Category Archives: Colorado Avalanche
It’s time to seriously look toward the trade market. One media report late last week said the Avs were interested in Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, the 14th player selected in the 2009 draft. He has been awful so far this season with the Panthers, but maybe a change of scenery under Roy’s guidance could get his once-promising career back on track. Still, if the kid can’t even stay in the lineup of the Florida Panthers right now (he was a healthy scratch last week), is this the answer?
According to ace Rogers Sportsnet reporter/podcast host Jeff Marek they are.
Marek, one of the hockey media people I respect a lot, said on the air that his sources are telling him the Avs have interest in Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, the 14th overall pick by Florida in 2009 – 11 spots behind Matt Duchene.
“The Canadiens have been scouting the Avs all year long,” writes Adrain Dater of the Denver Post. “While I don’t believe something ‘major’ is imminent, I do believe Montreal has targeted the Avs for a while now for something. It could be as little as trying to get John Mitchell, or something as big as a package involving Paul Stastny.”
Trying to stay in the NHL playoff picture, Colorado GM Joe Sakic has been sniffing around to try to get a defenceman. I’ve been told that LW Jamie McGinn has fallen out of favour with Avs’ coach Patrick Roy and is being shopped around as part of a deal to try to get blueline help. McGinn, 25, has a cap hit of $1.75 million and will be an RFA on July 1.
Just one Eastern NHL team scouting the Avs-Panthers game tonight…
And that team is the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs have really been scouting the Avs heavily this season, despite only having one more game with them this season. Do they want those two points that bad? Or are they scouting Avs players for a possible trade pitch? I think it’s the latter. Names they are looking at? Probably Paul Stastny at No. 1, followed by John Mitchell at No. 2.
Colorado was considered a possible landing spot for Miller during the offseason, but Varlamov put those rumors down by starting 7-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .945 save percentage. The Avs appear to be legitimate Stanley Cup hopefuls — they lead the league in goals allowed per game at 1.46 and rank sixth in goals scored at 3.18 — and have 36-year-old J.S. Giguere as a backup.
Paul Stastny’s contract is up after this season, when he could become an unrestricted free agent. He’s playing for a team that probably could use more help on defense and has two top-quality young centers already. Does that mean Stastny likely is gone in the spring as trade bait or when the market opens next summer for free agents?
Difficult yes. Impossible no.
What we can tell you – for certain – is that Stastny would provide Leafs an immeasurable boost up the middle. His grandiose performance for the United States at the World Hockey Championships last May proved he still has a wonderful feel for the puck – as a play-maker and scorer. His valuation in the NHL has undoubtedly been skewed by toiling for a dismal Colorado club. Additionally, Avs appear to be well-established at center with Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O’Reilly. Even with nearly $11 million in cap space, it’s difficult to imagine Joe Sakic forking over a king’s ransom to retain Stastny – still only 27.
Avs have a tough choice on whom to cut when Ryan Wilson comes back soon. My speculation on how it plays out…
I really think Patrick Roy wants to keep the big, hungry and young Nick Holden and Nate Guenin among his top eight D-men. When Wilson comes back though, somebody will have to either be placed on waivers and/or sent to Lake Erie. That could be Matt Hunwick too. Wilson probably won’t return until Saturday in Washington, unless the Avs play horrible in Toronto Tuesday and Roy just wants to get Wilson in there and not worry about it.
Holden is probably the odds-on choice to get sent down, when all is said and done.