Is a Toews trade a possibility? Second line center or big winger?

It’s officially the offseason for the Colorado Avalanche, which means there are a lot of questions about what the team will be up to this summer before next season. “A lot” might be an understatement, because I received so many that I will have enough for another mailbag next week.

And guess what? I’m ready to answer those questions… to the best of my ability, at least.

So let’s start for today.

De KhemHem: Ideally I would like them to move Sammy for a 2C. But if they can’t/won’t and sign Bo long-term rather than a bridge deal, is Toews the odd man out? It would provide the most yield too.

I think a lot of people assume that Sam Girard might be the odd man out if the Avalanche were to trade someone on defense. Girard is locked in to a cap of $5 million for the next four seasons, which is extremely reasonable and frankly, a pretty good deal. Why trade someone on a good deal like this, especially with a tight cap situation? The only way to get a deal with Girard is if one of the top six forwards returns.

Byram’s contract is just a matter of the two parties agreeing on a short-term or long-term deal. Both options come with risks for all parties involved, and we’ll dig deeper into that this summer. It’s hard to predict, but it’s not going anywhere.

But another problem that threatens the Avalanche will be an extension for Devon Toews. There are a lot of factors to consider here. He has one year left on his current $4.1 million contract and will be in line for a big raise. The cap is set to increase next summer (2024), so there’s a chance there’s room, but how much will Toews ask for? A year after Toews’ contract ended, Mikko Rantanen needs a new contract, so it never ends. If the Avalanche don’t believe he’ll have room for a big contract with Toews, then moving him this summer makes sense, from an asset management perspective. Toews will be 30 when his next contract kicks in, and Colorado has generally avoided signing players over 30 in recent years. At the same time, Colorado hasn’t really been one to bother moving UFAs for trade value in the past. They may believe it’s more valuable to have Toews for one more year, even if there’s a risk of losing him for nothing. This team is made to win now, after all.

In theory, the Avalanche would get a good return for Toews, but trading a top-flight defenseman is a tough pill to swallow. I don’t believe Byram is an option to trade, but I could see a world where a Toews or a Girard are moved in to help the rest of the roster this summer. The Avalanche can’t officially sign Toews to an extension until July 1, but they’ll likely have an idea of ​​what he’s looking for before then. The team has a lot of talent in defense. Redistributing some of that to the attacking group via trade makes sense, given how little production they got beyond the big guns up front. It can’t be for just anything, though.

From Luke Hocking: Forwards struggled to control/win wingers in battle, either injured or knocked out in Lehkonen, Landeskog and Nuke. Could the avs be looking to add another wing with those OVER attributes trying to add a 2C? Then these wingers can help elevate the Cs we have at Newhook & Meyers

Of course, the Avalanche could look to add wingers to help isolate their centers further, especially if Landeskog’s injury situation persists. I believe the second line center should be the priority, but finding help in general for the front six is ​​a must.

Arizona is a team you’re looking at that might be able to provide options for both. Nick Schmaltz and Lawson Crouse are both rumored to be available at the trade deadline, and both are coming to terms, so we’re not talking about a short-term fix. Crouse is that big winger who would add that size down the wall that the team lacked in the playoffs. Schmaltz is the creative center who can make plays and has been a near points-per-game player the past two seasons.

It really depends on what the team prefers, but I think a second line center should be the priority. They can’t go into another season hoping Newhook takes the reins.

Random avs goal every day: Who would suit the avs better, Adam Henrique or Nick Schmaltz?

If you give me the option, I’ll take Schmaltz. Solving the problem rather than putting a band-aid on it. I like Henrique, but calling him at the deadline was having two kicks in the box with him. With only a year left, that call has waned a bit. Moreover, he will be 34 when he is up for a new contract.

From Brendan Jordan: Please explain why having a legitimate number 1 goalkeeper for next season is such a relief not to have to worry anymore

Certainly. The Avalanche had to spend assets to acquire a goaltender for two consecutive summers. Four draft picks and a prospect, to be exact. These offers have an impact on your system. They both worked, but it’s nice to know you don’t have to worry about that for two years and can focus on the rest of the team. Plus, they’ve got Georgiev locked in on a deal that now looks like a steal. It gives you more space to work with the rest of the team, although it’s tough to spend less money on goalies than the Avalanche.

From Lindsay May: Mainly out of curiosity, are you wondering about dressing room morale and how it fluctuated towards the end of the season?

I would use the word “sold out” to describe the locker room at the end of the year. Even Bednar said he was done with being frustrated long before the end of the season. The team was very focused down the stretch to win the Central Division, but I think the long season wore them down. Every time they thought someone was coming back, another player got injured. After Game 7, there was disappointment, but pride in how they battled to end the year. All those fights caught up with them, I think.

This exhaustion is evident in the fact that only Rantanen has been confirmed as going to the World Championships. Everyone else is enjoying a long summer.

From Bobby: When do the Avs send the actual injury report?

I’m starting to think it’s not coming…

At least we discovered Lehkonen’s injury.

From Kyle: How active do you think the Avs will be in draft trades?

Active, in my opinion. We’ve reviewed the free agents that will be available this summer. It’s not an impressive list. If the Avalanche really want an upgrade right now, it’s likely to be through trade.

I delayed booking a trip to the NHL Draft because I’m not convinced the Avalanche will keep this first-round pick. Stay tuned.

With the number of questions I have received, look for another mailbag next week.

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