Avs close to Smolinski

The Fourth Period – A well-placed source who spoke with TFP on the condition of anonymity has said that the Colorado Avalanche are close to acquiring center Brian Smolinski from the Los Angeles Kings.

The Avs have been rumored to be in the market for a third line center with a little bit of a scoring touch and Smolinski would seem to fill that void perfectly. The 31-year-old Smolinski is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Kings have lost consecutive 2-1 decisions to conference rivals Edmonton and Anaheim in the last two games, diminishing their playoff hopes considerably.

Colorado was also interested in Buffalo Sabres center Chris Gratton who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent in the summer, but apparently the asking price was too high for Avs GM Pierre Lacroix’s liking.

If the deal is completed for Smolinski, the Avs will get a player who has been a proven playoff performer in the last three seasons with Los Angeles, and earlier in his career with Pittsburgh and Boston. Smolinski has appeared in 64 career playoff games compiling 14 goals and 14 assists. Smolinski is also playing his best hockey of the year, he has 8 points in his last seven games.