The center market is drying up real fast for the Colorado Avalanche well ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. On Friday morning, just two days after Elias Lindholm went to Vancouver, the Montreal Canadiens sent Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets, and the asking price for a top nine center seems to be set.
At the NHL All-Star festivities, Cale Makar won the Hardest Shot Competition, and Alexandar Georgiev won himself a big chunk of change by shutting down the best player in the world.
All that and more in this Saturday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
Our guest contributor Mike Stephens from Toronto talked to Alexandar Georgiev about his heavy workload this season.
The NHL is going back to the Olympics, which means Nathan MacKinnon might get his chance to play with Sidney Crosby.
Cale Makar won the Hardest Shot competition on Friday night with a rocket.
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Georgiev Gets Some Cash
The skills competition was all about the skaters, except for one event. The top eight skaters remaining got to pick a goalie to shoot on for 60 seconds. Georgiev was actually the last goalie left, and he got paired up with Connor McDavid, who won it all later that evening.
But for 60 seconds, Georgiev made his life very difficult, especially with the poke check, and made himself $100,000.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights & News (@HockeyDaily365) February 3, 2024
Good for Georgiev. Since neither Makar or MacKinnon won, he’s the only Avalanche player walking away with some cash. Now he’s just got to keep it away from Bo Byram.
The Avalanche are in need of a center, but two of the top three on the market have been dealt well ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.
First, it was Elias Lindholm. On Friday, it was Sean Monahan, who will be headed inside of the Central Division. The Winnipeg Jets acquired him for a first round pick and a conditional third rounder.
Between the two deals, if I was given a choice, I would have taken the Lindholm one, but it was also a more complicated trade. I just don’t think Monahan would have fit in Colorado’s system very well. We’ve seen Ryan Johansen and Lars Eller struggle to keep up, and Monahan has the same skating issues.
That’s two of the top teams in the Western Conference now loading up for the playoffs. Who is left for the Avalanche? Adam Henrique is the best rental left, but the market has now been set at a first round pick. Would you part with one for a 33 year old? It’ll be a late one, but still seems steep. Henrique isn’t exactly a burner himself. We’ll see what the Avalanche do, but they have to do something. Still a month left until the deadline, and they could always bring in someone we wouldn’t even expect.
Around The NHL
I’m not saying it should be the case, but Nikita Kucherov didn’t exactly put in a ton of effort on Friday night. Will any voters hold that against him at the end of the year?
The NHL expanding again seems inevitable, and Bettman listed six possible cities that have shown interest. Some of them do not seem very viable, though.
Los Angeles will be looking for a new coach, as Todd McLellan was relieved of his duties on Friday.
National Hockey Now
At the All-Star game, Sidney Crosby addressed a number of issues.
The Bruins want to go for it, but no first round pick is hurting them at the moment.
Future of Flyers Goaltending in Good Hands With Carson Bjarnason