Jun 19, 2014, 3:57 PM EST
Colorado Avalanche executive Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy met with the media on Thursday to discuss this offseason, which comes down to walking the tight rope as far as maintaining a balanced budget and improving their team.
Retaining restricted free agent Ryan O’Reilly and unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny at the right price stands as the biggest obstacle. Sakic at least indicated that the team intends to bring both back, if they can afford it.
“We’re hopeful we can sign (Stastny). We’ve got a structure, and he understands that,” Sakic said.
“We have a structure here, and we believe in taking care of our core guys, and Ryan and Paul are part of that.”
(You can get a better idea about Stastny’s value by reading his entry in our “UFA of the Day” series here.)
The Avalanche filed for club-elected salary arbitration with O’Reilly, 23, on Sunday. His agent said the two sides aren’t very close and made it clear that the two-way forward would prefer a long-term contract instead of the one or two-year deal he’d end up with in arbitration. Not surprisingly, the Avalanche didn’t provide many details, although Sakic didn’t close the door to getting a more substantial deal done before arbitration.
It’s easy to look at the history between O’Reilly and the Avalanche and wonder if this is a broken relationship, but Sakic at least attempted to shoot that theory down.
… Then again, maybe things are at least a little strained:
None of this is especially shocking – the Avalanche also hope to improve this summer, just like every other team – yet this unanswered question hangs as pretty interesting:
Matt Duchene‘s six-year, $30 million deal kicks in next season, for what it’s worth.
In less pertinent contract discussions, it sounds like the team is open-minded to bringing back defenseman Andre Benoit, although that might also come down to finding the right deal.
- Video: Demers sends Stoll flying with massive open-ice hit 0
- Don Cherry on Leafs not saluting fans: ‘I couldn’t believe these guys would do something like this’ 5
- Report: Dan Hamhuis’ injury is significant, but not season-ending 5
- Been there, done that: Oilers lose five straight for second time this season 10
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ 81
- Video: Prout drops Lucic with one punch 43
- NHL grants Kings cap relief for Voynov, who’s still suspended indefinitely 31
- Trade: Stars get Demers from Sharks, send Dillon to San Jose 18
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now 78
- Dallas signs Jason Spezza to four-year, $30 million extension 18
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (81)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (78)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)