An inside look at the Colorado Avalanche

NHL.com offers an in-depth list and analysis of predictions and fiction for each of the league’s 32 teams from August 8 to September 8. 8. Today’s Colorado Avalanche.

Colorado may still celebrate last season’s Stanley Cup, but the question will soon turn to whether they can do so again.

One reason for optimism is the fact that Colorado has been able to retain a number of key pieces this season, including re-signing the strikers. Valery Nesushkin (Eight-year contract on July 11), Artturi Lehkonen (Five-year contract on July 13), Andrew Cogliano (One-year contract on July 5), and Darren Helm (One-year contract on July 13), defenseman Josh Manson (Four-year contract on July 13.)

“This was always part of the plan,” said Chris MacFarland, who was promoted to general manager on July 11, when Joe Sakic was named head of hockey operations. “Josh played big minutes for us in the top four. He gave us the important right-footing element with Eric (Johnson) and Kali (Makar), and Arturi fits the age group (27), of course. We paid a hefty price for both (on the NHL trading deadline of year). 2022), so it was important to try to get these guys done.

“These were all essential parts for us to try to stay, obviously, competitive and build our roster while keeping an eye on the cap, which is clearly important.”

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The cover space has forced this avalanche to allow some players to walk into free agency, most notably the attackers Andrei Burakovskywho signed a five-year contract with the Seattle Kraken on July 13, and Nazim Qadri, who remains an unrestricted free agent.

Goalkeeper Darcy Comber He also found a new home this season, signing a five-year contract with Washington Capitals on July 13, five days after being told by Sakic that Colorado would “move” in the wake of the trade for Alexander Georgiev From the New York Rangers.

Georgiev signed a three-year contract on July 11.

Georgiev said on July 12: “I was hoping to land in a great place, and when I heard it was Colorado meltdown, it was as good as I had hoped. The team is unreal. They just won the cup.. They have the same goal in the next few years, and I just wanted to be part of that group.”

Despite that group that still includes attackers Nathan McKinnonAnd the Miko Rantanen And the Gabriel Landskogand defenseman Cal Makarwho won the Norris Cup last season, Colorado will have to tackle the gaps left by Burakowski, Kadri and Quimper.

On the Internet, Sakic said that Georgiev will be the initiator Pavel Francos, but the 26-year-old has never been a top spot before. In 33 games (28 first games) with Rangers last season, he was 15-10-2 with 2.92 goals-to-average, 898 saves and two nets.

“I was dreaming about it a few years ago, and I hope to have the opportunity to play for this kind of team,” Georgiev said. “It’s such a big boost and something I’ve really needed. In the past two seasons, I haven’t had the same amount of opportunities to play as many games in a row, and I’ve heard that the Stanley Cup champions believe in you and believe in you the guy, that’s all I wanted. It’s great to hear that this team Trust me. I’m working hard to prove they’re right.”

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Colorado will need Nisushkin and Likonen among its front group to build their two seasons to replace the production that Burakowski (61 points in 80 games) and Kadri (87 points in 71 games) lost. Nichushkin had his NHL highs in goals (25), assists (27) and points (52) in 62 regular season games last season, Lehkonen’s career highs in goals (19) and points (38) in 74 games with the meltdown icy; and Montreal Canadiens.

However, it is also possible that the avalanche will turn to some of their young players to fill in the gaps, including the 21-year-old. Alex Newhawkwho had 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 71 games as a rookie last season.

Either way, they feel comfortable as the season approaches.

“We feel just as confident in the front group as it is today, as it is currently built, but as always we will always look to improve,” MacFarland said. “And if something makes sense…we will seek to improve the team. That is our job, but we feel good about it as it is currently built.”

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