The Colorado Avalanche are facing a challenging task in meeting the expected contract demands of defenseman Devon Toews, according to a recent article by Peter Baugh of The Athletic. Projections indicate that Toews could be valued anywhere from just over $8 million to potentially exceeding $10.3 million for a long-term contract. Despite the expected rise in the salary cap, accommodating this substantial financial commitment appears to be a daunting feat for the Avs. It’s evident that they need to undertake strategic moves to create the necessary financial space.
Baugh underscores the benefits of Toews’ existing contract for the Avalanche. Since signing it, Toews has evolved from a relatively unproven player to a top-pairing defenseman, capable of delivering strong performances during crucial moments. However, as Toews approaches the age of 29, the reality of renegotiating his contract looms as he enters the final season of his current deal valued at $4.1 million.
As Baugh correctly points out, historically, the Avalanche have exercised caution when entering into long-term, high-value contracts with players above the age of 30. The past negotiations with Gabriel Landeskog before the 2021-22 season illustrate this prudent approach. The process led to a last-minute agreement before a deadline that would have precluded the team from offering an eight-year contract.
Will a Rising Salary Cap Make Much of a Difference for Toews?
Baugh also highlights the potential for the salary cap to experience significant growth in the forthcoming seasons, which could facilitate negotiations with Toews. However, he acknowledges that the Avalanche will grapple with contractual decisions for several key players.
With players like Alexandar Georgiev, Mikko Rantanen, and Bowen Byram becoming free agents in 2025, maintaining the team’s core components becomes increasingly complex. And, if Toews winds up seeking anywhere close to the $10.3 million projected by Evolving Hockey, President of hockey operations Joe Sakic and general manager Chris MacFarland will be confronted with pivotal choices regarding the team’s future composition. Both will need to make the distinction between indispensable and replaceable players.
As for who might be on the trade block, moving Samuel Girard would clear up most of the Avs concerns when it comes to money.
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