After the Avalanche moved to acquire Johansen, insider Pierre LeBrun reported that Colorado is still interested in signing Compher…for the right price.
Avs also haven’t closed the door on trying to re-sign pending UFA J.T. Compher but it’s going to have to make sense for them. Compher had a career year this past season https://t.co/C1X30aboG2
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 24, 2023
Compher, who is coming off a career high 52 point season, would be a much better fit back in his traditional third line center role. The problem, and something that would matter a lot, is the price tag. With a weak free agent class, particularly down the middle, Compher will likely get offers around the $5 million a year range. While the Avalanche would like to keep him, a price tag in that area is likely too expensive for them.
For what it’s worth, LeBrun is someone who does seem to have connections to the Avalanche, which is not always the case for many insiders. Colorado is a tight-lipped organization, so it’s not easy to get information from them. I’ve heard Colorado has kept in touch with Compher’s camp, but a deal still seems unlikely, especially after this move.
And the reality is, Colorado will have plenty of competition if Compher hits free agency.
I’m told there is mutual interest between the #Blackhawks and free agent forward JT Compher. Compher has a lot of interest around the league.
— Jay Zawaski (@jayzawaski) June 24, 2023
Chicago has made sense all along. For one, he’s from the Chicago area, so it’s an easy connection to make, but when the Blackhawks won the lottery, the fit just made even more sense. The Blackhawks will need a center to play behind Connor Bedard and insulate him a little bit, especially with Jonathan Toews moving on. That’s something Compher could do for them. But as Jay Zawaski mentioned, the Blackhawks will not be alone in their pursuit of the 28 year old center. If he hits the market, he will have plenty of suitors.
Stay tuned to Colorado Hockey Now, as things are starting to pick up around the NHL.