In the case of the Colorado Avalanche’s Tuesday signings, the most noteworthy name is one that wasn’t on the list. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov still needs a deal, which means there’s still at least some threat that he’d leave for the KHL.
A little more than a week ago, reports surfaced that Zadorov may strike a deal with CSKA, although he’s willing to give the Avalanche until the end of the month to come up with a better deal.
Interestingly, CSKA already provided a contract for Mikhail Grigorenko, another Avalanche RFA who, like Zadorov, was an integral part of the trade that sent Ryan O'Reilly to the Buffalo Sabres. That deal looked shaky from the first day, but it seems to look worse with each passing season. Losing Zadorov would only pour more salt in those wounds.
Of course, overpaying Zadorov would be less than ideal, too; the Avalanche walk a tricky tightrope, especially if the blueliner’s most likely use is as a depth guy. Mile High Hockey went in-depth in discussing his value.
It’s a pretty rough situation overall, but when you consider Colorado’s issues on defense, they might just need to pay a little extra to avoid losing Zadorov for nothing.
Pivoting to the deals the Avalanche did reach: they signed Gabriel Bourque, Duncan Siemens, and Felix Girard on Tuesday. None of those players are expected to make much of an NHL-level impact for Colorado, but read more about them here.