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NEW LANDESKOG, MAKAR DEALS COULD CAUSE CAP ISSUES, AVS CELEBRATE 25 YEARS

Heading into the off-season, the Colorado Avalanche were in the enviable position of having an abundance of cap space with an already exciting and competitive roster. Since that time, GM Joe Sakic put his financial flexibility to good use by acquiring a very talented top four defenseman in Devon Toews and a solid two way veteran winger in Brandon Saad to bolster his lineup. Sakic also re-signed reclamation project Valeri Nichushkin to a two-year, $5M deal (a $2.5M AAV) and locked up defenseman Ryan Graves through 2022-23 at a very reasonable $3.17M cap hit.

As masterful as Sakic's off-season has been to date, he faces a very different type of challenge next off-season, when his financial flexibility may not be quite what it was this year, particularly with team captain Gabriel Landeskog on an expiring contract, and sure to command a pretty penny on a new deal.

According to NBC's Adam Gretz, depending on what type of a season Landeskog is able to put together in a contract year, he could be in line for a 7 or 8 year deal worth as much as $49M-$56M (a $7M AAV). Line mate Mikko Rantanen's 6-year, $55.5M deal has set the bar for the Avs' next wave of new deals for its core players, which should include both Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon, though MacKinnon has three seasons remaining on his current deal at just $6.3M, an absolute steal since #29's emergence as an absolute stallion and an elite-level NHL superstar.

Though Sakic does have quite a few contracts coming off the books next season, he will likely have to commit most or all of next season's cap space to Landeskog and Cale Makar, who is also set to become a restricted free agent following the 2020-21 season and will be in line for a massive payday if he can continue his absolutely torrid pace again this season after recording 50 points in just 57 games, winning the Calder Trophy as the league's Rookie of the Year in 2019-20. Of course, Sakic and company may look to bridge Makar to keep him at a much lower cap hit on his next deal, thereby alleviating some of the potential cap constraints that two more large contracts may cause for the club. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.


In other Avs news, August 10th, 2020 marked a very special occasion for the Colorado Avalanche, as on that day, back in 1995, the Colorado Avalanche were introduced to the hockey world, kicking off their inaugural season in style by hoisting the first Stanley Cup in Avs/Nordiques franchise history.



Congratulations to the Avs organization are in order as they celebrate 25 years as an organization in the beautiful State of Colorado. What they have been able to accomplish over their 25 years in Denver is quite impressive. The organizational accolades include two Stanley Cup Championships, 9-straight division championships (94-95 through 02-03) and the longest home sellout streak in NHL history at 487 straight home games from 1995-2006.

When the puck drops on opening night for the 2020-21 season, the Avs will don "25th" patches on each of the teams jerseys this season, including standard home and away jerseys, reverse retro jersey and have also announced that the team plans to implement some color changes to equipment to better match the team's primary color scheme.

Do you think 7-8 years at $7M per season is too much for Landeskog?
MIKE ARMENTI
NOVEMBER 17, 2020  (13H56)
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