The Colorado Avalanche were one of the biggest disappointments in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coming off a Stanley Cup Championship, the Avs produced a decent season despite the injuries. After getting into the playoffs, they faced the upstart Seattle Kraken. They went into the series heavy favorites, but they were unable to get out of the first round.
This offseason was a roller coaster for the Avalanche. They learned that Gabriel Landeskog would miss the entire season due to a knee injury, but he could return as early as the playoffs. It seems unlikely, but hope is hope.
This is also a team with huge stars. Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, and Nathan MacKinnon all make $9 million or more, with MacKinnon coming in at more than $12 million per season. With contracts that high, there will be ample turnover each season. This offseason was no different. While adding players like Ross Colton, Miles Wood, Tomas Tatar, and Jonathan Drouin, they lost more than a dozen players to free agency and trades. Looking back, which losses hurt the most now?
3. J.T. Compher - Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings have been one of the surprise teams of the season. A hot start has them locked into a playoff spot in the incredibly intense Atlantic Division. J.T. Compher has been an incredible signing, as surprising as it was this offseason. He has 13 points in 17 games. Only Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat have more on the Wings.
Compher has been doing most of his damage in passing. Not like "in passing" but literally passing the puck. He has 10 assists on the season, but some of his underlying numbers (via Natural Stat Trick) tell a completely different story.
His 41% CorsiFor (basically, how many chances happen when he's on the ice over how many chances his team gives up) is terrible. It's nearly impossible to have his offensive numbers with those advanced stats.
Still, the performance is undeniable. Compher is out to prove the Avalanche were wrong to let him go, and he's doing a good job of it so far.