Star young defenseman Kale Makar and the Avalanche have given the NHL team a real chance to re-sign veteran leftist and team captain Gabe Landeskog.
First and foremost, the off-season dominoes fell on Saturday when, during the NHL Draft, Capricorn agreed to a six-year, $54 million contract extension as a restricted free agent. His $9 million annual cap hit added him to the NHL’s fourth-highest-paid defender and accounted for 11% of the Avs’ $81.5 million salary cap.
But, given what he is—perhaps the NHL’s best defender at age 22—it appears to be bordering on a team-friendly deal that would see Colorado sign Landeskog before unrestricted free agency opens Wednesday. may allow.
“I believe that Capricorn was always the first priority and everything else was going to determine where Capricorn ended up,” Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman said after signing Capricorn on Saturday.
“At least we know the number of blacks, which is big for us to move forward,” said AVS general manager Joe Sakic.
Capricorn’s cap hit of $9 million is tied for the 24th highest of all signed NHL players. It appears that Capricorn and AVS recently found a sweet spot between two signings of the star defenseman: Dallas’ Miro Hiskanen, who ranked No. 3 overall in the 2017 draft, one spot ahead of Capricorn, at $8.45. The million cap is on hit; And Seth Jones inked a trade-and-sign deal with Chicago that elevates him to a $9.5 million cap hit starting in 2022-23.
Heiskanen and Jones both got eight-year deals on their number. It took Capricorn just six years—perhaps to help squeeze in Landeskog, among others, Nathan McKinnon after his current team-friendly deal (a $6.3 million cap hit) expired on July 1, 2023. ) enriched.
During a Zoom call on Saturday, Makar appeared to be aware of the issue.
“This is a team that has the potential to win – and to win now – and obviously you don’t want to get in the way of any of that,” said Makar. “(We) obviously tried to do something that worked for both sides and I think we came to an agreement that clearly works for both.”
In addition to Landeskog, the Avalanche are likely looking to re-sign pending UFA goalkeeper Philippe Grubauer and pending UFA forward Brandon Saad, and they will strike a deal for pending RFA forward Tyson Jost. Landeskog and Jost are more likely to return than Grubauer and Saad.
“We want all of us back, especially Landy and obviously Gruby,” said Makar. “They are such important pieces to our team. They are definitely people I would love to see back and hopefully the club can work something out with them. I think everyone is equal in that sense. Hopefully It is that everyone gets the right deal and it gets done.”
Where was easier said than done because AVS has now dedicated 22.3% of its cap space to Rentanen and Capricorn.
“I said last year – this was probably going to be our deepest team, and now our top players have become more expensive, so we have to supplement them with less expensive ones,” Sakic said. .
Bottom line: Signing Capricorn Long Term allows AVS to try to sign Landeskog before other teams can recruit him. Same with Grubauer. There’s plenty of time to do this before Wednesday.
“To end (Capricorn), we can now focus on the two others,” Sakik said.