According to Adrian Dater, it seems likely that Francois Beauchemin will not be bought out by the Colorado Avalanche. His contract is for $4.5 MM and only has one season remaining. He is 37 and signed the contract after his 35th birthday according to CapFriendly, which does make a potential buyout less worthwhile. On 35+ contracts, the team does not receive a cap benefit from a buyout, so the move would be made for other reasons. A buyout would have opened up a roster spot for a younger player and perhaps allowed them to accelerate the re-build. More importantly, it would have allowed Sakic to keep an extra young defender protected, such as Mark Barberio, in the upcoming expansion draft. Beauchemin could be asked to waive his No-Movement Clause, but there has been no indication that has been done.
A standard buyout doesn’t seem to be worth the hassle to GM Joe Sakic, so he will look to either move him for a low pick before expansion, or merely ride out the last season with the veteran. All told, Beauchemin’s stats weren’t all that terrible for a team who finished dead last in the standings. He actually performed noticeably better in possession stats than the season prior, hitting 47.9% Corsi For after a dreadful 43.4% in 2015-16. His plus/minus of -14 was actually better than any other defenseman, excluding Erik Johnson who missed half the season. His point production obviously took a hit, and he lost a step in speed, but with only one year remaining and the Avalanche facing larger issues, Sakic might be wise to turn complete attention to the trade market and drafting with the #4 pick.
- Rick Tocchet is one of, if not the hottest, name on the coaching market right now. His work on the Penguins’ bench has been commended by many in Pittsburgh, and multiple teams with coaching vacancies have already hinted at their interest. The Buffalo Sabres in particular seem quite high on him. According to Dan Rosen, however, Tocchet’s phone has been remained quiet as his team advanced to the finals. Other organizations have put their pursuit of his talents on hold, as they are allowing him to perform his duties for the Penguins squad in the finals. Tocchet struggled in Tampa Bay as a head coach before landing the assistant position in Pittsburgh under then-coach Mike Johnston. He was a vocal critic of the special teams and handling of stars as a continual radio guest in the Pittsburgh area, before getting the recommendation from owner Mario Lemieux. He survived the cleansing of the coaching staff when Johnston was fired, and has thrived in his new role under Mike Sullivan. His ability to communicate effectively with talented players and coordinate plays have been the most appreciated in Steel City.
- Another note on Sakic and the Avalanche – on Friday, when TSN created its “Top 30 Trade BaitBoard”, Nathan MacKinnon found himself included. While nothing should be out of the question for a team that finished 30th overall and with only 49 points, MacKinnon appears to be the only true untouchable on the team. Nothing short of an absurd overpayment would pry him out of Denver, as his value to that team is greater than to any of the other 29 organizations. The 21 year old only posted 16 goals last season, but the entire team was dreadful, and Nathan is a safe bet to rebound. Anything is possible, but in all likelihood he is the forward around which the rest of the team will be built. When the team drafts at #4 in this year’s draft, it will be with his needs at least partially in mind.