The Colorado Avalanche still hope to re-sign forward Gabriel Landeskog and goalie Philipp Grubauer, general manager Joe Sakic said Saturday.
Landeskog and Grubauer can become unrestricted free agents when the market opens July 28 at noon ET.
But Sakic said he remains optimistic even after the Avalanche re-signed defenseman Cale Makar to a six-year, $54 million contract Saturday. It has an average annual value of $9 million. Makar could have become a restricted free agent Wednesday.
“Both Philipp and Gabe, our captain, we’re hopeful that we can come to terms as well and have them signed to be a part of us as well,” Sakic said. “I won’t comment on the negotiations. They’re still going on. We still have time.”
Sakic said getting Makar’s contract done first gives the Avalanche a better idea of what they might be able to do with contracts for Landeskog and Grubauer so they can be compliant under the NHL salary cap of $81.5 million.
“At least we know Cale’s number, which is big for us going forward,” Sakic said.
Sakic wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Landeskog and Grubauer signing with the Avalanche even after the free agent market opens. He said he expects them to explore their value in the market.
“We’ll see how that turns out,” Sakic said. “There has been a lot of free agents that have tested the market and then come back with their team. We’ll see how that goes and time will tell.”
Landeskog has played his entire 10-year career with the Avalanche and has been their captain since the 2012-13 season. The 28-year-old forward scored 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) in 54 games this season and has scored 512 points (218 goals, 294 assists) in 687 career games. He was chosen with the No. 2 pick by Colorado at the 2011 NHL Draft.
Grubauer was voted a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the top goalie in the NHL, after going 30-9-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and seven shutouts in 40 games (39 starts). The 29-year-old is 66-30-10 with a 2.38 GAA and .918 save percentage in 113 games in the past three seasons with the Avalanche.
Colorado acquired Grubauer in a trade with the Washington Capitals on June 22, 2018.
“We want all of us back, especially ‘Landy’ and obviously ‘Grubby,’ they’re such key pieces to our team,” Makar said. “Those are guys I would love to see back and hopefully the club can work out something with them.”