The start of NHL free agency tomorrow could prove interesting, with Paul Stastny now destined for the open market.
According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, Stastny and the Colorado Avalanche couldn’t complete a deal, which means the 28-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent. Stastny is coming off a five-year contract worth $6.6 million, according to Capgeek.com. What will he command on the open market, especially considering this year’s class of UFAs isn’t particularly strong.
In terms of points, Stastny is also coming off his best season since 2009-2010. Meanwhile, the Avalanche made it back to the Stanley Cup playoffs, so at least that gave them the appearance of a team on the upswing. How will losing a veteran center, a very real prospect now, impact that club going forward into next season?
In the last 10 days or so, Stastny has been among the most talked about pending UFAs heading into the signing period, which begins Tuesday.
It started with his agent Matt Keator telling Pierre LeBrun of ESPN that the Avalanche would have “every chance” to retain his client. Nathan MacKinnon, the rookie sensation for 2014, has gone on record as saying the Avalanche need Stastny back.
The latest from four days ago was that half of the league had interest in Stastny. So that could start a bidding battle of epic proportions beginning tomorrow.