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REPORT: MacFarland, Drouin’s Agent To Meet This Week

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A meeting doesn’t infer a contract extension is complete or even close, but it’s something, and it sounds like the representatives for Jonathan Drouin will be having a chat with the Avalanche very, very soon.

According to Pierre Lebrun of The Athletic, Allan Walsh, Jonathan Drouin’s agent, is expected to meet with Chris MacFarland sometime this week to discuss a potential new contract. With less than a month until free agency begins, Drouin is likely the top priority for the Avalanche.

Coming off the best season of his NHL career, the 29 year old winger is in line for a hefty raise. After coming to Colorado for just above league minimum, projections for his next contract are in the $4-5 million range on a long-term deal. He suffered a skate cut on his leg on the final game of the regular season and missed most of the playoffs, but returned for the final three games, picking up three assists.

All things being equal, an extension for Drouin seems to be pretty cut and dry. The fit was fantastic on and off the ice, and his connection with Nathan MacKinnon is undeniable. Unfortunately, the salary cap exists, and the question marks surrounding both Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog make things even more complicated. It would seem unlikely that the Avalanche will get clarity on either of them in the next 30 days, so MacFarland will have his work cut out for him trying to figure out how to fit Drouin in under the salary cap.

There’s no doubt the team could use Drouin next season. In addition the situations surrounding the previously two mentioned players, Logan O’Connor and Artturi Lehkonen could be slow to start next season, as both will be spending the summer rehabbing from surgery.

Stay tuned to CHN as more news comes in over the next month, when things will really heat up.

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