Colorado Avalanche Team Report
By Neil Becker
The Colorado Avalanche are without a doubt among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
In late July, they made a deal with the Arizona Coyotes for 31- year-old starting goalie Darcy Kuemper who is coming off a 10-11 season with a 2.56 GAA.
Another move was demoting goalies Hunter Miska and Trent Miner down to Colorado’s AHL team.
Meanwhile departing this off-season was former Avalanche goalie and unrestricted free agent Adam Werner who signed a one-year two-way contract with the Calgary Flames. Also signing somewhere else was Avs unrestricted free agent goalie Philipp Grubauer who inked a six-year $ 35.4 million dollar contract with the expansion Seattle Kraken. Late into training camp, goalie Devan Dubnyk remains an unrestricted free agent while another unrestricted goalie Peyton Jones wasn’t offered a deal from Colorado.
In early September the Avalanche added a veteran presence up as they invited veteran centerman Artem Anisimov to training camp. This 33- year-old scored 2 goals and 9 points in 19 games last year with the Ottawa Senators.
In July, the Avalanche re-signed 23- year-old centerman Tyson Jost to a two-year contract extension. Last year he scored 7 goals and 17 points in 54 games.
Another move came in September when Colorado gave 25- year-old right winger Logan O’Connor a three-year contract extension.
Colorado also made an off-season deal with the New Jersey Devils where they acquired 23-year-old Mikhail Maltsev and a second -round draft pick in the 2021 NHL Draft for forward Ryan Graves.
Another move saw right winger Kiefer Sherwood receive a one-year two-way contract extension while veteran captain Gabriel Landeskov who is coming off a 52- point season, signed an eight-year $56 million dollar extension.
Leaving the team is center Mike Vecchione who as an unrestricted free agent agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Washington Capitals. Also moving on is veteran unrestricted free agent forward Brandon Saad who signed a five- year $22.5 million dollar contract with the St. Louis Blues.
Other unrestricted free agents leaving include center Sheldon Dries who signed a one-year two-way deal with the Vancouver Canucks, left winger Matt Calvert who retired and center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare who signed a two-year two -million- dollar deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Avalanche also released left winger Dalton Smith while inviting to camp center Gabriel Fontaine. Some free agent signings up front include Dylan Sikura, Stefqan Matteau and Darren Helm who signed one-year contracts.
Also departing were unrestricted free agent forwards Miikka Salomaki, T.J. Nynan and Carl Soderberg.
On defence they successfully signed star Cale Makar to a six-year extension and traded for Kurtis MacDermid.
The Avs also lost unrestricted free agent defenceman Kyle Burrows who inked a two-year, two- way contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Also leaving was another unrestricted defenceman in Dan Renouf who signed a one-year two-way contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
In another move unrestricted free agent defenceman Patrik Nemeth signed a three- year $7.5 million dollar contract with the New York Rangers.
Defenceman Jordan Gross, Denis Gilbert and Ryan Murray agreed to one-year two -way contracts.
Colorado management invited a handful of players to camp including former 2005 Carolina Hurricanes first round pick Jack Johnson.
The Avalanche are favored by many to win this year the Stanley Cup. It will definitely be an entertaining season for them.