Avs Mailbag: Are the trade winds blowing?
Denver Post sports writer Adrian Dater posts his Avs Mailbag on Mondays during the 2009-10 NHL season.
Pose an Avalanche- or NHL-related question for the Avs Mailbag.
From reading your articles and what I sense myself, the Avalanche are content with their current roster and the only real issue is triming down the defensive core. It seems rational to trade either Clark, Salei, Liles, or a combination of the two for draft picks – not veteran defenseman – considering the Avs have defensive prospects in the waiting such as Elliot and Barrie. Would a package of two of these guys, or even one, warrant a first round pick? And if not, what round value are these guys worth?
— Jake, Boulder
Jake – They’re worth whatever team’s are willing to pay for them. The only player among the three you listed who might conceivably get a first-round pick in return is Liles. But in today’s NHL and given how Liles’ status as a player has declined of late, that would be unlikely.
Liles has such a big contract, so it could prove an albatross to the Avs in any attempt to trade him. Most likely, teams would want to unload a high contract of their own if wanted to take on Liles.
Salei has played one game all year and is coming off back surgery. Clark has played better of late, but I can’t see much more than a mid-round pick coming in return in any trade for him.
Adrian, as you look around the league right now there are some highly-paid players not producing enough points. Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek come to mind. Would you add Paul Stastny to that list? I think he’s been good this year, but not $6.6 million good.
— Craig, Washington D.C.
Why is everyone so down on Paul Stastny these days? Last I checked, most people score goals because of great players like him who can look around and deal the puck out. I understand
Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles, front left, might be on the trade block. (AP)
there are things to work on, but he’s still young and growing.
— Josh, West Virginia
Craig, Josh, Stastny has not had a brilliant season, it’s true. And his contract naturally has upped the ante on expectations toward him from fans. So he’s taken some heat at times, some of it deserved.