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Toews hopes for extension before season, wants to stay with Avs for career

Michael Martin / National Hockey League / Getty

Colorado Avalanche blue-liner Devon Toews prefers to ink an extension before his fourth campaign with the club begins in October.

"I'd rather it not drag on into the season," Toews said Wednesday, per Aarif Deen of Mile High Sports. "My intent is to stay here for the rest of my career. If we're able to get that done, that would be awesome."

Toews became eligible to ink a new deal in July. He's under contract for the 2023-24 season at a bargain $4.1-million cap hit and would headline the crop of defensive unrestricted free agents if he were to hit the open market next summer.

The 29-year-old is an integral piece of Colorado's core as Cale Makar's primary partner on the club's top pairing. The Avalanche acquired Toews from the New York Islanders before the 2020-21 season, and since arriving in Denver, he ranks second among all-blue liners in GAR (53.2) and WAR (9.3), a metric designed by Evolving-Hockey to measure an individual player's impact on a team's success.

Toews notched 50 points this past season and averaged more than 25 minutes per contest. He's collected 29 goals and 109 assists with the Avalanche and played a key role in their run to the Stanley Cup in 2022.

Colorado is currently projected to have approximately $10 million in cap space for next season, per CapFriendly, although the $87.5-million threshold estimate isn't a guarantee. The Avalanche's annual pay structure is led by Nathan MacKinnon ($12.6 million) and Makar ($9 million).

Toews has a strong case to at least double his current AAV. Zach Werenski ($9.58 million), Charlie McAvoy ($9.5 million), Adam Fox ($9.5 million), Mikhail Sergachev ($8.8 million), and Miro Heiskanen ($8.45 million) are among the notable star defenders to sign extensions over the past few years.

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