Colorado Avalanche could lose Jonathan Drouin to division opponent in free agency

We could see the Colorado Avalanche lose Jonathan Drouin to a division opponent in free agency, which would be bad news.
Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Four
Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Four / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche have some decisions to make when it comes to their 2024 free agents. Perhaps their top free agent, Jonathan Drouin, could be on his way out to no fault of the team. That is just the nature of the business. Players outperform expectations all the time, and most of the time, they end up cashing in somewhere else.

Although I said in the past that I felt the Avalanche could keep Drouin around at a discount, teams might value him more than I personally do. They could offer him more money than the Avalanche do, prying him away with ease. It’s a very complicated situation.

It is possible that the Avalanche try to re-sign their cheaper options and let Drouin walk. The thing that complicates these situations is that we don’t know when Valeri Nichushkin will officially be back, or if he will be back. Of course, the Avalanche might welcome him back to the lineup with open arms, but with some trust issues going forward.

The million dollar question is, who do you re-sign to fit under the salary cap? The Avalanche will have to continue to take Nichushkin’s salary into account in hopes that he will return sometime during the regular season. Unfortunately, that is six months away. It’s hard to plan that far in advance, especially for a team that is a couple of pieces away from advancing further into the postseason.

Colorado Avalanche could lose Jonathan Drouin to Nashville Predators

All it takes is one team to outbid someone for one of their free agents. While the Nashville Predators finished fourth in the West, and not necessarily a team whe

The Predators could lose at least one of their free agent-to-be Forwards (Anthony Beauvillier, Jason Zucker, and Kiefer Sherwood). The Predators might feel like it is very necessary to try and steal away one of the Colorado Avalanche’s assets from this past season to make them weaker.

It’s quite the turnaround for Drouin, who, up to this point in his career, was decent but not talked about a whole lot. While he didn’t start off great as an Avalanche this season, he made his way up to the top line with Nathan MacKinnon—his old buddy—and outperformed expectations.

If it were me, I would lock Drouin up with an extension. It won’t be too expensive, but enough to make him happy. It’s a tough situation to deal with given that we don’t know what will happen with Valeri Nichushkin, but at some point, the Colorado Avalanche have to think ahead.