It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours. The Stanley Cup Final is currently going on, but plenty of other teams are making news. Last year’s championship was won by the Colorado Avalanche. However, injuries and the Seattle Kraken stopped the quest for a repeat. Centre depth proved to be a massive problem for former Cup winners. Today’s NHL rumours looks at the Colorado Avalanche centre options for the off-season.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Colorado Avalanche Centre Search
Rumour: The Athletic’s Peter Baugh looked at the Colorado Avalanche centre depth and them looking at shoring up the position. Pending free agent J.T. Compher may have priced himself out of the Avs’ budget. Compher had a 52-point season but is a pending free agent. Baugh looked at internal and external candidates to fill the second-line centre spot behind Nathan MacKinnon.
Mikko Rantanen could move from his top-line winger spot to the pivot position. However, Rantanen would lose time with MacKinnon in 5-on-5 situations. Alex Newhook could be moved up from the bottom six to take the second centre spot. However, that could be a risk for the young forward.
The Avs could swing a trade and look at a number of candidates. Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele would be a good fit, but there are other teams likely after him. The Philadelphia Flyers Kevin Hayes might be a risk, but the Flyers would retain some salary. Arizona Coyotes Nick Schmaltz was listed, but the Coyotes would probably want a lot in return. Elias Lindholm, Adam Henrique and Ryan O’Reilly were also listed as potential names by Baugh.
What it Means for Colorado Avalanche Centre Search
Colorado’s lack of centre depth was a big issue in the 2022-23 season. The Avalanche will need to answer that question if they want to get back to the Stanley Cup Final. There’s a strong top line and some good defence, but there needs to be more distribution.
The Avalanche still have a good window to contend. However, it’s always hard to win a Stanley Cup. Adding another centre is vital to general manager Chris MacFarland to have a successful off-season.
Main photo by: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports