The Colorado Avalanche bolstered their offense during the offseason by trading for veteran winger Brandon Saad. The 28-year-old has done nothing but score goals over the last seven years, having scored 169 goals over his career and he should be a perfect fit with the Avalanche. Of course, Saad has just one year remaining on his contract, but has expressed interest in signing a long-term extension in Colorado.
However, what are the chances that the Avalanche bring him back?
NBC Sports’ Adam Gretz writes that there are quite a few factors that determine whether Saad comes back. However, while his numbers are solid, they don’t stand out either. However, Saad brings other aspects to his game, which Colorado might appreciate. He is a possession driver and really excels when around better players, which the Avalanche has a lot of.
However, while the Avalanche have done quite well with managing their cap space over the years, those days will soon be past. The team has already inked Mikko Rantanen to a six-year, $55.5MM deal (with five years still on it). Colorado also will have forward Gabriel Landeskog hitting free agency next season, while defenseman Cale Makar will be a restricted free agent. Those two deals are likely going to cost Colorado quite a bit.
Of course, how he performs in his one year in Colorado will have a huge impact, but unless he takes less to stay in Colorado, the team will likely have too many other contracts to deal with in the next season to bring Saad back.
- Much credit has been given to Vancouver for being able to acquire defenseman Nate Schmidt from the cap-strapped Vegas Golden Knights for just a third-round pick. The team had just lost Chris Tanev, so bringing in Schmidt is a solid if not significant upgrade to the defense. However, The Athletic’s Harman Dayal (subscription required) writes that the real question is will it be an upgrade defensively. Schmidt is mostly known for his puck-moving skills and his ability to move the puck up the ice quickly, not necessarily for his defensive prowess, while Tanev was basically the opposite — a ruthless defensive player. Dayal looks at Schmidt’s underrated defensive game, although he also notes that Schmidt’s defensive numbers took a significant decline this past season. Was it just a down season or is his game slipping in his late 20s. While it looks like Schmidt is a solid top-four acquisition, the scribe wonders if the team needs to acquire a defensive-first blueliner to fill in the unit’s current deficiencies.
- The Edmonton Oilers have emphasized the need for a solid third-line center for a number of years and feel good about the recent acquisition of Kyle Turris, who should fill that role. Of course, Turris, who has struggled for the past two years with the Nashville Predators and was bought out, could still struggle. If Turris can’t handle the Oilers’ No. 3 center position, the Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins writes the team would then only have one option for that spot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a player they really want in their top-six. The lack of depth centers could end up being a significant issue if Turris fails.