NHL Rumours: Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres

NHL rumours
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We’ve made it to the middle of the week and we have more NHL rumours to start your day. We’ve got the deadline coming on March 21 and the activity is going to ramp up before then. Teams are also trying to lock down future cornerstones to their franchise. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL free agent frenzy

NHL Rumours

Colorado Avalanche

Rumour: The Athletic’s Peter Baugh talked to Colorado General Manager Joe Sakic about a Nathan MacKinnon extension.

Analysis: Colorado’s star player sees his contract expire at the end of next season. MacKinnon currently makes $6.3 million and has a modified no-trade clause. The Halifax native has scored at least 20 goals in each of his last four seasons. He’s also proven himself to be a clutch playoff scorer with at least six goals in the last three Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sakic would love to nail down MacKinnon to a long-term deal, but it’s going to cost the team some serious coin. He’s been one of the league’s biggest bargains and should get a decent pay rise. However, Avalanche fans shouldn’t feel too concerned. The 26-year-old did say that he would sign another team-friendly contract to help the club out.

Colorado has plenty of offensive talent and is angling to win another Stanley Cup. MacKinnon will get his money, but he knows the importance of keeping as much of the core together. He’ll get that raise, but it won’t be as painful as it could be.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Murat Ates of The Athletic looked at the Jets that could get dealt at the deadline.

Analysis: The wheels have fallen off for Winnipeg after being a steady contender the last few seasons. Winnipeg will likely have to re-tool, but it does have some assets that it can trade to get picks and prospects.

Ates added that players like Andrew Copp, Evgeny Svechnikov, Nathan Beaulieu and Paul Stastny as assets that are most likely to move. Copp is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and Winnipeg doesn’t want to see him walk for free. It’s likely going to be his last season anyway, but he could go to a contender as a rental piece.

Stastny would also be good for a team looking to win now. He helped Winnipeg when it reached the conference final in 2018 after being traded by the St. Louis Blues. The Jets could do the same thing by shipping off to someone looking for experience and additional scoring.

Svechnikov has broken through after injuries hampered his time in Detroit. The Jets could keep him as low-cost scoring depth, but teams could be asking about him. He may be flipped for a pick and that could be of some value to the Jets.

Buffalo Sabres

Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger looked at some possible traded candidates from the Sabres on the latest edition of Insider Trading.

Analysis: The first name that came up was that of defenceman Robert Haag. Dreger called him a solid shutdown-type of defender that a contending team could use. The Swede also carries a small $1 million-plus deal that could be easily moved.

One name that teams are also looking at is that of Colin Miller, who is on injured reserve. Teams are monitoring his health and hoping that he can be ready by the March 21 deadline. He could also be a rental for a team looking for defensive depth. Miller is in the final year of his contract that has a $3.875 million cap hit and will be a UFA.

Cody Eakin was a name that came up on the forward end of things. Eakin is also a UFA at the end of the season with a $2.25 million cap number. He would be a solid bottom-six addition for a contender.

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