Jun 19, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT
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.
- Update: Drouin out with upper body injury, not expected to miss preseason 0
- Report: NHL officials to participate in preseason without new CBA 1
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 12
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 17
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 6
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 26
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 10
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)