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Salary Cap Leaves Avalanche In Pickle With Jonathan Drouin



avalanche drouin

Make no mistake – the Colorado Avalanche want to keep Jonathan Drouin. I also believe Jonathan Drouin wants to stay with the Avalanche. We certainly know that Nathan MacKinnon wants the organization to keep the guy he calls “the best teammate I’ve ever had.”

That pesky salary cap might just get in the way of everything.

After Colorado traded out of the first round on Friday night, Chris MacFarland met with the traveling local media and discussed a variety of topics. Naturally, the topic of Drouin came up. How could it not? In a little over 48 hours, the winger could hit the open market and sign with any team he wants to. I don’t think Colorado wants that to happen, but they’re in a tough spot right now.

“It’s a challenging one, right? Because Jonathan Drouin had a very, very good season last year,” MacFarland said on Friday. “We are cap-challenged, so there’s those competing factors. Both parties want to get it done, but finding that sweet spot is the challenge.”

Earlier this month, Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh spoke highly about the Avalanche on his podcast, and sounded optimistic something would get done.

“Both sides have been pretty public also about how we want to make a deal, they want to make a deal. When both sides want to make a deal, deals happen,” Walsh said.

After hearing MacFarland on Friday night, I’m not so sure it happens. We’re running out of time, and Colorado simply doesn’t have the cap space, unless they free some up in the next two days. For anyone thinking the Avalanche will spend over the limit and figure things out once the situations with Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog are a little more clear, think again.

“You really can’t go over $88 (million),” MacFarland said, before talking more about the two players in question that are limiting what they can do.

“Last year, we knew (Landeskog) was out for the year. This year, thankfully, we don’t know that,” he said. “We know Val’s going to be reinstated at some point, assuming everything goes good, which obviously that’s what we’re hoping for for him and for us. At some point in November, it’s not like we can go and spend $6 million and then go, ‘Okay, we got to get rid of $6 million’ three weeks into the season. That’s not how it works.”

Basically, the Avalanche don’t plan on spending that money because they know getting rid of it once the season starts will be impossible. That brings us back to Drouin, who is coming off the best season of his career. He deserves all the credit for that, but MacFarland thinks the organization deserves some as well. Maybe that’s why a deal isn’t quite done.

“Can it get across the finish line? I don’t know,” MacFarland said of a potential contract. “I do think that Jonathan was great for us, but I also think the Avalanche were great for Jonathan as well. We’ll certainly stay in touch with Allan Walsh through the weekend, and we’ll what happens.”

Look for MacFarland’s full presser on the site soon.

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