Avalanche Rumors: Decisions Colorado Must Make This Offseason

This offseason, the Colorado Avalanche are at a critical juncture, needing to make strategic decisions to maintain and strenghen their roster for future contention, as noted by ESPN's Ryan S. Clark.

The team must deal with key contract negotiations, notably with Casey Mittelstadt, acquired at the trade deadline, and who is a restricted free agent.

Securing his services on a long-term basis is crucial for maintaining depth at the center position.

Additionally, they face the departure of several key players to free agency, including Jonathan Drouin, Andrew Cogliano, and Zach Parise, whose retirement leaves a gap.

The team also needs to decide on the futures of defensemen like Jack Johnson and Sean Walker, both unrestricted free agents, which will significantly influence their defensive lineup.

Another major focus for the Avalanche is addressing Mikko Rantanen’s upcoming free agency after next season.

Rantanen, who has consistently delivered top-tier performances, is expected to command a substantial salary increase, potentially creating cap challenges for the team. He's entering the final year of his 6-year, $55.5M contract ($9.25M AAV), signed back in 2019.

With $15.9 million in projected cap space and possible additional relief if Gabriel Landeskog remains on long-term injury reserve, Colorado must balance these financial constraints with the need to secure core talent for sustained competitiveness.

Additionally, the Avalanche need to consider the status of Valeri Nichushkin, who will soon complete Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

Determining his role and future contribution to the team adds another layer of complexity to their offseason planning.

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