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Avalanche Have Been Very Quiet…But That Should Change Soon



Avalanche Byram

It has been 45 days since the Seattle Kraken ended the season of the Colorado Avalanche. In those 45 days, the Avalanche have made zero moves pertaining to the NHL roster.

No re-signings, no trades, nothing. Sure, they’ve made a few minor moves here and there, but nothing that will have an impact on the NHL roster.

That is likely to change very soon.

With the Stanley Cup being awarded to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night, the NHL off-season is officially upon us. Teams have slowly started to make moves, and names are starting to leak out as to who is and isn’t available in a trade, but it will get hectic very soon.

The majority of the off-season business for NHL teams is completed over the next three weeks. The week leading up to the draft is typically the busiest of the year, as teams have a clear understanding of how much cap space they have, and what they can do. Just a few days after the NHL Draft, free agency will open up.

While players will sign over the course of the entire summer, most of the big deals are finished in that first week, as teams use up their available cap space. As everyone remembers last year, the Avalanche waited out the market, and in doing so, were able to sign Evan Rodrigues just before training camp to a great value contract. There’s nothing stopping them from doing that this year, but most of the work should be finished here soon.

It’s possible the big reason why the Avalanche have been so quiet since their season ended is because they want to finalize a contract with the most important internal free agent they have, Bowen Byram. We know Colorado has tried to lock up Byram previously, but weren’t able to get it completed.

Would they love to lock him up long-term, if possible? I think so, but that’s a tricky deal to get done. There aren’t a ton of long-term contract comparables out there for someone with such a small NHL resume. And Byram may want to just sign a short-term deal, giving him the opportunity to earn a bigger payday down the line. The majority of the short-term comparable contracts fall in the $2.5-4 million range, depending on if it’s a 2-3 year contract. A one-year deal would just kick the can down the road a little bit. They may ultimately decide on that, but I think that’s probably worst-case scenario for the team.

Figuring out the Byram contract gives them a clear idea of what they have to work with in terms of cap space. Colorado has a number of pending unrestricted free agents, but it’s likely a “one or the other” choice when you break things down. Do they try to push to keep J.T. Compher, or go for the (likely) cheaper option in Evan Rodrigues? Which Johnson do you keep, if you want to keep one? And which veteran depth forward is better to keep around? Outside of a potential Compher or Rodrigues extension, any other internal contract should be relatively inexpensive.

For my money, the Avalanche would be wise to only look at retaining a few of their internal UFA’s, but they may feel differently. And the market may dictate those decisions as well. There will be some intriguing free agent options available, but no one that the team should feel the need to overpay for.

Where things could get wild is on the trade market. It sure sounds like there will be centers available in a trade that could help the Avalanche, but completing a deal for one will not be easy. The need for a 2C is enormous, but the assets the team has are limited. Do the Avalanche move one of their defensemen for help up front? I tend to think they will not, but all options should be on the table.

The majority of these big trades happen around the draft, because the further you get into the summer, the less cap space teams have to work with.

So while it’s been a very quiet 45 days for the Avalanche, that should change soon. Very soon.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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