Galchenyuk’s contract terminated, offseason grades and other Avalanche bullets


Colorado Avalanche news and notes for Sunday, July 16

The Colorado Avalanche exchanged forward Alex Galchenyuk in the Ryan Johansen trade in what was essentially a salary dump for Nashville. The 29-year-old, a pending unrestricted free agent, was not signed to a new contract.

  • The Coyotes were swift in signing Galchenyuk, his third stint with the club, to a one-year contract. However, just days later, he was placed on waivers for the purpose of contract termination, with the team providing an eye-opening statement indicating they had clearly uncovered something significant.

  • As more information was brought to light, we learned that Galchenyuk had been arrested on a number of charges including private property hit-and-run, disorderly conduct, failure to obey, resisting arrest and threatening or intimidating.
  • And then the jaw-dropping news of what Galchenyuk told the arresting officer:

  • Galchenyuk has since cleared waivers, and I would be very surprised if he was given another shot to play in the NHL.
  • ESPN’s Ryan S. Clark and Kristen Shilton handed out their offseason report cards for every NHL team, giving the Avalanche an A-. Here was part of their assessment:

Secondary scoring help was a regular-season issue that bled into why the Avs were knocked out in the first round. The Avalanche addressed those needs, and did so while maximizing every cent of what was comparatively limited cap space. Drouin and Johansen give them those top-six players, while Colton and Wood can be used to anchor the bottom six.

Being in a championship window is why the Avs have had just 16 total picks since the 2020 draft. But trading Alex Newhook to get a second first-round pick—and using those picks on center Calum Ritchie and defenseman Mikhail Gulyayev—gave the Avs a potential starting point for restocking their farm system. That, and they signed Bowen Byram on a bridge deal to buy more time before his asking price considerably rises.

  • Game Six of the 2022 Western Conference Semifinals was aired on Altitude TV on Saturday night. If you recall, Darren Helm scored the series-clinching goal with just over five seconds left in regulation.

  • Bleacher Report’s Adam Gretz wrote an interesting off-season article about each team’s secret weapon. Unsurprisingly, he pegged defenseman Bowen Byram for Colorado. Here was part of his analysis:

The 22-year-old Byram has only played 91 regular season games in his brief NHL career, but he has excelled in that limited time and seems poised to be one of the top players on the Avalanche blue line for years to come.

Injuries have been the only thing that have slowed him down so far.

He only appeared in 42 games during the 2022-23 season but still scored at a 20-goal, 50-point pace from the blue line while already averaging more than 21 minutes per game.

If he stays healthy and is able to give the Avalanche a full season he is going to make what is already one of the best defensive units in the league even better.

  • The Avalanche were smart to get a bridge deal done with Byram, whose impending payday on his next contract figures to be a sizeable increase.
  • Over at The Athletic, the team identified their way-too-early 2024 Stanley Cup winners, runner-up, awards, etc. As you might imagine, the Avalanche appear frequently, notably, with a 16.1% vote to win their second Cup in three seasons.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers placed defenseman Tony DeAngelo on waivers for the purpose of a contract buyout on Friday, making him the first player in NHL history to be bought out twice.

  • Former Chicago Blackhawk Patrick Kane has reportedly stated that he does not plan to sign with a team until after the 2023–24 has started, as he continues to work his way back from off-season hip surgery. I wonder if the Avalanche are keeping tabs on Kane as a possible late signing should he be looking for another shot at a ring.

  • JFresh has been doing his NHL re-drafts for each year, and in the 2011 version, the Colorado Avalanche end up with…Gabriel Landeskog.

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