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Colorado Avalanche

4 UFAs the Avalanche Could Target After Landeskog Injury News

With Gabriel Landeskog ruled out for next season, how will the Colorado Avalanche spend the $7 million that goes on LTIR?

With news that Gabriel Landeskog is likely to miss all of the 2023-24 NHL season, the Colorado Avalanche will be forced to make a difficult decision. Landeskog will undergo a cartilage transplant in his right knee and the LTIR situation that will accompany his contract opens the door for the Avalanche to add a piece or pieces with the $7 million that will open up on the roster.

Do the Avs replace Landeskog for one season? Do they operate under the assumption that he may not be back? Do they not add anything in the hopes that he’s able to return sooner than expected? These are not easy questions to answer.

Landeskog Stanely Cup Colorado Avalanche
Landeskog Stanely Cup Colorado Avalanche

The team’s window to win won’t stay open forever and some would argue the team is already taking big steps backwards. Does this cap space then become invaluable if another run at the Stanley Cup is on the organization’s radar?

If so, there are a few names the Avs could target this summer:

Max Pacioretty

A left-winger who is about to hit free agency, Max Pacioretty is a potentially risky play for a number of teams because of his injury history. But, it’s that history that potentially makes him a candidate to sign only a one-year contract with a team for reasonable money. He’ll get paid well, but not $7 million well, and if Pacioretty sees Colorado as a potential preferred destination, there might be a fit there.

He’s a point-per-game player when he’s active and among the best goal-scorers available in free agency. Signing him is the Avs hoping he can play top-line or top-six minutes and stay in the lineup.

Tyler Bertuzzi

Potentially one of the more coveted free agents on the market this summer, reports out of Boston are that Tyler Bertuzzi would be open to talking about an extension with the Bruins but the team can’t afford to keep him. If accurate, the Avs certainly could.

Tyler Bertuzzi Boston Bruins
Tyler Bertuzzi Boston Bruins

Bertuzzi is a long-term play, so there might need to be a feeling that Landeskog might not be back. At the same time, the Avalanche have six different forwards becoming pending unrestricted free agents and if Bertuzzi signs, there’s room to let a couple of other contracts expire. If Landeskog comes back, having both players on the roster certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Bertuzzi played well in the playoffs for the Bruins and the Avalanche could use the goal-scoring, especially if there’s also uncertainty surrounding Valeri Nichushkin.

James van Riemsdyk

Another potential one-year deal, James van Riemsdyk had a lackluster season with only 29 points in 61 games. He might be looking to sign a “show-me deal” and there are worse places to play than Colorado where he could have Nathan MacKinnon and/or Mikko Rantanen as a center.

Jonathan Toews

While he likely wouldn’t be brought in to replace the production of a player like Landeskog, there have been links to Jonathan Toews in the past and now that the Chicago Blackhawks have elected to move on from the veteran, he’s looking for a new home where he could have a chance to win.

There’s some risk involved in signing a player like Toews due to his current health issues, but it won’t be expensive to acquire him if he’s looking at your team. He’ll be selective and the exchange will be a smaller contract commitment.

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  1. Pingback: Bruins Say Roster Will Look Different Next Season

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