Category Archives: Avalanche Jerseys 2021

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The Colorado Avalanche’s regular-season opener against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night will not be aired locally on NBC Sports Network, which previously said would carry the game exclusively.

Right now, the Colorado Avalanche are focused on the 2020-21 season. But just around the corner lies a different sort of obstacle: the Seattle Kraken’s expansion draft.

The highly-anticipated event will take place on July 21, potentially a month after the Stanley Cup is awarded, and each team (except the Vegas Golden Knights) will have to offer up a slew of players for Seattle to choose from.

The Seattle Kraken will the 32nd team in the NHL. Ron Francis is their GM, and will head their expansion draft strategy
Ahead of the Vegas draft three seasons ago, the Avalanche were in a different position. In mid-2017, they were the laughing stock of the league with few players that Vegas considered attractive. Any player that might have been appealing was covered by the protection list. Tody, the Avs have depth at every position and are bonafide contenders.

The protection list will offer the organization a little breathing room with who they expose. Daniel Blanda’s recent article outlined the intricacies of who teams can protect:

–The protection list can either be 1) seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or 2) eight total skaters and one goalie.

–Players whose contracts include a no-movement clause (NMC) must be protected.

–All first and second-year players, as well as all unsigned prospects, are exempt from being drafted by the Kraken.

In 2017, the Avalanche chose to protect forwards Nathan MacKinnon Jersey, Gabriel Landeskog Jersey, Matt Duchene Jersey, Rocco Grimaldi, Blake Comeau Jersey, Sven Andrighetto, Matt Nieto Jersey, defensemen Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie Jersey, Nikita Zadorov Jersey and goaltender Semyon Varlamov Jersey; for those keeping track, only four of those players are still with the Avalanche.

For Vegas, the Avalanche left Carl Soderberg Jersey, Joe Colborne, Calvin Pickard, Eric Gelinas, and Mark Barberio Jersey unprotected; for those keeping track, only one of those players is still in the NHL. Vegas went with the goaltender Pickard, who never played a game for the Golden Knights. While the draft was a success for Vegas, they got nothing of value from Colorado.

The Seattle Draft and Erik Johnson Jersey
Seattle will be in a much better position to poach talent from Colorado. Here’s my projected list of players the Avalanche will protect:

F Nathan MacKinnon
F Mikko Rantanen Jersey
F Gabriel Landeskog
F Nazem Kadri Jersey
F Andre Burakovsky Jersey
F Brandon Saad Jersey (assuming he re-signs)
F JT Compher
D Cale Makar Jersey
D Samuel Girard Jersey
D Erik Johnson (No-Move Clause)
G Phillip Grubauer
The Avs are going to lose someone good to the Kraken. Upfront, it could be Tyson Jost Jersey or Valeri Nichuskin, or they might have to give up impressive, young goalie Pavel Francouz Jersey. But most concerning is who they could lose from their backend.

The Kraken, in this scenario, would have the right to take Devon Toews or Ryan Graves Jersey, both important pieces on the Avalanche blue line. Toews has yet to play a game in an Avs uniform, and losing the stability he is likely to bring would be gut-wrenching for fans and the organization. Graves has proven to be a valuable player who has spent a much of his career as the reliable partner to Makar. While his impact is likely not as high as Toews, he has become an integral part of Colorado’s renaissance.

The unfortunate obstacle in protecting at least one of those players is the eternally lovable Erik Johnson. He has been the only stable part of Colorado’s defense for the last decade. His leadership in the locker room has been well-documented. When he’s at his best, he’s a difference-maker at both ends of the ice. But his best might finally be behind him. He has been injury prone throughout his career, including during the bubble playoffs a few months ago. He has yet to report to training camp this season, though that may be due to COVID-19 exposure.

David Pastrnak, Erik Johnson
Boston Bruins’s David Pastrnak and Colorado Avalanche’s Erik Johnson (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
As younger and more impact skaters join the Avalanche blue line, Johnson’s role will diminish. If he waives his NMC, the Avalanche could protect one of those new players. However, Johnson has earned his NMC and the right to uphold it. He is loved in Denver, and he loves Denver. He loves his team. He named his horse Landeskog. He is “The Condor”. If he decides to allow a trade, general manager Joe Sakic Jersey and the Avs will be left with a few different options.

The first thing they could do is bite the bullet and expose Toews and Graves. I would be very surprised if Toews isn’t Seattle’s pick in this situation. But losing him would clear up some cap space in time for Makar, Landeskog and Grubauer to receive extensions. It would also clear roster space for young defensemen Conor Timmins Jersey and Bowen Byram Jersey, the latter of which just dominated at the World Junior Championships. While it would be painful to lose Toews after one season and two 2nd-round picks to get him, good could still come from this move.

Another route the Avs could take is to cut a deal with the Kraken. This was a maneuver used by several teams in the Vegas draft. The premise is simple: give Seattle a prospect and maybe a pick if they promise to take or not take a certain player.

This is a horrible strategy. Paying extra to lose a pick or player did not work in 2017 and it will not work in 2021. Vegas was practically given Shea Theodore, Reilly Smith, Alex Tuch and William Karlsson because of moves like these, and they became the core that drove the team to the Cup Final the very next season.

Colorado could also buy out Johnson’s contract to free up a spot. This would also be a bad option, with financial and personal implications. The move would cost the Avalanche $2 million against the cap through 2025, precious room that they need for those big extensions and roster tweaks. It might also hurt the relationship between the player and team and leave a bad impression on other players in the organization.

Erik Johnson Colorado Avalanche
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
Observing these options, it seems best to hope Johnson waives his NMC or just let the draft come without any trickeration. If Johnson does waive, I don’t believe Seattle would take him over Graves, Nichuskin, Jost or Francouz. But if he doesn’t waive, Colorado has a chance to show loyalty to their players, as well as free up some money and roster spots.

The Avalanche are going to hurt after this expansion draft. Erik Johnson’s next move will help determine what that pain looks like.

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For viewers in the Avalanche’s market, the game at Ball Arena will only be broadcast on team-owned Altitude TV, which is not available to Comcast and Dish Network subscribers.

According to Ken Miller, Altitude’s executive vice president/general manager, the game will be available on NBCSN outside the Avalanche’s market but blacked out locally. It will be produced by Altitude with NBC commentators using Altitude’s feed.

“They sent us an email that they were not going to produce the game as an exclusive and would need us to broadcast it so they could take our world feed,” Miller told The Post.

Altitude released its 56-game television schedule Monday. The regional sports network will carry 50 games exclusively, with the other six on NBC. Miller said NBC can be exclusive on as many as seven games, and he believes it pulled out on Wednesday to carry an important game late in the season.

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Happy Wednesday to all. Let’s hope we get a nice advance Christmas present soon, with an announcement of an upcoming NHL season. With that formality out of the way, let’s get to another Avalanche Mailbag, starting with a question about the captain, Gabe Landeskog:

David, first off, thanks for the compliment on how young I look in that picture above. I’ve been working out a bit lately, so…well, on Landy’s contract, I think there’s no question that a flat cap and a Covid-19 shortened season hurts guys such as him a bit. But maybe not that much, because any extension he might sign before next off-season wouldn’t go into effect, cap-wise, until 2021-22. I would think fair market value for Landy would be something on the order of $7 million per. How many years the Avs would want to go might be a stickier question than the AAV number. I would think Landy’s got another five good years in him, but I probably wouldn’t go any longer than that. He’d be 33 after a five-year deal (34 after a five-year extension that wouldn’t kick in until 2021-22) and, well, that’s getting long in the tooth in today’s NHL.

So, I’m gonna go five years, $35 million for the captain. That’s a decent raise over what he’s making now, but it’s not a contract that would potentially cripple the Avs either way. I think there will be an extension at some point this season, but maybe not until NHL owners get a little more cost certainty vis a vis the virus, etc.

I’m gonna be the optimist here and say 100%, on at least some fans being in the stands at some point. Full buildings? Almost certainly not, not with full administration of vaccines still likely weeks/months away (in the good ole US of A anyway. I just read how Canada will start a mass vaccination program in the next two weeks, but as always, we lag behind because of our lumbering bureaucracies).

I don’t see why at least some fans – and they will probably pay a pretty penny to attend – won’t be allowed into buildings by, say, spring. But I’m not the CDC, so I probably should shut up now.

My man Joey, good question. Well, you obviously can never guarantee health from day to day. But obviously, one thing the Avs will need to do is not overwork one of their goalies too much. I suspect we’ll see more of a pure platoon situation between Grubauer and Frankie over a shortened schedule. The NHL wants to get everything with a 2020-21 season wrapped up by the Summer Olympics in July, so, yeah, there will be a lot of back-to-backs in the regular season. While most “starting” goalies like to play a lot, you can’t play your No. 1 guy four games a week.

No doubt, we’ll probably see expanded rosters and, because of that, we’ll probably see some regulars get more nights off occasionally. No doubt, we’d see someone like an Erik Johnson or an Ian Cole Jersey

 

 

get a night off in favor of, say, a Conor Timmins Jersey or another depth D guy. Same with some of the older forwards, like a Kadri or a Bellemare or a Calvert and probably others too, like a Landeskog. I imagine Jared Bednar will have to cut down on some of his practice times/day with a shortened schedule too, to give his tired players more rest. But every team will be in the same boat.

Gotta go with Chris Drury Jersey here. That 2002 deal, to Calgary along with Stephane Yelle Jersey for Derek Morris, Jeff Shantz and Dean McAmmond, was obviously a bust. In an amazing GM career for Pierre Lacroix Jersey in Denver, that was his one real turkey of a trade. After Ray Bourque Jersey retired and the Avs lost in Game 7 to Detroit in 2002, Lacroix wanted to still have a “three-headed monster” on defense, and at that time, Derek Morris was considered one of the better young two-day D-men in the league. I understand Lacroix’s reasoning in making the deal. But losing Drury (and Yelle) was a killer. I mean, Drury was Mr. Clutch and Yelle was the third-line center on a Calgary club that went to Game 7 of the Cup Finals just two years later.

I also think the Avs would have had a better shot at winning the Cup in 1997 if they’d had Chris Simon Jersey on the ’96-97 team, but a contract dispute sent him to Washington (and the Caps made the Cup Finals a year, with Simon playing on the top line). The Avs had only Brent Severyn as an enforcer that season, and it cost them, even though Sevvy did the best he could. Simon truly scared opponents, though, and that mattered back then.

I think it’s a lead-pipe guarantee we’ll see ESPN and the NHL reunite, starting next season. It might be a split deal, with NBC, but I think both sides would like to do business with each other once again.

And, yes, I’ve always felt bad about Quebec losing their team. But they are a proud bunch of citizens there, and I think they’ll get a team back eventually.

I’m gonna say J.T. Compher Jersey has something of a breakout year. I mean, we’re not talking a point-a-game here, but let’s say, in a 56-game season, I see something like 15-25 40 for J.T. That might be a tad ambitious, but I think he’s capable of it.

I’m not predicting a slump, but a guy like Andre Burakovsky Jersey is someone I probably worry about a little more than others. He’s a streaky scorer, though he played pretty consistently through the playoffs I thought. I expect him to start the season on a line with Kadri and Saad, and it might take a while for some chemistry to develop between those three. Then again, maybe not.

Only if the rosters are expanded, but yeah I think we’ll see him play at some point. He’s currently playing in Sweden for MODO, but he can come back to the NHL when the season starts up again. He wouldn’t crack the top 12 right now, but with expanded rosters and injuries that no doubt will happen at some point, I’m sure we’ll see Kaut play at least some games.

No. Can’t find one ANYWHERE and I’m a guy that has a connection or two in the industry. My 6-foot-6 16-year-old son, a jersey hound, really wants a men’s XXXL, but there are simply none to be found right now.

Congrats to all those who have theirs by now but here in the Dater household, we are Reverse Retro deprived.

Russo and I have been friends since 1995, when we both started covering the league together. He’s The Man.

Ranta had a really good game the other night for the Golden Gophers, and I know the Avs are high on him. The rich get richer…

Nigel, it’s a good and fair question. I do think the Dallas Stars bullied the Avs too much in the playoffs and that it was a factor in the series. The Avs got hemmed in their own zone far too often, and just didn’t seem big or strong enough to deal with Dallas’ big forwards at times. I also think the injuries the Avs had – especially losing guys like Erik Johnson Jersey and Matt Calvert Jersey – hurt in that area.

I don’t think the Avs are a “soft” team, but I do think a lack of size is still something of a factor with this team. That said, I didn’t see Big Z scaring too many Stars out there in the second round. I think opponents are always on the lookout for guys like Big Z, but I don’t think Big Z was truly an intimidating physical force out there in regular situations. Sure, he could line up a guy for a big hit sometimes, but that only happened occasionally. Frankly, I think Big Z got outworked in front of the net too often and didn’t use his size and strength enough around the net in too many situations. So, I don’t necessarily worry about his loss from a “grit” standpoint. What I worry about with the Avs otherwise is still a lack of size up front, expecially on the bottom two lines, and somewhat still on the back end too.