It is almost impossible for a team to maintain the same roster from one season to the next in the NHL. The Colorado Avalanche anticipated a few changes for the upcoming 2021-22 season, but the focus for the club is to keep most of its core intact.
The Avs were able to sign captain Gabriel Landeskog and young defenseman Cale Makar to long-term deals before the 2021 free agency window opened on Wednesday, and the organization also acquired a few new faces via signings and the trade market.
With the salary cap staying the same as it was for the past two seasons, most teams in the league are having to make tough decisions on which of their players they can retain. Colorado emphasized preserving its core group and will rely on its up-and-coming players such as 2019 first-round draft selections Bowen Byram and Alex Newhook, who are both on entry-level deals.
"We knew last year was going to be the deepest team we had going forward, especially knowing that the cap was going to be flat and we had some high-end guys that needed new contracts," said executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic. "Obviously Bowen is going to be healthy, and we expect him to have a big role for us, and we believe he is going to be ready for that."