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Colorado: Who Stays, Who Leaves?
By Richard Gonzalez
The Colorado Avalanche have the 4th overall pick heading into the NHL draft which is on June 23rd and 24th. The have picks in rounds 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and another 4th which was acquired from the New York Rangers. The Avalanche started cleaning house by firing assistant coaches Tim Army and Dave Farrish. They also chose not to bring back their goaltending coach Francois Allaire. I heard an unconfirmed rumor that the Avalanche interviewed former Ducks’ goalie coach Dwayne Roloson. Elliotte Friedman mentioned Jussi Parkilla of the KHL, who has ties with Semyon Varlamov, might be another option. We are going to have a different coaching staff coming next season so what else is next for the Avalanche. Let’s take a look at the UFAs and RFAs.
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Rene Bourque (35) is finishing a 1 year contract which he signed with the Avalanche on October 10th, 2016, and had a cap hit of 650K. Bourque played 65 games scoring 18 points (12 goals and 6 assists).
John Mitchell (32) is finishing a 3 year contract which he signed with the Avalanche on March 14th, 2014, and had a cap hit of 1.8 million per season. Mitchell played in 65 games scoring 7 points (3 goals 4 assists).
Cody Goloubef (27) is finishing a 2 year contract which he originally signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets on May 28th, 2015, and had a cap hit of 750K. Goloubef played 33 games scoring 5 points (5 assists). He had 33 blocked shots.
Fedor Tyutin (33) is finishing a 1 year contract which he signed with the Avalanche on July 1st, 2016, and had a cap hit of 2 million. Tyutin played in 69 games scoring 13 points (1 goal 12 assists). He also blocked 90 shots.
Jeremy Smith (27) is finishing a 1 year contract which he signed with the Avalanche on July 1st, 2016, and had a cap hit of 675K. He played 10 games (8 which he started) and had a record of 1 win, 6 losses, and 1 overtime loss. He had a 3.54 GAA and a .888 save percentage.
Restricted Free Agents:
Sven Andrighetto (24) is finishing a 1 year contract which he signed with the Montreal Canadians on June 11th, 2016, and had a cap hit of 633K. Andrighetto was acquired at the trade deadline by the Avalanche. Andrighetto played 19 games with the Avalanche scoring 15 points (5 goals 10 assists).
Matt Nieto (24) is finishing a 1 year contract which he originally signed with the San Jose sharks on July 15th, 2016, and had a cap hit of 735k. He was claimed off waivers by the Avalanche. Nieto played 43 games with the Avalanche scoring 11 points (7 goals 4 assists).
Mikhail Grigorenko (23) is finishing a 1 year contract which he signed with the Avalanche on July 20th, 2016, and had a cap hit of 1.3 million. Grigorenko played in 75 games scoring 23 points (10 goals 13 assists).
Patrick Wiercioch (26) is finishing a 1 year contract which he signed with the Avalanche on July 15th, 2016, and had a cap hit of 800K. Wiercioch played in 57 games scoring 12 points (4 goals and 8 assists). Wiercioch also had 57 blocked shots.
Nikita Zadorov (22) is finishing a 3 year contract which he originally signed with the Buffalo Sabres on September 25th, 2013, and had a cap hit of $1,744,167. Zadorov played 56 games scoring 10 points (10 assists). He also had 156 hits and 69 blocked shots.
I think it’s safe to say most of the UFA’s will be gone. Joe Sakic has said he wants a younger and faster team. Sakic started the rookie waive by the amount of rookies he started this past season. I think for the right price Bourque might have a chance at signing a 1 year contract extension. I think it’s safe to say all the RFA’s are safe except Wiercioch. Andrighetto meshed well with the team and his speed is what Sakic wants. He also produced almost a point a game. Grigorenko had an okay season but still hasn’t lived up to his potential. I don’t see him getting a that big of a raise or terms.
The Avalanche will submit their list of protected players on June 18th, 2017. I wonder if they will ask Francois Beauchemin to waive his no movement clause so they can expose him to the expansion draft. He will be entering his final year of the 3 year contract he signed with the Avalanche on July 1st, 2017. He currently will have a cap hit of 4.5 million. The Avalanche could buy his contract out which will require them to only be responsible for a 1.5 million cap hit.
Who knows what Sakic is going to do. I guess time will tell. I just hope it betters the Avalanche.
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June 3rd, 2017