Fresh off a playoff run in which the Colorado Avalanche were one win away from their first Western Conference Final berth since 2002, general manager Joe Sakic plans on using this summer's free-agency period to help his club take the next step.
"It's a pretty good class this year," Sakic said at his end-of-season media availability. "(We) already have targeted players in mind if they become available that we're gonna want to talk to about joining our club. We see positions of need, of what we're looking to do. There's a few guys that we're gonna want to talk to if they become available. We'll be more aggressive this year ... but if it doesn't work out with the players that we want to talk to we're not just gonna go spend on anybody. We want the right players and the right fit."
The Avs are projected to have more than $31 million in cap space this summer, per Cap Friendly. Even factoring a potential cap hit of $8 million-$10 million for a new contract for young superstar Mikko Rantanen, Sakic will have plenty of leftover space to work with.
This summer's marquee free agents include Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene, Erik Karlsson, Jordan Eberle, and Tyler Myers, among others. Colorado could also be a threat to toss out an ever-rare offer sheet to one of this summer's star restricted free agents, such as Mitch Marner, Brayden Point, Matthew Tkachuk, Kyle Connor, and Patrik Laine.
The Avalanche have qualified for the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and Sakic has built a promising young core - centered around Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Cale Makar - that appears ready to contend for years to come.