Colorado Avalanche: Should Colin Wilson Be Re-Signed?

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08: Colorado Avalanche forward Colin Wilson (22) during game seven of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks on May 8, 2019 at SAP Center in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08: Colorado Avalanche forward Colin Wilson (22) during game seven of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks on May 8, 2019 at SAP Center in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche need to decide whether to re-sign pending UFA Colin Wilson.

Now that the Colorado Avalanche are heading towards free agency, speculation is turning to which of the team’s pending free agents will be returning. Nadia recently looked at the status of Gabriel Bourque, and Colin Wilson is another interesting one.

Wilson had a steady regular season. He missed 17 games due to injury and finished with 12 goals and 15 assists in 65 games, placing him 8th and 11th on the roster respectively. During the playoffs Wilson stepped up his game. In 12 postseason games Wilson came away with 4 goals and 4 assists, placing him 3rd on the roster (tied with Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Barrie) for overall points.

So, while Wilson isn’t out there breaking records, he’s still a valuable asset to have on the team.

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There are two main issues that I can see when it comes to whether Wilson gets re-signed or not. The main one is his salary. Wilson earned $4,000,000 this season, which isn’t a huge dent in the cap space the team has available, but it’s entirely possible the team could find someone similar in skill level for less than that.

The other thing to take into account is his age. Wilson turns 30 in October and the Avalanche is a team that is really focusing on the youth of their roster. The team’s average age is 26 and their oldest player (Carl Söderberg) is 33. I can see the front office also potentially wanting to fill Wilson’s role with someone a little younger.

All that being said I don’t necessarily believe that Wilson shouldn’t return. Although he’s older than the team’s average, that gives him a veteran presence that he can bring to his younger teammates. It’s no coincidence that Wilson spent most of the season on a line with players like J.T. Compher and Tyson Jost. Although the comment was made in jest, he’s commented before that he acts as a mentor for these players and his age and experience certainly lends to that being true.

That experience also extends to the playoffs. Wilson has played in 65 postseason games, and only Ian Cole and Matt Calvert have played in more games than this. He’s proved that he can step up when it matters. He didn’t earn the moniker Playoff Wilson for nothing.

Personally I would love to see Wilson back. I think he has a great personality, which benefits the team, and his skill particularly in the postseason would be useful to have. Given his age if the Avalanche do decide to re-sign him it’s not going to be anything long term. Another year or two will give the younger players time to continue their development while he mentors them, and if the team makes it to the playoffs next season (and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t) having Wilson on the roster will definitely help.

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The team has the cap space to make him an offer, and Wilson himself has said he likes Colorado (although he was non-committal when asked if he wanted to stay). Whether we see him next season is going to depend largely on whether the front office wants him there or not.