Colorado Avalanche Expansion Draft Strategy if They Don’t Buyout Francois Beauchemin

Mar 9, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) reacts after scoring the game winning goal during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Pepsi Center. The Avalanche won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) reacts after scoring the game winning goal during the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Pepsi Center. The Avalanche won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche may not be buying out Francois Beauchemin from his contract. What does this mean?

Apparently the Colorado Avalanche are not planning on buying out Francois Beauchemin, and that is crazy. However, this hopefully means Joe Sakic has another plan/strategy in place.

I have no reason to believe that is the case because Sakic has consistently made bad moves as a GM over his tenure. Nonetheless, for my sanity I’m going to at least give him the benefit of the doubt.

So, I’m going to run through a couple options that are the more likely options if he doesn’t in fact buyout Beauchemin’s contract.

The first is the obvious — they’re both rather obvious — in that Beauchemin chooses to play ball with the Avs, and waives his no-movement clause (NMC) for the purposes of the expansion draft. The second option is that the Avs figure out a way to make a trade before the expansion draft.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Francois Beauchemin Chooses to Waive His NMC

It has already been reported that this is unlikely. He doesn’t want to run the risk of having to uproot his family from Colorado, he likes it here, and can you blame him?

Let’s be honest though, Francois Beauchemin would not be the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ option in the expansion draft. There will be better players available on the Avalanche roster. After the expansion draft is over, his NMC goes back into effect, and the Avs call it a win situation.

It should be in the best interest of both parties as well because Beauchemin is going to have some competition for a blueline spot next season. The Avs are trying to get younger, and they have some young pieces coming up the pipeline that should be ready for NHL minutes. And of course, if Beauch waives his NMC, then he gives the Avs a bunch of freedom w/r/t the expansion draft.

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This is obviously the easiest option, and hopefully the Avs have had a talk with him, and put this on the table. There is a time period where this discussion can take place, and hopefully Beauch decides it’s in his best interest, and the team’s as well.

Let’s move on.

The Avs Make a Trade Prior to the Expansion Draft

The Carolina Hurricanes are still a viable trade partner for the Colorado Avalanche, and this could be the route that Joe Sakic travels down.

The ‘Canes are surely looking for offensive help, and Matt Duchene or Gabe Landeskog could be their guy. They also have a wealth of young defensemen who just completed their second year of NHL play, so they are ineligible for the expansion draft.

This of course means the Avs would be getting rid of a piece they’d have to protect in Duchene and picking up a piece that would not be eligible for selection in the expansion draft. If they did that, they’d still have to go with the 8/1 protection scheme, but the following players would be protected instead:


  1. Nathan MacKinnon
  2. Gabe Landeskog/Matt Duchene (whoever isn’t traded)
  3. Mikhail Grigorenko
  4. Sven Andrighetto


  1. Erik Johnson
  2. Tyson Barrie
  3. Francois Beauchemin
  4. Nikita Zadorov

If I’m Matt Duchene reading news that Francois Beauchemin is not going to be bought out of his contract, then I might also be reading the writing on the wall.

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I’ve said this all along, but Duchene should be the guy to go before Landeskog. The only thing you’re missing by keeping Landeskog and trading Duchene is a sky-high face-off percentage. Landeskog’s intangibles are way more worth it.

The other trade that could happen is something smaller like a Mikhail Grigorenko trade. This would make sure they don’t have to protect him, and they’d also still get some value for him. I find this trade unlikely though because there just isn’t much value for Grigs on the market.


The fact of the matter is, Duchene’s chances of staying in Colorado were just reduced drastically by this news.

Sure, most of us are hoping for a Duchene trade anyway because the Avs need defensive help. However, to make that trade just so you don’t have to protect him in the expansion draft — and protect a 37 year old defenseman on his way out instead — is absurd.

Nonetheless, if the Avs get a deal done, does it really matter why they traded Duchene?

All that really matters is that Beauch doesn’t take up a spot on the blueline next season that could have gone to someone younger, someone who needs the development.

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Hopefully Beauchemin waives his NMC, and all of this was just exercise in frantic paranoia of something that was never going to take place to begin with.

The only thing that MUST be avoided is a situation where the Avs end up protecting Beauch and Duchene/Landeskog. That leaves them in a precarious circumstance that they don’t want to be involved with.

Of course, all of this could be avoided if Sakic had the sand to buyout Francois Beauchemin’s contract. However, he’s probably stubborn because he’s the one that dished out the contract to begin with. And, he wants to make sure he gets all the value out of it that he can. Who knows really?