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Evan’s NHL Daily: Trade Season Starts, Contract Terminated For Avalanche Prospect



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Trade season has already begun in the NHL, and the move yesterday involved a division rival who likely overachieved this past season. On the other end, you have a contender who is desperately clinging to the idea that they can make a few more runs for the Stanley Cup, despite their core getting older and older.

Yesterday, I reported that Avalanche prospect Ivan Zhigalov had signed in the KHL for the upcoming season. Yeah, that didn’t last very long.

Let’s get into this Wednesday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

We now know where the Avalanche will pick in the 2024 NHL Draft…if they decide to keep the pick.

Colorado started planning ahead with their offseason, signing Trent Miner to a one-year deal, while Arvid Holm is headed back to Sweden.

Look for a new piece this week called “Stay or Go?” In these, we’ll look at pending unrestricted free agents and whether the Avalanche should make room for them or let them walk.

It sounds like Gabriel Landeskog and Chris MacFarland might be meeting with the media on Thursday, but nothing is confirmed yet. (These two talking after the season has been the plan for a bit now, so don’t go thinking the worst.)


Avalanche Prospect Contract Terminated

Ivan Zhigalov has had a tough go of it finding a net to play in. He likely doesn’t have an NHL future, but you still want to see a guy at least find a net. Last summer, he signed in Belarus, only for the deal to be terminated. He then spent the season scouring the US for a net. Yesterday, I reported that he had signed with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.

That deal last all of one day, as that contract has been terminated.

Zhigalov likely isn’t going to get an NHL contract from the Avalanche prior to the June 1 deadline, but still hope for the best for him.

Trade Time

It’s always surprising when NHL teams make trades in the middle of the playoffs, but I guess there’s no point in waiting.

Ryan McDonagh is heading back to Tampa Bay, as Nashville dealt him back to his old team for a 2025 second rounder and a 2024 seventh rounder. Tampa will also get a fourth round pick.

From Nashville’s point-of-view, they dump a big contract, and from all accounts, it sounds like McDonagh asked if he could be traded. The Predators will have some room to maneuver this summer, but also have to account for the buyout of Matt Duchene and the retention of Ryan Johansen.

As for the Lightning, that’s an aging core that just got a little bit older. McDonagh is surprisingly still effective at 35 years old, but I’m not sure that team is really a Stanley Cup contender anymore. They have just around $5 million in cap space and have to sign some guy named Steven Stamkos before July 1, so there’s work to be done. I think they’re still a playoff team, but Cup contender? I’m not ready to go there.

National Hockey Now

The Boston Bruins are likely to talk extension soon with Brad Marchand.

Panthers players are excited to play at Madison Square Garden.

Did the Flyers fleece the Avalanche in the trade for Sean Walker?

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