Where Do We Go From Here?
With the free agency deadline of July 1st quickly approaching teams throughout the league are scrambling to lock up their players before losing them to the open market. The Avs locked up one of their players earlier this evening.
The news broke around 7:00pm this evening via Bob McKenzie on Twitter. The ever reliable TSN reporter tweeted that Greg Mauldin, among players from other teams, had re-signed today.
According to his tweet, Mauldin signed a one-year deal worth $525,000 in the NHL and $150,000 in the AHL indicating that it is a two-way deal. Mauldin would have been an unrestricted free agent Friday.
In other free agency news the Avalanche organization had until last night to offer qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. Adrian Dater reported that RFA’s Ryan O’Byrne, Kyle Cumiskey, Kevin Porter, David Jones, T.J. Galiardi, and Ryan Wilson received qualifying offers.
That leaves NHLers Philippe Dupuis and Brian Elliott as the odd men out. There are also three players from the AHL roster that may or may not have had their rights retained by the team. There has been no news of Tom Fritsche, Ray Macias, or Harrison Reed being offered contracts.
With the rights to Elliott not being retained the Avs will now have to sign four goalies during “free agent frenzy” as unrestricted free agents Peter Budaj, John Grahame, and Jason Bacashihua have not re-signed. The team does have until Friday to re-sign their UFA’s, but one thing is for certain; Peter Budaj will not be a member of the Avalanche come next season.
Other players the Avs are at risk of losing to other teams are forwards Tomas Fleischmann, David Koci, Julian Talbot, and Ben Walter and defenseman Shawn Belle.
The Avs are currently 29th in the league regarding amount of salary locked up for next season (roughly $30 million) and has 14 players on their NHL roster.
That means that the team has roughly $18 million to spend to reach the cap floor. I’m sure the Avs will be one of the teams making a lot of moves Friday and beyond, but I don’t see them spending much more than $20-$23 million since they have 23 players up for free agency at the end of the 2011-12 season.
One thing is for certain – The Avs will be spending money to bring in goaltending as the only goaltending prospect, Calvin Pickard, is a couple of years away from joining the team.
Who do you think the Avs will go after in the free agent market? Want to discuss the goalies they might be looking at? Jump on over to the Put It On Ice Forum.