NHL Rumors: The Colorado Avalanche and Pending UFA Valeri Nichushkin

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on Colorado Avalanche’s pending UFA forward Valeri Nichushkin.

Marek: “When I say Valeri Nichushkin, what goes through you mind when you hear that name right now?”

Friedman: “Cha-ching.”

Marek: “It’s true. I was having a conversation with a friend tonight trying to figure out — Okay! Out of all the UFAs that are in this series, you think Valeri Nichushkin might be the one that gets the biggest bump in pay of anybody?

Friedman: ” I think it’s very possible. So I got a call from someone on Saturday morning. And this is someone from another team. He said that he’s under the impression that the Avalanche have gone to Nuchushkin, have told him that aside from the (Nathan) MacKinnon extension, he’s very high on their priority list.

They don’t think that they can keep (Nazem) Kadri, but they do think they have a chance to keep Nichushkin. And he might not be able to make the same money in Denver that he could elsewhere. But this person said to me that they’ve heard that he understands what is important and they understand that they have to make a competitive offer to keep him.

He said he would give Colorado at least a 50% chance if not more to keep him.”

Michael Russo of The Athletic: At one point in Valeri Nichushkin’s career he went 91 consecutive games without a goal. He’s been a beast in the playoffs and GM Joe Sakic knows re-signing the pending UFA isn’t going to come cheap. He’ll want to know what it takes to keep him from going to the open market.

Multiple agents have put put the range from $4 to 6 million per year on him next contract.

One assistant GM used Bryan Rust (six years, $5.125 million cap hit) and Zach Hyman (seven years, $5.5 million cap hit) as comparables.

Nichushkin’s agent Mark Gandler.

“It’s not up to us. It’s up to Joe. Joe is a very good manager. He’s going to choose who he wants to retain. If he makes a good offer, we’re good with that. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. It’s not a problem. He’s going to get a job, no question.”

JFresh: “Now we know of course that he had offensive upside in a system where he could carry the puck and not just dump it in and that he could be creative without sacrificing the elite defence.”


For Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, Tampa is -110 on the moneyline
and Colorado is -110 on the moneyline with Betway