We’re just days away from the start of NHL free agency and the NHL rumours are flying. Teams are scrambling to get all their ducks in a row for the big day. The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche aren’t content with winning the title. They want a Valeri Nichushkin contract sorted out by the July 13 date. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes gave an update on where the negotiations are heading.
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 9, 2022
Avs and Valeri Nichushkin Contract Moving Forward
Nichushkin was a very important part of the Avalanche winning their first Stanley Cup in 21 years. The team was very different with him in the lineup and it showed. He totalled 25 goals and 27 assists this season in just 62 games. However, he showed his value in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He netted nine goals and 15 points in 20 post-season games with Colorado.
The 27-year-old had a breakthrough season with the Avalanche in getting his career-high in goals. He’s gotten double-digit goals in all three seasons with Colorado after some tough times with the Dallas Stars. Nichushkin was a good value making $2.5 million for the last two seasons. However, it’s time for him to cash in on a large pay raise.
What it Means
The Avalanche do have some moving parts to deal with this off-season. Colorado would love to bring back both Nichushkin and defenceman Josh Manson to the club. However, there are still big contracts like Samuel Girard‘s $5 million on the books. Restricted free agent Artturi Lehkonen may also carry a decent price tag and is arbitration-eligible.
It seems like the team thinks Nazem Kadri is probably off to test the market and will get his big contract elsewhere. There’s also a new contract for Nathan MacKinnon coming after this season. General manager Joe Sakic has some work to do, but he’s confident about at least hanging onto a valuable player like Nichushkin.
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) August 19, 2020