FanPost

Dear Joe Sakic, please read and consider this

It hurt to miss out on Hughes and Kakko, but the Avs are still in pretty damn good shape. The team enters the draft with the number four overall pick, some additional draft capital, and a ton of cap space. Despite the disappointment that resulted from the stupid draft lottery, things are still looking up.

My bid to become Joe's assistant GM continues. Since I know he reads these and values my opinion (does sarcasm font work in fan posts?), I figured I'd post this sooner than later.

Once again I am assuming a 4% annual cap increase.

The Draft

Obviously things didn't turn out the way the team or us fans wanted, but the team is still in great shape to add a lot of talent to a team that has now made the playoffs in back-to-back years. Here are some straightforward thoughts and outside the box ideas for how to utilize the picks the team has.

  • 1st pick (round 1): Trevor Zegras (C). The team can get him with pick #6, as Detroit moves up for either Byram or Podkolzin. In exchange the Avs receive a high second round pick (throw in a player if needed).
  • 2nd pick (round 1): Philip Broberg (LD) with Avs 1st.
  • 3rd pick (round 1): Pavel Dorofeyev (LW) using the Avs 2nd and 3rd to move up to the end of the 1st round.
  • 4th pick (round 2): Nolan Foote (LW) using Detroit's 2nd.
  • 5th pick (round 3): Hunter Jones (G) using Ottawa's 3rd.
I'll stop here, as things get less and less predictable (also my level of knowledge declines dramatically) around this point. Regardless of what happens later on though, this is quite the haul and gives the team one hell of a prospect pool. None of these guys will make an immediate impact, but the potential influx of talent in a couple years is something to salivate over.


2019/2020

Now for all that cap space. There are three guys that I really like, and a couple more that I don't like quite as much. Free agents (in order of most desirable to less desirable but still someone I'd consider) are: Panarin, Skinner, Hayes, Lee, and Nyquist. In this instance, I'm hoping Sakic pushes hard for Skinner and Hayes. The former can be sold by giving him a spot on the top line, alongside MacKinnon and Rantanen. The latter gets the 2C role and plays with Landeskog and one of Jost, Kerfoot, or Compher. Both should view this as a good situation for them and their career, and both will get their market value.

Unlike in the past, I'm assuming Barrie stays. Yes there is a logjam on the right side of the back end (assuming Makar and Timmins develop as we think they will), but Barrie is a valuable piece of this team, and it would hurt to lose him.

Other moves include the following:

  1. Calvert and Meloche traded for a pick
  2. Extend Rantanen, Kerfoot, Compher, Kamenev, Zadorov, and Graves
  3. Sign Skinner and Hayes in free agency
  4. Kaut, Makar, and Francouz become full-time NHL players, replacing Andrighetto, Calvert, and Varlamov
  5. Cole traded with a good amount of salary retained ($2 million per year)
What might be the most controversial here is trading Cole with salary retained. On paper it makes sense to keep him if the team is paying him to play elsewhere. However, positioning for the expansion draft requires that Graves see the ice a lot this year. Otherwise, the team may end up having to expose a defenseman that could otherwise be protected due to the minimum number of games played rules.

Another one that some may not like is trading Meloche. For me, there is simply no place to put him, and I would rather get something in return than let him wilt into obscurity in the AHL. I also think it's good to give guys a shot when they deserve it. And if there is no room here, then let him try his luck with a different organization.

Here is the roster and cap space. Note that there is a fair amount of dead money, which includes amounts going to both Orpik and Cole.

Salary Cap 83,000,000
Line/Pairing Player Position Cap Hit Shoots Contract Through Extensions RFA/UFA Notes
1 MacKinnon C 6,300,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
1 Skinner LW 8,750,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA Signed as a free agent (7 years)
1 Rantanen RW 8,500,000 Left 2018/2019 2024/2025 UFA Extended 6 years
2 Hayes C 7,000,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA Signed as a free agent (6 years)
2 Landeskog LW 5,571,429 Left 2020/2021 2020/2021 UFA
2 Jost C, LW, RW 885,833 Left 2019/2020 2019/2020 RFA
3 Kerfoot C, LW 3,000,000 Left 2018/2019 2022/2023 UFA Extended 4 years
3 Kaut LW, RW 925,000 Right 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
3 Compher C, LW 2,500,000 Right 2018/2019 2022/2023 UFA Extended 4 years
4 Soderberg C, LW 4,750,000 Left 2019/2020 2019/2020 UFA
4 Kamenev C, LW 1,000,000 Left 2018/2019 2020/2021 RFA Extended 2 years
4 Nieto LW, RW 1,975,000 Left 2019/2020 2019/2020 UFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
1 Girard LD 728,333 Left 2019/2020 2019/2020 RFA
1 Johnson RD 6,000,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
2 Zadorov LD 4,000,000 Left 2018/2019 2022/2023 UFA Extended 4 years
2 Barrie RD 5,500,000 Right 2020/2021 2020/2021 UFA
3 Graves LD 1,250,000 Left 2020/2021 2022/2023 UFA Extended 3 years
3 Makar RD 925,000 Right 2020/2021 2020/2021 RFA
N/A Barberio LD 1,450,000 Left 2019/2020 2019/2020 UFA
1 Grubauer G 3,333,333 N/A 2021/2022 2021/2022 UFA
2 Francouz G 1,400,000 N/A 2018/2019 2021/2022 UFA Extended 3 years



Total Cost 77,643,928
Dead Money 3,500,000
Cap Space 1,856,072


Skinner MacKinnon Rantanen
Landeskog Hayes Jost
Kaut Kerfoot Compher
Kamenev Soderberg Nieto


Girard Johnson
Zadorov Barrie
Graves Makar


Grubauer
Francouz



2020/2021

The big additions this year are ones that are already in the system (Timmins and Bowers). Timmins replaces Barberio, who leaves in free agency, and bumps Graves to the 7th defenseman. Bowers slides in for Soderberg, who is a free agent and one that Colorado can no longer afford. The 2019 draft does not make an impact yet, but don't worry because that is coming.

Other than this, the team needs to extend Jost, Girard, and Barrie. Nieto is also extended in this scenario, but it's not necessary. In the past he would have been needed for the expansion draft requirements, but this time the team will be able to meet such requirements without him.

Here is the roster and cap space. Dead money is just Cole this year.

Salary Cap 86,320,000
Line/Pairing Player Position Cap Hit Shoots Contract Through Extensions RFA/UFA Notes
1 MacKinnon C 6,300,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
1 Skinner LW 8,750,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Rantanen RW 8,500,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
2 Hayes C 7,000,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
2 Landeskog LW 5,571,429 Left 2020/2021 2020/2021 UFA
2 Jost C, LW, RW 3,750,000 Left 2019/2020 2023/2024 UFA Extended 4 years
3 Kerfoot C, LW 3,000,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
3 Kaut LW, RW 925,000 Right 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
3 Compher C, LW 2,500,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
4 Bowers C, LW 950,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA Replaces Soderberg
4 Kamenev C, LW 1,000,000 Left 2020/2021 2020/2021 RFA
4 Nieto LW, RW 2,250,000 Left 2019/2020 2021/2022 UFA Extended 2 years
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
1 Girard LD 4,850,000 Left 2019/2020 2025/2026 UFA Extended 6 years
1 Makar RD 925,000 Right 2020/2021 2020/2021 RFA
2 Zadorov LD 4,000,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
2 Barrie RD 7,500,000 Right 2020/2021 2026/2027 UFA Extended 6 years
3 Timmins RD 925,000 Right 2020/2021 2020/2021 RFA Replaces Barberio
3 Johnson RD 6,000,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
N/A Graves LD 1,250,000 ??? 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
1 Grubauer G 3,333,333 N/A 2021/2022 2021/2022 UFA
2 Francouz G 1,400,000 N/A 2021/2022 2021/2022 UFA


Total Cost 82,579,762
Dead Money 2,000,000
Cap Space 1,740,238


Skinner MacKinnon Rantanen
Landeskog Hayes Jost
Kaut Kerfoot Compher
Kamenev Bowers Nieto


Girard Makar
Zadorov Barrie
Timmins Johnson


Grubauer
Francouz


Note that I am assuming Johnson's role is reduced. He is getting up there in years, but this has more to do with the type of player I think Makar will be than any decline in Johnson's game.


2021/2022

Finally the 2019 draft class makes an impact. Before that though, let's go through the expansion draft.

A new wrinkle is that I'm assuming Johnson gets traded. He has a no movement clause, but it's actually pretty broad (19 teams that he can be traded to), so I think it's possible to make this happen. The return probably won't be great, as he is on the older side by then, but this allows the team to keep all of their younger players on the back end (including Zadorov). Essentially, I am opting to keep Barrie instead of Johnson in this instance. I'm also assuming that the team needs to eat some of his salary in order to make this happen, so that is what the dead money line is here and the following year.

Here is a summary of the expansion draft, which ends with the Avs losing Compher.

Protected forwards: MacKinnon, Skinner, Rantanen, Hayes, Landeskog, Jost, and Kerfoot

Protected defensemen: Girard, Barrie, Zadorov

Exempt list: Kaut, Bowers, Makar, Timmins, Broberg

Protected Goalie: Grubauer

Exposed (Meets All Requirements): Kamenev, Compher, Nieto, Graves, and Francouz

Lost: Compher


Other moves are as follows:

  1. Extend Landeskog, Kamenev, Makar and Timmins
  2. Trade EJ to position for expansion draft (retain salary)
  3. Zegras finishes his NCAA career and assumes the 2C role (replaces Compher)
  4. Foote makes the jump, which moves Nieto out of the lineup
  5. Broberg replaces Johnson

Here is the roster and cap space.

Salary Cap 89,772,800
Line/Pairing Player Position Cap Hit Shoots Contract Through Extensions RFA/UFA Notes
1 MacKinnon C 6,300,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
1 Skinner LW 8,750,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Rantanen RW 8,500,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
2 Zegras C 950,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA Replaces Compher
2 Landeskog LW 7,750,000 Left 2020/2021 2026/2027 UFA Extended 6 years
2 Hayes C 7,000,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
3 Jost C, LW, RW 3,750,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 UFA
3 Kerfoot C, LW 3,000,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
3 Kaut LW, RW 925,000 Right 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
4 Bowers C, LW 950,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
4 Kamenev C, LW 1,500,000 Left 2020/2021 2022/2023 RFA Extended 2 years
4 Foote LW, RW 925,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA Replaces Nieto
N/A Nieto LW, RW 2,250,000 Left 2021/2022 2021/2022 UFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2021/2022 2021/2022 RFA
1 Girard LD 4,850,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Makar RD 6,500,000 Right 2020/2021 2025/2026 UFA Extended 5 years
2 Zadorov LD 4,000,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
2 Barrie RD 7,500,000 Right 2026/2027 2026/2027 UFA
3 Broberg LD 950,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA Replaces Johnson
3 Timmins RD 2,500,000 Right 2020/2021 2024/2025 UFA Extended 4 years
N/A Graves LD 1,250,000 ??? 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
1 Grubauer G 3,333,333 N/A 2021/2022 2021/2022 UFA
2 Francouz G 1,400,000 N/A 2021/2022 2021/2022 UFA


Total Cost 85,783,333
Dead Money 2,000,000
Cap Space 1,989,467


Skinner MacKinnon Rantanen
Landeskog Zegras Hayes
Kerfoot Jost Kaut
Kamenev Bowers Foote


Girard Makar
Zadorov Barrie
Broberg Timmins


Grubauer
Francouz



2022/2023

The biggest thing this year is deciding what to do between the pipes. I'm giving Grubauer a nice raise and extending Francouz as well, but there is admittedly a lot of uncertaintly as to how things will play out. Note that Hunter Jones was drafted in 2019 and it's possible he can become a cheap backup by this time, but I decided to roll with the tandem in place since the start.

The other significant move is bringing Dorofeyev into the lineup. Things have gotten crowded, so I'm moving Kerfoot to make room. He would be due another raise after the season, and it's tough to fit him in with all of the other contracts. Having guys on their ELC helps a ton.

Here is the roster and cap space. Dead money is still related to Johnson.

Salary Cap 93,363,712
Line/Pairing Player Position Cap Hit Shoots Contract Through Extensions RFA/UFA Notes
1 MacKinnon C 6,300,000 Right 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
1 Skinner LW 8,750,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Rantanen RW 8,500,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
2 Zegras C 950,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA
2 Landeskog LW 7,750,000 Left 2026/2027 2026/2027 UFA
2 Hayes C 7,000,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
3 Jost C, LW, RW 3,750,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 UFA
3 Dorofeyev C, LW 950,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA Replaces Kerfoot
3 Kaut LW, RW 3,000,000 Right 2021/2022 2024/2025 RFA Extended 3 years
4 Bowers C, LW 950,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
4 Kamenev C, LW 1,500,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
4 Foote LW, RW 925,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2023/2024 2023/2024 UFA Replaces Nieto
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA
1 Girard LD 4,850,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Makar RD 6,500,000 Right 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
2 Zadorov LD 4,000,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 UFA
2 Barrie RD 7,500,000 Right 2026/2027 2026/2027 UFA
3 Broberg LD 950,000 Left 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
3 Timmins RD 2,500,000 Right 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
N/A Graves LD 1,250,000 ??? 2022/2023 2022/2023 RFA
1 Grubauer G 6,000,000 N/A 2021/2022 2025/2026 UFA Extended 4 years
2 Francouz G 2,500,000 N/A 2021/2022 2023/2024 UFA Extended 2 years


Total Cost 88,275,000
Dead Money 2,000,000
Cap Space 3,088,712


Skinner MacKinnon Rantanen
Landeskog Zegras Hayes
Dorofeyev Jost Kaut
Kamenev Bowers Foote


Girard Makar
Zadorov Barrie
Broberg Timmins


Grubauer
Francouz


2023/2024

This year is included mainly to show that the team will be able to keep MacKinnon without losing any of their other high-end talent. Basically they need to extend him, the fourth liners, Zadorov, and Broberg. At the absolute worst, they may lose one of the big defensemen. More likely though is that they cycle through depth forwards while maintaining a dangerous forward group and a really great looking back end.

Eventually something will have to give, but it's not until Zegras gets paid at the earliest (according to my assumptions anyway). This team could be dangerous for years to come, and it's largely thanks to the Duchene trade and Sakic's management of the cap..

One last look at the roster and cap space.

Salary Cap 97,098,260
Line/Pairing Player Position Cap Hit Shoots Contract Through Extensions RFA/UFA Notes
1 MacKinnon C 11,000,000 Right 2022/2023 2030/2031 UFA Extended 8 years
1 Skinner LW 8,750,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Rantanen RW 8,500,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
2 Zegras C 950,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA
2 Landeskog LW 7,750,000 Left 2026/2027 2026/2027 UFA
2 Hayes C 7,000,000 Left 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
3 Jost C, LW, RW 3,750,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 UFA
3 Dorofeyev C, LW 950,000 Left 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA
3 Kaut LW, RW 3,000,000 Right 2024/2025 2024/2025 RFA
4 Bowers C, LW 1,800,000 Left 2022/2023 2025/2026 UFA
4 Kamenev C, LW 1,800,000 Left 2022/2023 2025/2026 UFA
4 Foote LW, RW 1,250,000 Left 2022/2023 2025/2026 RFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2023/2024 2023/2024 UFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2023/2024 2023/2024 RFA
1 Girard LD 4,850,000 Left 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
1 Makar RD 6,500,000 Right 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
2 Zadorov LD 5,000,000 Left 2022/2023 2026/2027 UFA Extended 4 years
2 Barrie RD 7,500,000 Right 2026/2027 2026/2027 UFA
3 Broberg LD 2,500,000 Left 2022/2023 2026/2027 UFA Extended 4 years
3 Timmins RD 2,500,000 Right 2024/2025 2024/2025 UFA
N/A ??? ??? 950,000 ??? 2024/2025 2024/2025 RFA Replaces Graves
1 Grubauer G 6,000,000 N/A 2025/2026 2025/2026 UFA
2 Francouz G 2,500,000 N/A 2023/2024 2023/2024 UFA


Total Cost 96,700,000
Dead Money 0
Cap Space 398,260


Skinner MacKinnon Rantanen
Landeskog Zegras Hayes
Dorofeyev Jost Kaut
Kamenev Bowers Foote


Girard Makar
Zadorov Barrie
Broberg Timmins


Grubauer
Francouz



As always, let me know what you think, This made me feel better after the lottery though, and I hope it does the same for others. Now it's up to Sakic to make things happen.

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