The Colorado Avalanche have several key young players to re-sign this summer. Could it be difficult to re-sign them, or merely a formality? 


Johnson hoping to remain long-term with Avalanche.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater recently reported the Colorado Avalanche will have to shell out a lot of money to re-sign young stars Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Erik Johnson this summer, but believes doing so should be little more than a formality. Johnson, 24, said he wants to remain with the Avalanche long-term.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche currently have only 9 players under contract next season, at a total payroll of just over $22.3 million. Assuming the salary cap remains at or around the current ceiling of $64.3 million, the Avs would have little difficulty re-signing Duchene, O’Reilly, Johnson, and recently-acquired Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn, and still leave plenty of cap space if they wished to re-sign the fading Milan Hejduk for one more season, take a chance on Peter Mueller staying healthy next season, keep David Jones off the UFA market and perhaps add some experienced depth to the line via trades or free agency.

 That being said, much will depend on how much ownership is willing to invest in the roster next summer. I doubt they’ll try to low-ball their best RFA players, and believe they’ll re-sign all of them to long-term extensions. It remains to be seen, however, if they’re willing to spend to bring in experienced depth to help these young stars.