One dream, one realistic, and one bargain player Colorado Avalanche can sign in NHL free agency

New York Rangers v Florida Panthers - Game Four
New York Rangers v Florida Panthers - Game Four / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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The Colorado Avalanche have some things to prioritize as we near NHL free agency and the NHL Draft. This team will look a little bit different next season, with uncertainties surrounding Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin. I am sure that we will discover some new news in the coming months, but we know for certain that Nichushkin will miss a good chunk of the 2024-25 season.

It is certainly a tough thing to plan for, given that once Nichushkin returns, his cap hit will count towards the team, and if they decided to sign a high-priced free agent, someone with a high cap hit would need to be traded at some point.

It’s been two seasons since the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. The loss of Nichushkin really hurt in the postseason. The Avalanche should do their best to try and find someone in free agency who could come as close as possible to replicating Nichushkin’s production on the ice. It’s now time to come up with who the team could add, whether realistic, a dream, or a bargain.

1 dream player the Colorado Avalanche could sign in free agency: Sam Reinhart, FLA

Surely, Sam Reinhart is going to cash in big somewhere. He’ll be the top free agent on the market when free agency begins and the Colorado Avalanche won’t be able to afford him. However, for the sake of this exercise, wouldn’t that be fun?

It’s certainly possible that Reinhart gets extended by the Florida Panthers, but as of this writing, that hasn’t happened.

Reinhart had the best season of his career during the 2023-24 season, and it wasn’t particularly close. He played in all 82 games, recording 57 goals and 37 assists for 94 points. His goal totals were a career high and his assist totals were good for third-best of his career. He was also pretty aggressive in the hit department, with 78. His average time on ice of 20:18 was good for second beset of his career and he notched the most minutes of his career this year.

If the Avalanche wanted to switch things up in their top lineup, they would have to make a sacrifice or two. Extending Mikko Rantanen is a top priority for the team, and re-signing Jonathan Drouin is as well. It would be fun to be able to land Reinhart, though.