NHL Rumors: Teams Inquiring About Avalanche D-Man Josh Manson

The Colorado Avalanche are facing a bit of a cap crunch this offseason, and they've already re-signed second-line center Casey Mittelstadt to a three-year, $5.7 million AAV extension. One player rumored to be on the move, as we've discussed here previously, is another center, Ross Colton. 

But what about the $4.5 million cap hit and two years left on defenseman Josh Manson's contract? Could they be willing to move on from that? According to insider Elliotte Friedman, enterprising teams have been sniffing around the Avs on the Manson front, as his full no-movement clause has now transferred to just a 12-team no-trade clause:

I just heard that teams have asked Colorado about Josh Manson. He goes into partial (no-trade) protection as of July 1st. But I heard that Colorado had no interest in doing that. He is their most physical defenseman, and they'd really be losing a lot if they couldn't keep him. 

Manson is going into his age-33 season next year, and is coming off his best campaign in six years from an offensive standpoint, with a career-high eight goals along with 25 points.  He also posted a steady plus/minus of +11.

More to Friedman's point, Manson also handed out 211 hits with his 6'3", 218-pound frame, his highest hits total in seven years. Moving him would remove a lot of size and nastiness from the Avalanche blueline.

Availability has been a factor for him in recent seasons due to injury, but his 76 games played this past year was also his best total in six years.

Unless Colorado makes an unexpected move with a free agent d-man that could fill that physicality void, it would appear that Manson isn't going anywhere. 

Photo: © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports