News Report: Colorado Avalanche’s Off-Season Is Challenging and It’s Hard to Survive…

The Colorado Avalanche are still far from winning hockey’s holy grail, nearly two years after winning the Stanley Cup. That might force some tough choices to be made in the off-season.

The Colorado Avalanche Face a Difficult Off-Season - The Hockey News

The Avalanche’s future is clouded by Valeri Nichushkin. The 29-year-old winger’s two-month participation in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance programme came to an end in March. But he left the Avalanche and rejoined the programme halfway through the Dallas Stars’ second-round series. The league has now suspended him until at least November.

Nichushkin’s contract, which includes a complete no-movement clause and an average yearly value of $6.125 million, has six years left on it. According to Michael Traikos of The Hockey News, there isn’t much chance that he will stay with the team for the duration of that contract.

According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Nichushkin’s ban does not warrant a contract termination. Traikos surmised that the Avalanche would try to move him, but it’s unlikely that any team will take a chance at this time. Although it is feasible, keeping him would be less expensive than a contract buyout.

Whether or whether the Avalanche can accept his return is yet to be seen.

Corey Masisak of The Denver Post speculated about Gabriel Landeskog’s future. The 30-year-old Avalanche captain has missed the previous two years of action due to knee surgery. Jared Bednar, the coach, is still optimistic that Landeskog might play again next year. The question is whether he can or not.

Landeskog’s long-term injury reserve brought $7 million in salary-cap relief for the Avalanche. But if he comes back, it will significantly reduce their cap space for 2024–2025 and give them little room to sign new players or replace existing ones.

Ryan S. Clark of stated that they have to re-sign RFA centre Casey Mittelstadt. Defenseman Sean Walker and winger Jonathan Drouin are two of their major pending UFAs.

In addition, Clark mentioned that Mikko Rantanen’s contract is set to expire in a year. The 27-year-old winger is a vital member of their starting lineup. On July 1, the Avalanche can begin contract extension negotiations, but it will cost a lot to keep him. He has a $9.5 million yearly cap hit and may demand a lot more in his next contract.

Due to the Avs’ limited cap space, Drouin may leave via free agency on July 1. According to Michael DeRosa of Hockey News, the 29-year-old winger should be a target for the Buffalo Sabres. If he chooses to test the market, he also recommended that the Tampa Bay Lightning consider signing rugged forward Yakov Trenin.

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