Important Factors to Any Deadline deals: Contracts!
How Contracts still play a Role
With the deadline quickly approaching, one thing a lot of people forget about when it comes to tradable assets is contracts. Whose contract is up, who has a terrible contract, and most importantly who is going to get resigned. This brings me to one of the Avs biggest pieces to what may happen. The Avs have roughly half their roster up for new contracts, including the big boys: Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, Erik Johnson, Peter Mueller, and Milan Hejduk.
Hejduk is a big question mark, since this could be the end for Duke, with retirement a possibility. Now that I look at whose contracts are up, Hejduk might be trade bait if the Avs become sellers.
The big ones are the young guys, Duchene, O'Reilly, Mueller, and Johnson. The big question is what exactly will they get, and how much space will it leave the team. With the Avs being at the bottom of the league with salary they have some room to wiggle. Currently the Avs have $14.6 million in cap space available. Johnson will probably see the same numbers that he has right now at $2.5-$3 million per year. Mueller probably gets the same with maybe a raise to $2.5 million per year. Now O'Reilly and Ducehene are going to be even more difficult.
It's Time O'Reilly got paid!
O'Reilly has been the best player on the team hands down! Currently his rookie salary is only coming out to $900,000 per year, so its safe to say that he will be getting a huge raise. my bet is we could see O'Reilly in the $3 to $3.5 million per year range. It all depends on what O'Reilly's camp wants, they could even possibly go as high as $4 million. That would eat away quite a bit of the cap for the Avs.
I saved the best for last with Duchene who is the biggest question mark when it comes to contracts. With Stastny garnering a $6 million deal, this could really hurt the Avs when it comes to the bargaining table. Do I think Duchene is better than Stastny, you bet! Do I think $6 million is what Duchene should get, NO!
Soon to be Rich Eligible Bachelor
What the Avs will have to and need to do for Duchene is sign a longterm deal that is weighted to help with the cap hit. Both parties win and the Avs won't see themselves strapped as the rebuild continues. if the Avs could find a way to get Duchene's cap hit to be around $4.5 million for 5 or 6 years, I think it would be the best for everyone. Everyone knows that the Avs are where Duchene wants to stay, and wants to stay forever. They were his favorite team growing up, he loves the mountains, and he wants to put himself in the legacy of his favorite players, therefore it works that he can stay longterm. For the Avs, it is a no brainer as Duchene is only going to get better, which says a lot considering how good he is now.This could be a great summer for Avs fans, or a terrible one if we just throw big contracts at everyone. The key right now is this team is an 8th or 9th place team at best.
There has to be some changes somewhere if the Avs want to move back into the top 4 like they used to be, and throwing money at the current roster is not the answer. Sign the core to good numbers, go out and get a few more pieces!
This is by far the most important road trip for the Avs if they want to make the playoffs. Two games against the division that could make it or break it. None bigger than Wednesday night against the Canucks. The Avs have been playing dreadful against the division and need to turn it around. The biggest part to that will be finding the net. With Luongo likely starting for Vancouver, it could be good or bad for the Avs. It seemed like fro quite some time the Avs had Luongo's number chasing him from net multiple times in the last few years, but more recently Lu has had the Avs number. The Avs must get going offensively if they even want to be in talks come playoff time.
The god news for the Avs is Duchene is on the road trip with the Avs and may play before the end of it, my bet is against Winnipeg. This may be the huge boost the team needs, but will it be too late. The next couple of games are extremely crucial!