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Avalanche Offseason: A Devon Toews Extension Just Got Pricier

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With each passing minute, the reality that many anticipated is coming true – an extension for Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews is going to be very, very pricy.

Last month, we took a look at some comparables for a potential Toews extension. He’s eligible to sign one on July 1, but it won’t kick in until next summer.

On Friday morning, arguably the top defenseman set to hit the market was signed, and subsequently dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a sign-and-trade move. He’s now a very rich man.

Damon Severson, coming off a 33 point season for the New Jersey Devils, was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a 2023 3rd round pick. Before the trade was made official, he signed a contract for the maximum amount of term (8 years) at a total of $50 million. That comes out to a $6.25 cap hit per season.

If you ask me, not a single player that was about to hit the open market is worth acquiring and giving an eight-year deal, but some teams are desperate for help immediately. The Blue Jackets, having just acquired Ivan Provorov, are looking to get better immediately. They’ve spent some serious dough the last two summers.

So how does this impact a Toews extension? Severson will be 29 when this contract starts. Toews will be 30 when his next extension kicks in. But in every way imaginable, Toews is a better defenseman than Severson is. While Severson has a lot of offensive skill and is a right-handed shot, which teams covet, he’s lacking in the defensive zone. He did possess some very strong underlying numbers last season, but was used mostly in a third pair role because of the depth on the Devils blueline. That won’t be the case in Columbus.

Severson had a strong offensive season in 2021-22, but if you compare the numbers between the two players, it’s not that close. Toews has averaged .69 points-per-game since 2020, and Severson sits at .46. Severson is used on the penalty kill, but averages over two minutes less per-game than Toews. Any way you slice it, the Avalanche defender is superior. And that will get him paid.

That’s been the case with every comparable we’ve looked at. Some of the defensemen signed are more focused on offense, while some are used in more defensive roles. Toews, on the other hand, is the total package.

And that will cost the Avalanche.

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