The Colorado Avalanche might look at picking up a depth winger in free agency. The team doesn’t need to make any big moves in the offseason.
The Colorado Avalanche are now looking to the future. They’re in a win-now state, but it’s the offseason. So, the team will be looking to augment their current roster.
Of course, one of the most common ways a team can update their roster is through free agency. The Avalanche don’t need a ton of help at any position except maybe goal tending. They’re renowned for being a deep team.
GM Joe Sakic doesn’t sit pat at free agency, though. He may not make a big splash — and I doubt he will in this free agency — but he usually makes some understated moves that have a decent impact on the team.
The Avalanche have some good options at the wing position. Of course, it starts with the top line with star Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog. They also have a few of those understated pickups in Joonas Donskoi, Matt Calvert, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. The team also features some centers who can also skate at wing.
Now, they do have a couple players, Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky, who are pending restricted free agents. They’ve more than earned contracts with the season they’ve had. Martin Kaut is also ready to come up.
So, on the current roster, the Avalanche don’t have a lot of room for wingers. However, the injury bug has been a real problem. They also have Colin Wilson and, most likely, Matthew Nieto departing. In other words, they could use to pick up a depth winger in free agency.
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In previous years, Colorado focused a lot on youth. However, they’re in a win-now phase. They’ve proven they’ll now sacrifice a little youth for some playoffs experience. Do I think they’ll go as “veteran” as Corey Perry, who’s 35 and about to play in the Stanley Cup Finals? No. Do I think they should? Absolutely. A pest like Perry was exactly what the Avs needed in the playoffs.
Might they go for 32-year-old Patrick Maroon? He might well play for the Stanley Cup this year. He won last year with the St. Louis Blues. He’s a player who can show some grit, too.
Still looking out east, Joakim Nordstrom of the Boston Bruins is interesting. He’s got a lot of playoffs experience. And he’s on the younger side — 28.
The Vegas Golden Knights, who were (very unfortunately) ousted from the playoffs by this Dallas Stars, have a couple of interesting pending free agents. Tomas Nosek and Nick Cousins are just the kind of depth players Sakic likes to spend just a little money on. They’d be good to keep on the backburner in case of injury.
You don’t expect much in free agency when you’re looking at a deep team like the Colorado Avalanche. However, a few roster tweaks never hurt. If the team is looking to augment the wing position, the above players deserve a looking at.