3 free agents the Colorado Avalanche should sign

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With Free Agency eve upon us, teams are wheeling and dealing to make moves and better their rosters. Some players have re-signed, some have been non-tendered and some still wait to see where the chips may fall.

July 1st is usually a wild day across the NHL landscape, and this year will be no different. The Avalanche have an opportunity to be right in the mix, as they have several free agents currently without contracts.

They started off hot, re-signing 25-year-old second line Center Casey Mittelstadt to solidify that position that’s had some turbulence since Nazem Kadri last wore the burgundy and blue. They have not had much news to report since that, however, and Avalanche nation is curious to see what comes of this year’s free agency with the NHL draft now in the rearview mirror.

The Avalanche could improve their team at all levels, and signing these three players will help the team moving forward for next year and possibly beyond.

3.) Nikita Zadorov

 Sean Walker is an available free agent as well, and provided quality play for the Avs when he was acquired at the deadline, but with the rough and tumble western conference being a buzzsaw to advance through, and the physicality of the playoffs taking its toll, the Avalanche need to add some tenacity and physical play to their back line.

Nikita Zadorov is the guy to provide that. He’s already stated he won’t be re-signing in Vancouver, and he’s got some familiarity with the Avalanche organization, having played five years for the franchise earlier in his career.

The 6’6”, 250lb Defenseman wasn’t nearly as polished as he is now, and he’s one of the few old school players left in the league. Zadorov’s also nearly four years younger than Josh Manson, the current blueliner expected to provide a physical punch, sometimes literally. Zadorov can provide this physical punch, and he has an innate ability to get under the other team’s skin, potentially giving the Avalanche an advantage in every game. The Avalanche no longer have an enforcer either, and Zadorov can fill aspects of that role.

Manson’s signed for two more seasons, but his name has been involved in some rumors this offseason already.  The Avalanche would be better served to let the older player walk to sign a guy like Zadorov if he’s interested.

From a business perspective signing Zadorov makes sense too. He’s a polarizing figure and says what’s on his mind. He’ll bring eyes to the game and eyes directly to Colorado. The NHL is always looking to expand fans and showcasing a guy like Zadorov (within reason) is a way the NHL can sell more tickets.