite for… Read more »

Bob Neal

Good to see the boys fire back. I’m not sure who you think you will convince with your argument Yan? Sammie played through three second round exits and didn’t finish this years playoffs. Manson gets a Cup off the bat. Yes, Joe loves Sammie but he is also a very sharp guy who recognizes success when he sees it. If Sammies salary would pay for Mansons salary it’s a deal worth making. I don’t believe they’ll win another Cup without a defenseman with Mansons characteristics that can drop the hammer. They also need to resign JJ.as he smacked many a… Read more »

Peter North

Adater of course!

John C.

Right on the money Bob. Sam G is a massive liability in the playoffs and the Avs were never going to win a Cup with him playing top 3 minutes. Bo’s coming out party has made him irrelevant. Sakic finally bit the bullet and realized that physicality is indeed required to win 4 rounds of “playoff hockey”. The Avs won the Cup largely because of the makeover on defense: Byram > Girard Manson > Graves EJ > Nemeth JJ > Timmins Manson was an integral part of this group, which was a dramatic improvement over last year and this led… Read more »

Yan Girard

You forgot that the team showed superior performance in terms of wins losses when Landeskog wasn’t in the lineup this season. The team can then trade Landeskog to pick up the center player who will replace Kadri. This way, the team will be able to keep its defense intact and will always display the best defense in the NHL.

Yan Girard

Check my sentence carefully… I didn’t put Gretzky and Girard in the same sentence. On the other hand, just for you, I’ll give you a nice sentence… Gretzky was a great player with many qualities but unfortunately didn’t have Girard’s skating skills and it’s not even close!

ricoflashback

Yan – mentioning Sam Girard or comparing Sammy to Wayne Gretzky in any way, shape or form is ridiculous. You have, arguably, the greatest hockey player in the world versus the 245th all-time, ranked defenseman in the NHL and that’s a generous ranking. Trading Sammy’s small game to any team willing take him would be the best thing for the Avs. But you’re right on one thing – Joe Sakic’s blindness relative to Sammy’s real worth to the club. Maybe the recognition that the Avs played much better without Girard in the playoffs and wasn’t missed a lick will change… Read more »

Yan Girard

‘…’the recognition that the Avs played much better without Girard in the playoffs…”? I’ll get you a team stat or 5 cent analogy whatever you like. During the 2022 playoffs, the team’s record is 6 wins 1 loss (0.833) with Girard in the lineup while the record is 10 wins and 3 losses when Girard is not in the lineup (.769 ). Then, do you really mean what you say? The team allowed 2.43 goals per game in the playoffs with Girard in the lineup and 2.93 goals per game in the playoffs without Girard in the lineup. The figures… Read more »

Glendon Gulliver

Skating skills? Dorothy Hamill is a much better skater than either, but that doesn’t mean she is a great hockey player. BTW, 2,800 points outweighs any skating ability. I wonder if some scout, analyst, or pundit ever said about Gretzky, “…If he could only skate better!”

NMAvs

The way Sakic handles trade talks I think the best sign any player is on the move is when no national media is talking about them being available. I’ve been a huge Girard fan ever since he joined the Avs and do not understand or agree with most of the views of people on this site in regard to him. However, I do understand the point that Byron has advanced to the point where Girard is expendable and that cap space could be better used in other areas of the team. Either way, I hope the best for Sammy and… Read more »

Yan Girard

The chances of Girard being traded are very slim. To understand why girard is unlikely to be traded, I invite you to read the first comment of the article Joe and Debbie Sakic Become U.S. Citizens on Colorado Hockey Now. 

Karl Keen

Yan/Sam, note that this is how one reasonably responds to the “trade Sammy arguments.”

Yan Girard

Girard represents a great asset for the team even if some people do not perceive it. And fortunately for the Avalanche that these people do not occupy a GM position since we could only expect peccadilloes in return. Under the circumstances, if Girard is on the market, we can expect NHL insiders to be informed because the Avalanche have an interest in all NHL teams being informed of Girard’s availability in order to maximize the return.

Glendon Gulliver

Unfortunately, as many a player has said, it is a business. We have already seen players get traded that did not think that would happen. It is all about what Sakic believes is in the best interest of the team. If Girard or Compher go, it will be about the cap, not because they are not valuable members of the team. Jost was traded to save enough money to get Lehkonen. Sakic has shown that he will let free agents go, even if they were a big part of the success. He may surprise everyone with a blockbuster trade, where… Read more »

Yan Girard

Blockbuster trade? Let go of the Playstation! There is a salary cap and the team would be stupid to trade a 1st pair potiential defender for choices and prospects. Didn’t the team have payroll stakes to sign UFAs? If the team receives a good player in return from Girard, it will have to pay him! Note that very few 24-year-old players who are still performing well and who still have 5 years to their contract are compromised. Then, doing business is not about destroying a team. What do you think you have in return for Girard, prospects and picks? Prospects… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Alexander A.
Ted Grycel

Where the heck have you been? Thought maybe something happened to you, you didn’t say a word the entire playoffs? I think Girard’s playing style has caught up with him, and he’s been playing small with no impact other than the first couple games against Nashville. I don’t think we win the cup with Girard in and Manson out, Girard has been giving up the puck too easily these days. He’s a great regular season player but lost in the playoffs.

Yan Girard

The chances of Girard being traded are very slim. To understand why girard is unlikely to be traded, I invite you to read the first comment of the article Joe and Debbie Sakic Become U.S. Citizens on Colorado Hockey Now. 

Peter North

Bye Sammy!

Jarome Dodge

Is this a serious comment? I think everyone on the planet is aware that the Avs want to deal Girard. He’s one of the most expendable pieces on the roster. Manson is a much, MUCH more important piece to this thing. They know this.

Yan Girard

They know this? If it’s the reality, Sakic know this so.

slowpokeczech

I watched the new “Unrivaled” doc on the blood feud recently! Excellent. A must see. Lots of great footage and interviews. Claude and Darren on stage together in Detroit–I never saw that… One of the best sports docs I’ve watched.

I forgot about the Konstantinov story… ugh.

AD, you’re probably more comfortable in front of a keyboard than a camera, but you looked good and spoke well. Bravo for your contribution, and may the royalties on your book keep rolling in.

Adam Manter

I thought I heard on the radio that Sakic is working on extending MacKinnon contract now. Any truth to this?

Matt Briggle

I heard something about Sakic and his agent having informal talks. While I don’t think they can have formal negotiations until free agency opens, I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have a ballpark idea of what his number is going to be MacK wants to get paid but he also wants to win more Cups and he understands that the better information Sakic has about his extension heading into free agency the better the team will be next year.

Brad J

Adrian…any chance they buy out EJ. It would only be a $2M cap hit for next 2 seasons and would free up $4M this year. Might let them keep Girard and resign Manson.

Peter North

F. The dude is slow as a condor running a marathon.

Matt Briggle

Well, here’s my thinking on the free agents now. Of course, my thoughts aren’t even worth the paper they’re written on, and there’s no paper involved here so that pretty much sums up how much insight I have on this. I think Kadri and Burky are walking. I would give Newhook the first shot at 2C and see how he does over some time with talented players on his wings. I know he didn’t impress a lot of folks during the playoffs, but what do you expect when you’re playing a rookie out of position with Compher and NAK? Put… Read more »

Yan Girard

You can’t give Manson $5 million a year. He was the 5th defenseman for the Anaheim Ducks and the 5th defenseman in the Stanley Cup Final. Ice time is a very important element to consider when it comes to setting the player’s salary. In the autonomy market, maybe a team could offer Manson $5 million and more but that would be overpaying him. Why would Landeskog, for example, accept a pay cut to stay with the team when for Manson, the Avalanche would roll out the red carpet for him? The reality is that if Manson wants to stay with… Read more »

Matt Briggle

I addressed most of your issues in my original post, so I’ll clarify. I did clearly state that most of the numbers were on the high end of the estimates, if they come in lower than that then great. It was a worst case type of scenario. Manson is currently 30 and looking at the last big deal of his career. As I said, he is likely looking for a 5-6 year contract probably in the $4.5 range. that price seems fair, but the term is a bit long for what the Avs are likely interested in with him. The… Read more »

Brad Jacobs

Adrian, any chance they offer EJ a buyout. I think it’s only be a $2M cap hit for the next 2 years and would save them $4M this year. Might allow them to keep Girard and resign Manson.

Aaron Rud

Do you read any of the questions?

Yan Girard

Do not expect a buyout of EJ’s contract. Suppose EJ signs a new $1 million contract for the 2023-2024 season, so there will be a saving of $5 million compared to his current salary of $6 million. It is to be expected that this money will be used for the renewal of the Mackinnon and Byram contracts, for example. In this sense, the 6 million EJ serves as a cushion. Under the circumstances, the team has no interest in having 2 million cut from its cap hit for the next year as well as for the year 2023-2024. Moreover, even… Read more »

Matt Briggle

Yan, you’re right in that EJ’s contract is serving as a place holder for MacK’s extension and then some. I honestly expect Byram and Newhook to get bridge deals after next year that will be just long enough to get them out of the flat cap era then they can get the proper raises they are due. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those bridge deals set up in a way to give them more significant qualifying offers than usual just as a guarantee to the players that they’ll get their money just as soon as it is available.

peter west

would like to see sammy girard go, and a longer term deal given to josh manson. helm is a bargain at 1.25 million and should be brought back. kadri is gone, burky is gone.

Yan Girard

The chances of Girard being traded are very slim. To understand why girard is unlikely to be traded, I invite you to read the first comment of the article Joe and Debbie Sakic Become U.S. Citizens on Colorado Hockey Now. 

Glendon Gulliver

After seeing this comment for the umpteenth time, I decided to read it. “The chances of Girard being traded are very slim. To understand why girard is unlikely to be traded, I invite you to read the first comment of the article Joe and Debbie Sakic Become U.S. Citizens on Colorado Hockey Now.” I was curious how Joe Sakic becoming a U.S. citizen had any affect on the status of Sam Girard. What was I presented was a 15 episode epic mini-series on the life of Samuel Girard. The only thing that was missing was the Oscar worthy soundtrack. It… Read more »

Karl Keen

Great analysis and that Austrian Grand Prix was a great race! I was up at 7 watching it!

dk

It was a good race. But, any time that fish-lipped Dutchman loses, it’s a good race.

Karl Keen

Agree a 100%. I saw Redbull recently stated with a straight face that he “stays calm and cool” always through out races. LOL, guy has a meltdown anytime things aren’t perfect or a race decision doesn’t go his way.

dk

Yep. Last two races Redcow radio was full of complaints from him about how bad his car was. “I’m getting beaten! Something must be wrong with the car!”

And don’t get me started on Horner…

Bob Neal

Good to see someone else reading Yan’s diatribes. At least one can say he is consistent and I was on vacation so the mind numbing conversations were not as brain damaging.

Karl Keen

Uh-oh Yan. Girard got his day with the cup already. NAK the day before and he was just not given an RFA tender from the Avs (which I’m not sure I agree with, but with Kaut, Bower, and Meyers needing to take the next step understandable). Was Girard given his day with the cup so early on purpose…..?

Karl Keen

On 32 Thoughts and from a report I read about a month ago, speculation that Avs want to trade for Patrick Kane. Only due 2.3 in final year of his contract, but I think has a dead cap hit of 10.3 so not sure how the Avs swing that unless Chicago is interested in Girard, but this may be the under the radar move Sakic and company have up their sleeve. Him and McFarland were clear today they are going to reload to give us a chance to repeat. That would be quite the move Oh editing! Dater just brought… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Karl Keen

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