What will the Avs do this offseason

Are the Avs being too complacent this offseason, or are they just lying in wait. Don’t worry too much Avs fans, I think there will be moves coming soon. Pierre Lacoix never signs any big Free Agents during the offseason, but made a big mistake by not resigning Kaspar. Despite the fact that he was by far the best Defensman in the free agent pool, he was what the Avs needed, a gritty defensive defensman, who plays with heart and determination (unlike Skoula) and was definitly worth the price. Kaspar had said after he signed with the Rangers that it seemed like the Avs just wanted to let him go. Why the hell would they do that. Now they HAVE to give up some of their talent to swing a trade.

It’s not like us Avalanche fans are worried. We know we have a team that can compete for the cup, even if Forsberg has to do it all by himself again. It’s just that, when you see tams like Dalllas get so much stronger with the aquisition of a guy that would have filled a huge void on our roster, and you see the Wings stay pretty much the same. You get a little nervous and start to think that we need something to help us compete. Now we have lost another defensman, and have a dangerous lack of depth on the blue line behind Foote and Blake. Now all these worries could be for nothing because I have a feeling Pierre will not be that complacent, and will proably make a couple trades. There are a few aspects that definatly need some adjusting if we intend to win another cup.

First of all, the Avs need immediate help on their blue line. Their prospects are decent but the Avs need some proven NHL defensman. Skoula has to step up and be consistent in his decision making. A few weeks back Yelle was rumored to be offered to Calgary for Gauthier straight up but the deal was rejected. Now this tells me two things. The Avs are in the market for a defensman, and probably also a third line checker. Because giving up Yelle would mean we would need someone to replace him, and with the Avs lack of depth already, I don’t see anyone on the roster to fill his void. The Avs could use two proven Defensman, one a two-way devensman with decent offensive vision, and the other a physical punishing defensman. If the Avs could somehow pry Brad Stuart from SJ, I think he would fill both these voids, but I’m almost positive they will not give him up.

After the defensive aspect has been cleared up, I think the Avs need to focus on adding some depth to their checking lines, even if they do keep Yelle. It was obvious during the last playoffs, that Colorado’s third line can’t chip in the clutch goals like it used too. I think a lot of this has to do with the trading away of Podein. He was the scoring touch on that third line with Yelle and Messier. Keane is a good player but I think he has lost his scoring touch. This is why a player like Holik would have been a great fit for Colorado. He would have added the toughness they needed, as well as the clutch goals they needed without giving up defense. But the Avs didn’t think it was a good idea to pay a player who would have been their third line centre, more money than their first line centre Joe Sakic.

Another aspect the Avs could use is a bigger power foward type player to play on one of the top two lines, probably Forsberg’s on the right side. They could also use this player on the power play since they don’t really have anyone who will consitantly stand in front of the net. This is why Guerin would have been a good fit. The Avs lost this type of gritty scorer when they traded away Deadmarsh, an integral part of the team. If Bertuzzi’s contract negotiation get nasty, he could become available and would be a great fit. The Avs have the trade bait too in NHL players as well a prospects and draft picks. Even though these players will make great NHL players one day, I think Reinprect, and Vrbata should be traded to bring in pieces that will fit better in the Avs cup run puzzle. These two players will be much sought after and could bring in the talent and size they desperatly need. I love Reino and even though he was their best player during some games in the regular season, I think the Avs have enough players of his calibar, and size. Same goes for Vrbata. This kid was on track for 29 goals in his rookie year if he would have been with the team the whole season, but the Avs need a bigger than Average power foward, not a smaller than average sniper. If we have too I suppose we could trade Skoula, but I think the Avs should give him one more year to prove himself. Besides, I know if we trade him he will turn into a great two-way defensman over night. I think it will be interesting what the Avs do with Vaclav Nederost. He is definitly overdue for the NHL, but the Avs have no room for him on their top two lines which is where he should play. With the Tanguay Sakic Hejduk line as their first, and the Forsberg Drury Reinprect (or other bigger foward) line as their second, there seems to be no room for another C/LW. This might make either Nedorost expendable, or Tanguay expendable to make room for Nederost. Nederost is bigger and more physical which would fit well on that line, but Tanguay has great chemistry with that line. Nederost faces the same problem Vrbata did when Hejduk came back in the playoffs, there just isn’t any room. This is why I think at least two fowards will be traded.

I think some of the Depth will be filled by a couple prospects, and could turn out to be surprises. Steve Morre looks ready to jump into a checking line role and with his size he could have been the centre the Avs had in mind if they traded Yelle. Whatever he does, I hope Pierre makes up for his apparent stubborness in not engaging in the UFA market. Especially when players like Holik, Guerin, and Kaspar would have filled giant holes on the roster.


23 Responses to What will the Avs do this offseason

  1. titans says:

    Did you know in the time it takes to hatch a single egg the male Emperor penguin loses 1/3 of it’s bodyweight! It’s true!

  2. bcuffari says:

    The Avs will be the team to beat in the West this season. No matter how much all the other big teams improve in the West, the Avs will always be the team to beat in my eyes. They are the most proven team in the league.

    And you have to think of this, they didn’t have Peter Forseberg all season, they can consider that their big signing. Forseberg will be playing with the same fire in his eyes he had during the play-offs, minus the broken thumb.

    The one and only thing the Avs have to worry about is how Roy handled the ass kickin’ he got in game 7.

    Cuffari

  3. Forsberg21 says:

    Good point. Roy never really looked like himself except for a few games against the Wings and Sharks. I hope he hasn’t finally hit that point in his career where everything is downhill from here.

  4. bubbakazoo says:

    What the ***** do you expect form a guy who is 37 and who has been a number one for 16 years? A guy who has played as many play off games as a starting goalie does in four years on a non playoff team? He’s got mileage, and you are fucked in Colorado after Roy is gone. Trading Denis for a 2nd round pick was dumber than eating dog shit.

  5. Forsberg21 says:

    We only got a second round pick for Denis because we were gonna lose him in the expansion draft anyway and eeryone knew it smart guy. And yes we are fucked if we don’t find a decent replacement for Roy when he is gone, it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

  6. titans says:

    Did you know elephants can run 20 miles per hour, and hummingbirds can fly 60 miles per hour! Really!

  7. Jonathane says:

    Cuffari:

    I am curious as to your comments as to the Av’s being the team to beat.

    Forsburg21 made some very valid points. In the playoffs, San Jose and Detroit both exposed Colorado’s lack of depth on the blueline.

    Letting Kaspar goes just hurts that depth even more. Now I will say that I do not believe Kaspar provided the play they were looking for, still he logged a lot of minutes.

    The Kings have twice taken the Av’s to a game 7 in the playoffs plus the Canucks have really started to improve.

    As Forsburg21 pointed out Pierre Lacroix, for whatever reason refuses to sign free agents, or free agents of any worth. Instead he prefers to trade for players.

    I will say this for Lacroix’s trades, prospects for the Av’s seem to have a brighter shine to them than players from other teams. It just seems that other NHL teams rate Av’s players/prospects higher than other teams players. This helps in facilitating trades, however now the Av’s are getting low on depth.

    As good as Blake has been for Colorado, I think the Av’s would almost rather have Deadmarsh, Aren Miller and Jon Klemm back (by not signing Blake there should have been money for Klemm).

    I think the Av’s are still a strong team, but there are many dents in the armour and with teams getting better and better, the Av’s are no longer the best team in the West, simply one of many good teams.

  8. big_booty says:

    Did you know that the fastest-swimming fish in the sea is the sailfish? It can swim at speeds up to 68 miles per hour. That’s about as fast as a cheetah can run.

  9. Obcd says:

    Is Pierre Lacroix interested in any Habs defensemans? We have plenty of them. I was just thinking that, this is not a rumor.

  10. NYRfan78 says:

    Whats wrong with Roy’s backup now aint he any good??

  11. Forsberg21 says:

    Yea he’s good, really good actually for a young backup. It just seems to me that if he eer becomes a number one goaltender in the NHL, he will have to get better, and that will take at least a couple more years.

  12. Sportswriter says:

    Bertuzzi in a Avs uniform would be great but the chances of that happening would be slim to none. If it did though I think that Colorado would stand up to the Deadmarsh line in LA a bit better

  13. Forsberg21 says:

    Yea your probably right. Inter-division trades almost never happen. Other good fits might be Shane Doan of Phoenix, or Brad Isbister of the Isles.

  14. Doctor_yes says:

    No way Canucks will sent their star player to their confernece rival.

    The only possible deal is Sakic or Forsberg (Avs pick up most of their salaries) and cash for Bertuzzi.

  15. wayne2 says:

    Isbister would look great with the avs.

  16. GrimReaper says:

    They should keep Nederost and Tanguay. Colorado needs some offence from the third line. They also need depth on d. The free agents out there aren’t that good. So they may have to mvoe one of there many promising players to get one.

  17. Sportswriter says:

    I don’t think that you know much. Bertuzzi is one hell of a player but not worth Colorado giving up Sakic or Forsberg and cash. Vancouver cant afford to pay the salaries of Sakic or Forsberg until they get some success and start making more money. So keep dreaming buddy.

  18. aaron says:

    The Sharks. No joke. I was rooting for the Avs to win their series w/ them b/c they seemed less threatening. The Sharks remind me too much of the ’98 Wings. Except twice as physical. Did you know they were averaging 60-some hits in the playoffs? That was what I figured anyway, might have been off, but that’s f*cking high.

    Avs have no depth. They had 3 forwards, 3 d-men, and Roy in the playoffs (Sakic, Forsburg, Reinprecht, Blake, Foote, and Kaspar). Incidentally, Kaspar ended first among non-Wings in +/- for the playoffs. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t play D, huh? Avs have a lot of good youth, but they’re in trouble on defense. There’s my analysis.

  19. aaron says:

    That’s what the cash is for, and he said only possible, which suggests he didn’t think it was realistic. You’re right, of course, Sakic and Forsburg are both worth more than Bertuzzi. Now, anyway. Ask again in 5 years.

  20. lovas84 says:

    Trade Reinprecht…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO He’s My Fav Av! Pierre Lacroix better not do to me what Bob Clarke Did To Titans and trade my fav player on my fav team

  21. lovas84 says:

    Aebicsher!!!!!!!! I’d rather have him then Roy right now that cocky bastard who cost us back to back cups by thinking he was the statue of liberty

  22. Forsberg21 says:

    You obviously aren’t really an Avs fan are you? No Avs fan would say something that stupid, and have that bad of a short term memory problem.

  23. TraitorJack says:

    I believe some of you are looking at this the wrong way. The Avalanche still are an elite team and with Forsberg for a complete year they will compete easily and produce more offense. They are no more thinner on D than they were last year before they acquired Kaspar. Trading this someone for that someone…or this prospect for that great young player won’t happen. Bertuzzi is a great player but one thing is for sure, Vancouver does NOT want to trade one of their better players to someone in their division…especially COLORADO. Adding a big name free agent for $5 million-plus only adds loads of expectations and added frustration for the players already on the team making in the range of $3 to 4 million but produce around what the FA produces. I would love Guerin, Holik, etc but there is no way I would want the headache of $8-9 million dollar players on my team if I have guys already producing around 30-40 goals a year making $3-4 million. Just think what happens when they resign. As far as depth… Yes Kaspar should have been resigned and he is worth the $4 million-plus that he will make…but he’s gone. Fluery is about the only big name I would say is worth going after as he’ll come here cheaper and the likes of Sakic may push him to do better. His grit and speed would help and you never know…he may produce 40 goals again and at under $5 he would be worth a shot. I heard that Pierre has been eyeing Nathan Dempsey in Toronto as a solid FA pick up. As far as the rest of the team. I could see Yelle being moved but not Skoula unless the trade filled an immediate hole. The likes of Moore are one reason that yelle could be moved…him and Hahl, and Larsen (if need be). To be honest, to increase Colorado’s depth at forward they would need to consider the Yelle line to be their 4th line/checking line and develop a strong 3rd line/scoring from what they have or trades. Reinprecht has always been rumored to be the man to fill the 3rd line centers spot and with Nederost or Vrbata taking the other wing on Peter’s line. Colorado has been bringing along Willsie very slowly and its not known if they still are high on him. Their original plan was to develop him into a nice two-way winger who could forecheck and with his quick and hard release…score his fair share of goals. Something like what Sundstrom does for SJ. He just needs experience. As far as some people’s comments on Vrbata this, Reinprecht that…etc. etc. Adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing a player’s stats over a full year does not always tell us what they will or can produce. Yes Vrbata could have scored 29 goals…but the reason he wasn’t on pace for more was ICE TIME and his role. He saw less and less ice time after the first few weeks and less time even on the powerplay. I don’t have exact numbers but he was at one time playing 12-13 minutes a game. Had he been playing at the norm (of what a top two line player would play) of 16-19 minutes a game and say next to Peter or Joe…he could honestly make us all look foolish for wanting a big name FA for $9 million. He was a top scorer for Hershey when all they had were young guns and role players. Give him a few years, heck…maybe this year, and he will produce something along the lines of what Elias can produce. The Avs also have a few nice young grinders and even power forwards in the works that could even make the team this year. Guys like Bootland, Krestanovich and a few others could be filling in on Left Wing in the coming year(s) that would look good next to Reinprecht and say Willsie (if they still are high on him). As far as trades…Yes there will more than likely be a few. It will be to either cut some payroll in exchange for prospects/picks or to acquire a strong D or winger. I could see Yelle gone…maybe even Tanguay (for the right player) and some prospects. Colorado has a TON of prospects and a lot of them are of the 3rd or 4th line variety and will be ready this year or next. The last thing they need them to do is sit in Hershey for a year longer so that they become unrestricted FA in a year or two. Anyways…not well written but it atleast sheds some light into what goes on around here.

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