There is only one piece of business left for the Colorado Avalanche to handle before the start of next season.
(Well, two, if you count the trading of Matt Duchene. And I think most people would agree it has to get done).
But in terms of getting players under contract for next season, there is only one remaining player who is without a contract. The Big Z, Nikita Zadorov.
What’s the latest?
On July 26, in an interview with Eurolanche, the Colorado Avalanche European Fan Club, Nikita Zadorov‘s agent Rolland Hedges said regarding a contract that “Nikita’s going to make a decision after August 2″.
Last night, Adrian Dater of BSNDenver said that he’s hearing that the Zadorov camp is looking for $2.75-$3 million per year and the Avalanche are offering $2 million per year on a new contract.
The term of the contract is expected to be a two year bridge deal.
At this point it doesn’t seem to be that wide of a gap for this deal not to get down. But where is Zadorov‘s heart at the moment? Does he really want to leave the NHL? Is he offended by the Avalanche way of pinching pennies on him?
The Colorado Avalanche fan base are getting increasingly nervous over a lack of non deal and the confidence in GM Joe Sakic to get a deal done isn’t very high.
With no Matt Duchene trade as of right now, the only defensemen the Avs have under contract for next season that is guaranteed to be on the Avs opening night roster are Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, Mark Barberio, Andrei Mironov. And one of those four d-men (Mironov) hasn’t played a game in the NHL. Needless to say, the Avs NEED Zadorov more than ever.
Joe Sakic had two jobs to do this off-season: 1) Sign Nikita Zadorov and 2) Trade Matt Duchene.
It’s almost August and neither have come to fruition.