Last year, the Colorado Avalanche made a handful of trades prior to the 2021 trade deadline. Those moves focused primarily on the edges of their roster. They acquired Devan Dubnyk for goaltending depth behind then-starter Philipp Grubauer. Colorado also acquired a pair of former Avs in Carl Soderberg and Patrick Nemeth. Each of those names didn’t qualify as “big moves”, but the three together were noteworthy at the time. After all, that roster looked excellent on paper already. But the lack of an impact acquisition resulted in the lack of a meaningful impact on the team. They fell in the second round of the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Three Colorado Avalanche Trades that May Happen Before The Deadline
Joe Sakic took a different approach this season and still has time remaining on the clock to squeeze another move or two in before the buzzer. He certainly did more this time around already with regards to “impact”. First, he snagged defenceman Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks. Then, he swapped depth forwards with the Minnesota Wild; they received Nico Sturm in exchange for Tyson Jost. You’d think that might be everything, but there may be more on the horizon.
The Players they May Target via Trade
Colorado sits squarely atop the Western Conference, with quite a gap between them and the next closest team. They will more than likely finish there, as a result, and could win the President’s Trophy too. Sometimes, making trades while resting in the first place seems counterintuitive; if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Ultimately, though, the rest of the playoff teams in the West are actively looking for ways to improve their squad. Not only that, but they are doing so knowing that any road to the Stanley Cup will likely go through Denver. Franchises think, “what trade can we make to compete better against the Avs?”.
Again, Colorado added Sturm and Manson already, two big-bodied players who bring a physicality the team lacked immensely in the previous playoff series. And below are some other potential targets for the Avs to continue widening the gap between themselves and the rest of the league.
Sakic could try a similar tactic to last year and bring back a familiar face to the Avs’ locker room. Acquiring Paul Stastny exceeds either of the players who came back to Denver last year. The centreman spent the first eight seasons of his career in burgundy and blue, collecting 458 points in 538 games. He still produces, too, at over .75 points-per-game in two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets.
Stastny could provide Colorado’s the bottom six firepower they’ve missed all year long. He slots in as the team’s third-line centre, behind Nathan MacKinnon and Nazem Kadri. With years of top-six experience too, he provides an interesting stop-gap or utility forward to slide up as needed. The trick, though, would be figuring out the cap situation to add him. If Gabriel Landeskog moves to the LTIR, that wouldn’t be an issue.
To Colorado: Paul Stastny (50% salary retainment)
To Winnipeg: Nicolas Aube-Kubel + 2024 4th round pick
So, Andrew Copp looks like a good secondary option if Stastny doesn’t happen. He comes from the same team, too, so the package wouldn’t look very different at all. Stastny carries more experience and familiarity with Colorado (he also attended school at the University of Denver). But Copp brings a higher current rate of production, plus is nine years younger than Stastny.
While that could be seen as a reason to believe Copp would garner a higher return, the Avs may argue otherwise. Both players become unrestricted free agents this summer, so their futures remain equally unpredictable. Maybe Winnipeg receives more back for Copp than they do for Stastny, in the end. And for that same reason, Stastny heading to Denver looks like the better fit. After all, Colorado only possesses nine draft picks in the next two drafts, and only one of those comes in the first two rounds. If Winnipeg wants a first or second-rounder, the Avs probably won’t be willing to make the deal (unless Winnipeg would take a pick from 2024 or later…).
To Colorado: Andrew Copp (50% salary retainment)
To Winnipeg: Nicolas Aube-Kubel + 2023 3rd round pick
Okay, yes, this is saving the best for last. And yeah, the Avs will be giving up more for this big fish than either of the mid-size fish mentioned above. But…could you imagine adding Giroux to this squad? MacKinnon skating between Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen could happen still. Then you’ve got Claude Giroux on your SECOND LINE. With Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky, Giroux could make the Avs’ top six the best in the league.
If that happens, then the bottom six receives a bump too. Valeri Nichushkin would slide down to play with the third line, and that cascading effect looks great. Of all the trades the Colorado Avalanche could make, this would blow the hockey world’s minds.
To Colorado: Claude Giroux (50% salary retainment)
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