NHL Sets Salary Cap For 2024-25 Season; Where The Avalanche Stand

Colorado Hockey Now

The NHL has officially set the salary cap for the 2024-25 season, and good news – it’s actually going to be higher than they originally anticipated. Okay, not by much, but every little bit helps when you’re a team that expects to be right up against the salary cap. And the Colorado Avalanche are going to be one of those teams for the next handful of years.

Previous scuttlebutt was that the salary cap would rise to around $87.7 million, but the NHL made it official on Saturday that it will actually go all the way up to $88 million. That’s a 5.39% increase from the 2023-24 season, making a lot of teams very happy after several years of little to no growth. Here are the official numbers for next season.

While it isn’t much, this is definitely good news for the Avalanche. Their summer is currently clouded by the Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin situations, but they could go about those situations multiple ways. Do they handle it like Vegas probably would and just sign players this summer and figure it out when one or both of those players are ready? Do they play it safe because they don’t want to get caught in a difficult situation where they have to dump players in a short period of time?

We won’t know their strategy for a few weeks and might never figure it out, but here is where the Avalanche currently stand, according to CapFriendly.

Signed NHL Forwards (8): Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Artturi Lehkonen, Ross Colton, Miles Wood, Logan O’Connor, and Nikolai Kovalenko.

Signed NHL Defensemen (4): Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Josh Manson, and Sam Girard.

Signed NHL Goaltenders (2): Alexandar Georgiev, Justus Annunen.

Obviously, a few things stand out right away. One, they’re counting on Landeskog being there. That’s far from a guarantee right now. They don’t list Valeri Nichushkin, who is suspended and won’t count against the salary cap until he’s reinstated. They’re also putting Kovalenko in there, which is probably a safe assumption.

Those 14 players put the Avalanche at $71,783,750 heading into the summer, giving them $16,216,250 in cap space. A large chunk of that cap space will go to Casey Mittelstadt, and I’m sure the Avalanche had an idea of what that extension would cost when they acquired him at the NHL Trade Deadline. My expectation is his new contract will run between $5-6 million per season, depending on how much term he gets. If it gets to $6 million, that gives the Avalanche a little over $10 million to fill out the rest of their roster, which would consist of at least five more players.

Jonathan Drouin is the most important player from last year’s roster hitting the open market, but his agent’s comments this past week have to give everyone hope that a deal can be made. That being said, what is said in public isn’t always what’s said in private. Both sides want to get a deal done, but money will be tight for the Avalanche this summer. Could the Avalanche move one of their second pairing defenseman to make some room? They don’t exactly have much depth to help with a move like that, but a second pairing making over $9 million probably isn’t ideal.

Yakov Trenin, Brandon Duhaime, Andrew Cogliano, Jack Johnson, Joel Kiviranta, Caleb Jones and Sean Walker are also set to hit the open market.

Colorado has been quiet since their season ended last month, but that’s not abnormal. That’s been the case for most teams. Things will pick up very soon, and CHN will have you covered every step of the way.

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