NHL Rumors: Paul Stastny an Avs target, and Rangers may seek veteran defenseman

nhl rumors paul stastny
Oct 26, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27) celebrates with Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (25) after scoring a goal to tie the game in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As the Nazem Kadri decision consumes much to the NHL Rumors Mill for this offseason, his former team the Colorado Avalanche will need to replace him in the lineup.

While there’s isn’t an exact replacement for a player that garnered 87 points on the free agent market, a little more center depth is what the defending Cup Champs could use.

NHL Rumors: Paul Stastny an Avalanche target

Paul Stastny is old but reliable after picking up 45 points in 71 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season. His age is obviously a big factor at 36 years-old and it’s likely why he remains unsigned.

There are several other players that have been linked to the Avs by Peter Burgh of The Athletic. Evan Rodrigues and Sonny Milano are forwards that could be a fit, but if cap space is a concern Stastny seems like the best option.

Currently, Colorado has around $3.9 million in space remaining and will want to save a few million to make a run at Patrick Kane or J.T. Miller should they still be available come the next trade deadline.

If Stastny doesn’t get a contract soon, he’s a top early candidate for a PTO (professional tryout).

For his illustrious 16-years in the NHL, Stastny has amassed 800 points in 1072 games playing for the Avalanche, Blues, Golden Knights, and Jets.

Stastny played in his 1000th game on May 11, 2021. The Jets won the contest over the Canucks 5-0.

Rangers may want to add a veteran defenseman

nhl rumors calvin de haan
Oct 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) with the puck during the first period against the New York Islanders at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers don’t have much cap space left heading into next season. Just under a million at the moment on CapFriendly.

However, per Larry Brooks of the NY Post, they could be in the market for a veteran left defenseman in the $800,000 range.

Gallant likes size, we all know that, and he doubly likes size on the back end, we all sure know that. Which is why the club’s options for the third-pair left defenseman assignment that appears to be between Zac Jones and Libor Hajek — a healthy scratch 60 times, for goodness sakes — are so intriguing. Will there be a push to add an $800,000-type veteran during camp if the coach is not enamored with what he sees?

NY Post

With five of their six defenseman penned into the lineup, there is a big opening on the third-pair left side to play with sophomore Braden Schneider.

It is believed that Zac Jones has the inside track for the job with Libor Hakej likely to earn the role as the 7th defenseman. A wild card to the mix is highly-touted prospect Nils Lundkvist, but he has to make the switch from the right side to earn the job.

One potential UFA target is Calvin de Haan, but will he accept a one-year deal for a bit above league minimum ($750K)? Last season, he recorded 8 points in 69 games for the Blackhawks with a cap hit of $4.55M AAV.

Another option could be Ryan Murray, who played 37 games with the Avalanche in 2021-22. The 28 year-old picked up 4 points in those contests.

A possible reunion with Keith Yandle shouldn’t be ruled out. While he is well past his best years, he can still move the puck and be a calming influence for Schneider. The 35 year-old notched 19 points in 77 games for the hapless Flyers.