How much cap space do the Colorado Avalanche have in the 2024 NHL offseason?

The Colorado Avalanche boast one of the NHL’s best lineups, so will they have enough cap space to keep improving in the 2024 NHL offseason?
Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets
Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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Realistically, the Colorado Avalanche won’t keep every pending unrestricted and restricted free agent who was on or joined the team at some point in 2023-24. Looking at their lineup via Cap Friendly, the Avalanche have nine pending unrestricted free agents and just one restricted, not counting those on LTIR. So general manager Chris MacFarland will have quite a few decisions to make this summer. 

The restricted free agent, Casey Mittelstadt, should be the shoo-in to return since he has routinely delivered fine performances with eight points and four goals in his first 12 contests with Colorado. Mittelstadt has proven to be a good fit since his trade from the Buffalo Sabres, where he was the team’s leading scorer at the time of the transaction. 

While it would be great to see the Avalanche bring back many of those pending unrestricted free agents, it won’t be easy, as MacFarland will have just over $9 million in cap space when the 2024 offseason rolls around. 

Colorado Avalanche may have a tough time keeping players around

Some of the players they won’t keep in Denver were likely intended to be rentals all along, like Yakov Trenin and Brandon Duhaime. Further, Andrew Cogliano and Zach Parise are in the twilight of their respective careers, and you can say the same about blueliner Jack Johnson. 

There is a good chance MacFarland will want to try and find a way to bring back Sean Walker, as he’s also been an excellent fit since he came to Denver. But seeking to retain him and Mittelstadt will force MacFarland to compromise with rolling with more cost-effective options, likely those willing to play for an AAV of $1 million or less for the 2024-25 season. 

Despite the bleak outlook regarding their cap, it shouldn’t be too detrimental for the Avalanche, as they still have one of the league’s best core units, and they may have found another two players for that core if they can find a way to keep them around.

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)