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Evan’s NHL Daily: Calum Ritchie Heroics, MacDermid Trade Fallout



NHL Calum Ritchie avalanche

With the NHL Trade Deadline now under a week away, the Colorado Avalanche made a move on Friday to give themselves a little more wiggle room under the salary cap. To do that, they had to move a very popular player in that locker room.

Up in the OHL, Calum Ritchie did what he’s done ever since he returned from injury, putting the team on his back and showing why he might be one of the best prospects not playing in the NHL. To display those heroics, he had to fight through a nasty cross-check to the face. Such is life in Junior Hockey, I guess.

All that and more in this Saturday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

Looking back at the win over the Blackhawks, where the Avalanche got strong performances from veterans like Andrew Cogliano, Jack Johnson, Ryan Johansen, and Zach Parise.

Both Mikhail Gulyayev and Nikolai Kovalenko got off to strong starts in the KHL playoffs.

The Avalanche dealt Kurtis MacDermid on Friday. In return, they got a seventh round pick and Zakhar Bardakov, who we will have more information about on Saturday for all CHN+ members.

MacDermid Trade Fallout

Kurtis MacDermid is a very popular guy in the locker room, but he wasn’t going to play when the playoffs rolled around, and with what he was making, it made sense to move him. The fact that the Avalanche didn’t even have to take on a contract is pretty remarkable as well.

So what can the Avalanche do now? My colleague Corey Masisak, who is way smarter with the NHL salary cap than I am, broke it down a little bit.

Keep in mind that the Avalanche will need to account for Kovalenko’s cap hit whenever he gets to North America, but we just don’t know when that will be. Colorado will still have to get creative in a trade, but the MacDermid move does give them some more wiggle room. It’s also important that the Avalanche moved out an NHL contract and didn’t have to take one back. That puts them at 46 contracts, so they’ve got wiggle room to add a contract or two if they want to.

Calum Ritchie Heroics

On Friday night, Calum Ritchie, who the Avalanche took in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft, went off again, scoring his 21st and 22nd goals of the season. His second goal came in overtime, and was pretty impressive.

What’s even more impressive is that Ritchie had to fight through some BS earlier in the game.

Ritchie is a tough kid, though. If you read my interview with him, you’d know what he fought through last year just to play. Colorado has a good one, as long as they hold on to him.

National Hockey Now

Reilly Smith is in the rumor mill prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, and he spoke about that on Friday.

Is anyone surprised the Boston Bruins are looking for grit prior to the deadline?

The Flyers might be looking for a goalie before the deadline.

How should Colorado’s opponent on Saturday, the Nashville Predators, approach the NHL Trade Deadline?

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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