The Avalanche haven’t gotten into substantive contract discussions with pending UFAs Gabriel Landeskog and Philipp Grubauer, reports Peter Baugh of The Athletic (subscription link). Landeskog, Colorado’s captain, has spent the last ten years with the Avs and will be hitting the open market for the first time. He’s believed to be seeking a long-term contract and an eight-year pact would basically lock him up for the rest of his career. However, they have to be mindful of the fact that Nathan MacKinnon is two years away from needing a substantial raise and Cale Makar will get one this summer as a restricted free agent. If Landeskog wants top dollar, they may not be able to afford it.
As for Grubauer, he could have a shot at doubling the $3.33MM AAV he had on his last contract which could also price him out of what the Avalanche can afford. But they also can’t afford to go into next season with Pavel Francouz – who didn’t play at all in 2020-21 – as the number one. Whether it’s Grubauer or someone else, they’ll need to set aside some money for goaltending.
Elsewhere around the league:
- The Blue Jackets are looking into adding an advisor to their coaching staff, relays Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription link). No one on their staff has ever served as a head coach at the NHL level so bringing in someone in a mentorship type of role would make sense. Portzline suggests veteran bench boss Jacques Martin could be a viable candidate for such a position and that the 68-year-old is interested in a position like that.
- What do the Golden Knights need to add this offseason? Team owner Bill Foley told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that power play help will be a priority this summer. They were held without a power play goal in 15 opportunities in their semifinal loss to Montreal which contributed to a 9.5% success rate in the playoffs, the lowest among all postseason teams. Even during the regular season, they were below the league average with the man advantage. While Vegas has built impressive depth up front, bringing in someone to help boost their power play would certainly give them a big lift offensively.