After Friday, the top defensive pair for the Colorado Avalanche is unlikely to change for a few more years, because it sure looks like Devon Toews will finish his career in Denver.
The Avalanche announced that they’ve signed the 29 year old defenseman to a seven year contract extension that will begin in the 2024-2025 season. The AAV on the contract will be $7.25 million, so the Avalanche were able to keep it under $8 million, which he likely would have received on the open market. There is no word just yet if there’s trade protection on the contract, but I would anticipate there will be.
Toews, alongside Cale Makar, has formed arguably the best defensive pair in the NHL over the past three seasons. Wednesday night’s game was his 200th in an Avalanche uniform.
I’ll have a separate post later today or early tomorrow with some deeper analysis on this deal, but for now, here are some quotes from the press release the Avalanche sent out.
“Getting a deal done with Devon at the start of the season was a priority for us,” said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland. “He has emerged as one of the best defensemen in the NHL and is a huge part of the core of this team. He logs heavy minutes in all situations—5-on-5, power play and penalty kill—plays against the opposition’s top lines and is one of the top point-producing defenders in the game as well. And most importantly, he is one of our team leaders both on and off the ice. We’re thrilled to have him in an Avalanche sweater for the next eight years.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to remain with the Avalanche and continue to build upon what we’ve accomplished so far,” said Toews. “I’d like to thank the Kroenke family, Joe Sakic, Chris MacFarland and the coaching staff for their trust and belief in me. Denver has become home to my family and we love being a part of this community. I’m excited to get this deal done and focus on our goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Colorado.”
Colorado acquired Toews from the New York Islanders on Oct. 12, 2020 in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Toews is a league-best +122 since joining the Avalanche prior to the 2020-21 campaign, far ahead of the next closest player (Matthew Tkachuk, +92). In three seasons with Colorado, Toews has recorded 139 points (29g/110a) in 200 regular-season games and added 30 points (7g/23a) in 37 playoff contests. His 169 combined points during this stretch ranks sixth among NHL defensemen. The Avs are 139-45-16 (.735) in the regular season with Toews in the lineup since he joined the club.
Stay tuned to CHN for more information and analysis of this contract.