The Colorado Avalanche declined to offer restricted free agent Nicolas Aube-Kubel a qualifying offer, according to multiple sources. Aube-Kubel played fourteen games during the 2021-22 playoff campaign but failed to register a point. He was plus two in those fourteen games with four PIMs. The news comes just after NAK celebrated the cup back in his hometown in Quebec. The 26-year-old will now hit the open market as a Stanley Cup Champion.
Nicholas Aube-Kubel might have ruined his chances at being a future Keeper of the Cup pic.twitter.com/4JcMPxg9XK— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 27, 2022
Nicolas’ game doesn’t typically show up on the score sheet, but he is a depth player that can throw his body and be strong on the puck. NAK is a quality player but an affordable loss with recent acquisition Ben Meyers entering the lineup. Colorado acquired Aube-Kubel via the waivers back in November of 2021 after the Flyers placed him on the wire.
Colorado will try and find money in any contract they can afford to lose as they approach the free-agent window. With the goaltender situation seemingly addressed (for now), putting the finishing touches on Valeri Nichushkin’s contract extension has to be the priority. Colorado has just over 21 million dollars in cap space to sign Nichushkin and possibly a few other UFAs, most notably forwards Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri. Not to mention saving some room to bring back RFA Arturri Lehkonen, who proved invaluable in this year’s cup run.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel quickly became a fan favorite during his brief stead with the Colorado Avalanche. It’s been a big month, to say the least, for the young man who won the Stanley Cup, got engaged, and will likely sign a new NHL contract in the next few days with the free-agent market opening on Wednesday. Congratulations Nicolas!