What will the Colorado Avalanche do for an encore after last season’s pleasantly surprising ascension in the standings?
2018-19 expectations were the center of discussion during the latest episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast as part of a preseason look across the league.
“Colorado,” began co-host Jeff Marek. “They have two picks in the first round, one of them courtesy of the Ottawa Senators. They have the top line which is amongst the best in the NHL, Elliotte, and after that - _____.”
“I don’t think you ever sit there and say, ‘We want to take a step back,’” said Elliotte Friedman. “But I think they’re one team that is prepared for the possibility of it because I think they really want to find out what they’ve got.
“I think they’re looking at Kerfoot and they’re looking at Jost and they’re saying, ‘What do we really have in these two guys.’
“I heard they were kind of kicking around Mark Stone a little bit, them and Vegas. And I don’t know if that’s true, but the one thing I did hear was they really look at it like, ‘We have to find out, in addition to Nathan MacKinnon and the guys we’ve got - we know we’ve got MacKinnon. We know we’ve got Rantanen. We know we’ve got a bunch of guys here. We’ve got to find out what we’ve got in these two guys.’ And I think that’s what they’re going to do.
“The other thing too is they could have a top player drop onto their lap next year from the Ottawa Senators.
“... Unless they suddenly go gangbusters and decide they really want to do something, I think they’re going to stand pat and say, ‘We’ve really got to see what we have in one of these two guys.’
“And I’ll tell you this too: I’ve heard Tyson Barrie stuff because his name has been in and out. I hear it’s totally quiet, and Colorado has told everyone, ‘If you’re coming at us with a hockey deal,’ because I think he’s got two years left on his deal, ‘Mm, maybe. But other than that we feel no pressure to do anything.’”
Barrie, who seems to be linked to trade rumors annually, is in the third season of a four-year contract that carries a cap hit of $5.5 million.
The defenseman does not have any trade protection in that pact.
Stone, to whom Friedman alluded, signed a one-year, $7.35 million contract with the Senators, which avoided an arbitration hearing.
Stone will not be eligible to sign a contract extension with the Senators until January.
Cap-related info via CapFriendly