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Avalanche Mailbag: Patrick Kane, Kaapo Kakko, And Trading The 1st



Patrick Kane nhl trade tracker avalanche

Will the Colorado Avalanche be busy this summer or will they stay quiet? That’s the question everyone has entering the offseason. Last summer and at the trade deadline, Chris MacFarland was very busy rebuilding his team. This year, with the uncertainty around two of his top wingers, he would have to get really creative to pull off a deal. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it would take some real work.

I thought we might get some action this past week with no NHL games on the schedule, but that wasn’t the case. Still, people have questions and I’ve (kind of) got answers. Could the Avalanche look at Patrick Kane? What would I give up for Kakko? And what should the Avalanche do with their first round pick this year?

Without further ado, let’s get to the questions.

From Krazy Karl Keen: Evan, when does a player’s No Trade Clause kick in?

A no-trade clause, or any type of clause in a contract, typically kicks in on July 1, which is the date of the new calendar year for the NHL.

For example, Ross Colton didn’t have any clauses in his contract during the first year of his contract, which was last season. On July 1, his no-trade clause kicks in. And next July 1, it goes from a full no-trade clause to a modified no-trade clause.

From Bryce: Will the Avs look at Patrick Kane?

I do believe the Avalanche talked to Patrick Kane last year, but specifically on bringing him in on a one-year deal. Word on the street this year is that Kane is looking for a bit of term. I wouldn’t go there.

I’ll admit that Kane looked a lot better than I thought he would last year after coming back from hip resurfacing surgery. He scored at nearly a point-per-game pace, but that still doesn’t make me feel comfortable giving him any sort of term. If he was interested in another cheap one-year deal, you would have to consider it, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what he’s looking for. He also wouldn’t be my first choice, considering off-ice fit and everything. He’s an offense-first type of guy, and I don’t know if that’s what the Avalanche should be looking for at wing.

From Xarxex: What would be a realistic ask for Kaapo Kakko from the NYR?

As much as I like Kakko and think he can still be a solid player in the NHL, he’s not someone I would necessarily trade for. His qualifying offer is $2.4 million, but he’s likely to ask more, one year removed from 18 goals and 40 points. My interest in him would be solely if the New York Rangers chose not to qualify him, which seems unlikely. There’s probably some team out there that would be willing to send the Rangers some draft picks and pay Kakko what he wants, but the Avalanche probably aren’t one of those teams. They’re low on draft picks and giving someone coming off a 19 point year $3M+ would be very risky.

My guess is some team out there would still be willing to give up a second round pick for him. The Avalanche don’t even have one until 2026.

From multiple people: How long until an outdoor game with Avs v Utah? With Salt Lake being closer, do you think the NHL will push to do the “regional rivals” thing with the Avs even though it’s just a team moving?

Some of us in the media have talked about this. I wouldn’t be surprised if Utah opens their season next year against the Avalanche to try and build some sort of regional rivalry there. I know I’m looking forward to a team being relatively close to Denver as far as travel goes. It’s so close that I might even consider making a road trip out of it.

I hadn’t thought about an outdoor game between the two teams, mostly because I’m completely over outdoor games at this point in time, but that would make a lot of sense. It might not be for a few years, though. We got Seattle/Vegas this year in the Winter Classic about two years after Seattle came into the league, so that could give you an idea on a potential timeline for an outdoor game.

From Brendan: With how much KHL you’ve been watching, what are the biggest differences between a KHL and NHL game? Style and rules

The KHL definitely focuses more on the skill side of it than the physical side. That’s what made Nikolai Kovalenko such a unicorn over there. He wasn’t afraid to throw his body around, which is why many Russians considered him to be the most NHL-ready player in their league.

KHL players are just not really taught to dump the puck in. They want to hold onto it and try to create something, even if that means regrouping multiple times in one possession. It’s one of the reasons why I find the KHL far more entertaining to watch than the AHL. It’s not perfect hockey, but it’s at least fun to watch.

They have some fun rules that I would love the NHL to adopt as well. For one, if a team has a penalty that carries over into the next period, even overtime, the opening face-off the next period is in the offensive zone for the team that has the powerplay. If you want to promote scoring, that’s one way to do it.

On the flip side, the KHL seems to review everything. There were times I wasn’t even sure what they were reviewing. I’m not in favor of more reviews, so leave that over there.

I’m excited to watch more next season with Mikhail Gulyayev, and maybe whoever the Avalanche take in the first round.

From multiple people: Should the Avs keep their first round pick or trade it? Which prospects do you like at #24?

It really depends on who is available. I’ve checked out a few players that might be available at #24, and haven’t come away terribly impressed. The one guy I would love to fall is Igor Chernyshov. He’s a big winger who can grind it out and play a skilled game at the same time. If he is available at #24, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick him. Elite Prospects has him rated at 19, but the Russian factor is always in play.

I’m iffy on whether or not the Avalanche should trade the pick, but I see both sides. They really need to rebuild this prospect pool, because they’re currently paying the bill for not drafting and developing players over the last few years. On the flip side, with Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar in their prime, you should never rule out trading your first rounder. If anything, based on what I’ve seen of the guys in the draft around #24, I’d consider trading down and maybe accumulating another pick. If anything, another draft pick gives you more ammo to use in any trade.

From Ryan: Are the Avs changing their jerseys? Tell me no.

I haven’t heard anything about new jerseys. I’m also someone who doesn’t really pay attention to that kind of stuff.

From Kyle: Do you think the Avs will be active on the trade front this off season?

I wouldn’t put anything past Chris MacFarland now. Last summer, he was extremely aggressive in the trade market, making moves for Fredrik Olofsson, Ryan Johansen, and Ross Colton, while moving out Alex Newhook. Granted, they didn’t all work out, but he was aggressive and busy. That continued at the trade deadline.

This summer, their hands are tied a little bit more by the Nichushkin and Landeskog situations. They’d have to move someone out to make room for a new player, and who could that even be? After the Byram move, the Avalanche don’t exactly have the depth to move a Girard or Manson, and up front, the only guy I could *maybe* look at is Colton. That being said, the Avalanche finally have a center setup they like, so that wouldn’t make much sense.

I’m sure they’ll make some moves, but I’m not banking on them matching the volume of moves they made last summer.

From Anthony: With the rumors of Val leaving for home to play in the media league, does that violate the terms of the program? How can he be a active participant/tested while living abroad? Is this grounds for contract termination?

I don’t think him playing in this league is grounds for termination. This doesn’t sound like much of a league. If anything, it sounds like a glorified beer league. NHL players are allowed to play in Da Beauty League in the summer, so I don’t see how this would impact the termination side.

As for him leaving, I’m not even sure. There’s still some mystery around the program, and it’s been years since anyone has been placed in Stage 3. I’m sure the Avalanche are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to see what they can do if/when he’s reinstated, because I don’t believe he’ll play another game for this franchise. MacFarland and Landeskog certainly chose their words very carefully a few weeks ago. From everything I’ve heard, people don’t think he’s taken this process seriously from the beginning. Will that change? We’ll see.

From Katie: Are there any Avs players that stay in CO during the off-season, or do they all disperse to the various corners of the globe?

Most of them disperse. In fact, pretty much all of them disperse and then resurface around August or September.

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