The Colorado Avalanche made a pair of big trades, acquiring Brandon Saad for Nikita Zadorov and adding Devon Toews, but have yet to make a meaningful addition from the free agent market this off-season. With nearly $7MM in cap space and only Toews and Tyson Jost in need of an extension before next season, the Avs have the room to make a move on the open market.
However, the team may already be looking ahead to next season and saving up cap space for some key players in need of new deals. Specifically, Ryan Clark of The Athletic reports that the Avalanche have already had preliminary talks with captain Gabriel Landeskog about an extension. Landeskog, still only 27, is entering his tenth season with Avalanche and the two sides are both hoping it won’t be the last. While he has been a reliable scorer throughout his career, Landeskog has scored at the highest clip of his career over the past two seasons and does not look to be slowing down. Forming an elite line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen and as the respected leader of the entire locker room, Landeskog has an undeniable fit in Colorado moving forward.
The question now is what the value of an extension will be and what the opinions are on both side. GM Joe Sakic himself stated to Clark that “everyone is just figuring out where the landscape is going to be”, alluding to the uncertainty of the salary cap and the free agent market moving forward. Beyond that, there are also injury concerns to worry about with Landeskog, which certainly won’t go away as he reaches the wrong side of 30. All signs point to Landeskog and the Avalanche figuring out a deal, and a long-term pact is likely, but there is work to be done to figure out a fair value given some questions about the future.