Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic is on the warpath this offseason. After trading Nikita Zadorov for Brandon Saad to fill a gap in the top six forwards, Sakic orchestrated a trade with the New York Islanders to fill the hole left by Zadorov’s departure. Enter stage left, Devon Toews.
The Avalanche gave up a second-round pick in the 2021 and 2022 NHL drafts to secure negotiating rights with Toews, a Restricted Free Agent. Toews being an RFA caused the Islanders’ issues, who have just under $9 million in cap space and a certain Mathew Barzal to sign along with defenseman Ryan Pulock. Both Toews and Pulock had agreed to go to arbitration with the Islanders.
It remains to be seen if Toews and the Colorado Avalanche can secure a deal before the arbitration hearing.
Joe, being the nice guy that he is, helped them ease that problem by acquiring Toews, whom New York selected 108th overall in 2014. He produced 28 points in 68 games last season before it was halted due to COVID-19. He added 10 points in 22 playoff games and led one of the New York Islanders power-play units.
“Devon is a smart, two-way, puck-moving defenseman who plays 20-plus minutes a night. He is a durable defender who is excellent in transition and we are excited to add him to our blue-line.”Joe Sakic on Devon Toews
The Avalanche technically has a top-six defense of Cale Makar, Ryan Graves (who re-signed on Monday), Sam Girard, Eric Johnson, Ian Cole, and Toews with Bowen Byram and Connor Timmins both pushing for places. It’s an exciting time to be an Avalanche fan.