The BSN Avalanche Podcast drops with AJ Haefele and Nathan Rudolph breaking down Nikita Zadorov’s new contract, a roster built on hope, and unproven goaltenders.

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A.J. Haefele was born in Aurora, Colorado, raised in Katy, Texas and is the Colorado Avalanche beat reporter for DNVR. AJ helped launch the network back in 2015 and has filled roles as a team leader and Editor-In- Chief, along with co-hosting the DNVR draft podcasts along with his other duties. You can hear him every weekday on the DNVR Avalanche podcast.

  • To say Gusev has been dominant is almost understating it. He just had the second highest points producing season in the history of the KHL rolling out a 17-65-82 in 62 regular season games and a 9-10-19 in 18 playoff games. 22-40-62 in 54 a year before that, 24-47-71 in 57 the year before that. For people who don’t know the KHL, points numbers like that are unusual, it’s not a very high scoring league which is why goalie numbers from there (like Francouz’) always need to be adjusted when comparing to the NHL. He was named the top forward in the Olympic games last year going 4-8-12 in 6 games for the gold medal OAR having the most points and assists of any player in the games and went 4-12-16 in 10 at the the WC’s last month versus some pretty good competition.

    The obvious question is, why is Vegas so willing to give up on him? Yeah, they were burned pretty badly by Shipachyov but they brought Gusev over here two years after that and must have had an idea what he wanted to get paid. Did they see something in those few practices that they didn’t like? The rap on Shipachyov seemed to be that he couldn’t process the game quickly enough. Were there signs of that? He would have played in the first game of the second round against us if Vegas hadn’t self destructed against San Jose. Shipachyov was 30 in 2017 when he came over here by the way, Gusev is 26, a year younger than Panarin whom he played against in the KHL for several years.

    I agree with Rudo that he’s worth the risk of the contract if Vegas’ ask is reasonable. Do we have to take Clarkson and buy him out maybe? When I saw his name vaguely linked to the Avs a few places yesterday I just about wet my pants. His potential is almost unimaginable. It really isn’t hyperbole to say getting him could very well be like when Chicago got Panarin.

    Was a little bit surprised to hear AJ freaking out because we haven’t sewn up a Scott Darling equivalent on July 5th. I’m pretty sure they’ll take take care of that situation.

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