What kind of a splash will the Avalanche make Friday, the start of the NHL free-agency period? Probably the equivalent of a feather falling onto the surface of a lake. While the Avs will do some window shopping and could be persuaded to come into the store regarding a couple of free agents, the team is likely to be quiet for a few reasons. The Avs have 22 players under contract for this coming season, plus another who will be soon in No. 1 draft pick Nathan MacKinnon. When MacKinnon signs, the Avs will be at the maximum 23 players a team can have on a roster. The Avs might soon lose defensemen Matt Hunwick and Greg Zanon, however, as both were placed on waivers Tuesday. If one or both are picked up by another team, the Avs will have openings on defense and could make a pitch for someone on the open market. Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic and coach Patrick Roy, however, indicated that Friday figures to be an uneventful day around the Pepsi Center. "You can only have 23 guys signed, but we'll see (if) and where we can improve the club," Sakic said. In a conference call with season-ticket holders Tuesday, Sakic and Roy said the team is wary of overpaying on a fairly weak free-agent crop this year, especially on defense. Of the players who figure to be available, Boston's Andrew Ference might be the most attractive, but the Avs likely would have numerous competitors for his services and probably wouldn't want to pay anything north of $3 million a year.
Avalanche unlikely to be big players on NHL free agency
Denver Post | Jul 3