With Colorado facing elimination in Game 7 versus Minnesota, tonight could be the last night Paul Stastny dons an Avalanche jersey.
Sorry to be so blunt about it, Avs fans — we know you’re already a bit on edge — but it’s true.
Then again, it’s also true that Colorado could beat the Wild and Stastny could sign a long-term extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
“You don’t know. I don’t know, either,” the 28-year-old center said Tuesday, per the Denver Post. “Sometimes you think about it a little bit …”
It’s funny, it wasn’t too long ago that Stastny’s five-year, $33 million contract was cause for scorn in Colorado. Now Avs fans are worried he won’t sign another one.
What’s certain is that, if Stastny does decide to the free-agent market, there will be no shortage of suitors willing to pay him a lot of money. There simply isn’t another two-way center of his caliber potentially available. Especially not one under the age of 30.
Will the Avs have room to keep him? We only ask, because they already have forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene signed to long-term deals, while Ryan O’Reilly is a pending restricted free agent who could get a big deal for himself. And the blue line could use an upgrade. And somewhere down the line, you have to believe Nathan MacKinnon is going to get himself a whopper of a contract.
That said, head coach Patrick Roy is hopeful that Stastny won’t prove too rich for the blood of the budget-conscious Avs.
“We believe Paul wants to stay as an Avalanche next year and we think there’s a good chance he can sign with us,” Roy said, per the StarTribune. “How it happens, that will be up to [executive vice president] Joe [Sakic] and [Matt Keator, Stastny’s] agent to discuss. I think Paul has the Avs in his heart, he loves to be in this town and he loves these fans.”