The Colorado Avalanche needed to have a positive trade deadline to attempt to salvage anything from this season. There was a little action, but definitely not the flurry of trades that Avalanche fans had hoped for. So how did the Avalanche with their deadline deals?
Jarome Iginla Traded for Conditional 4th Rounder
Iginla being gone is a plus. I don’t care that the return was negligible, if not basically nothing at all, this is addition by subtraction. We’ve been saying it for quite a while now. Iggy is old, broken down and can’t do it anymore, so why would anybody expect anything even moderately decent in return? Just because he’s Jarome Iginla? That only goes so far when he can’t keep up and doesn’t contribute. The fact anybody took him and opened up a roster spot for the Avs is a plus.
Avalanche Acquire Sven Andrighetto from Montreal for Andreas Martinsen
Martinsen to Montreal for Andrighetto was an interesting trade. Martinsen’s got potential to be an okay player, but Andrighetto’s ceiling seems slightly higher. Sakic talked about wanting to be younger and faster and Andrighetto checks both boxes there and has a better offensive upside. Decent addition for forward depth.
Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog Still Avs
I honestly didn’t expect anything less at this point. The Avalanche are not in a place where they need to trade either of these guys. Both have team friendly salary cap hits and have term left on their deals. There’s no rush. I do have a feeling one will probably be moved this summer, but that’s just me. The Avs would have been silly to not take anything other than a sweet deal for either of those two guys, especially given that Martin Hanzal deal.
Still A Lot of Fat to Trim
Too many old guys kept along. Now, while I understand there is a need to have some people on the team to expose to the expansion draft, the Avalanche have many expiring contracts for older players that are obviously not going to be in the plans going forward. John Mitchell, Rene Bourque, Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin all serve no purpose to the Avalanche moving forward. They are also not exactly desirable pieces so, to a certain extent, I understand how moving them didn’t happen. Even so, it’s disheartening to not see a team that is in such need of more draft picks be completely unable to do get any. But, again, understandable. Comeau, I feel is kept around very specifically to be exposed to the expansion draft and Francois Beauchemin is, well, Francois Beauchemin. Who’s going to take that hot mess?
I have a hard time putting this season 100% on Sakic. He’s the GM so obviously he shoulders a portion of the blame, but this team, I feel it is important to remember, was put together assuming Patrick Roy would be the head coach before Roy just up and quit. Would the team look different had we always known it was going to be Jared Bednar’s team? It’s really impossible to say since we don’t live in that alternative universe, but I am inclined to believe it would probably be a bit different.
All in all, this deadline was not good enough. I won’t go so far as to say a complete failure, because they did manage to move a couple bodies, brought in somebody younger and faster, and opened up a roster spot for a younger system player, JT Compher. Still, the team needed to shed more dead weight and try to get any kind of draft picks in return and it just didn’t happen. Could they still trade negotiating rights before the draft? Sure, but if nobody was biting on the bodies at the deadline, the probability of this happening is whatever comes right before 0.
No, I don’t think it’s time to fire Joe Sakic, though he certainly isn’t immune. It’s readily apparent that the Avalanche are likely going to be bad for a few more years, so Joe has to show that he is capable of doing the rebuild job right. When Roy was here, people wanted to take short cuts because of that one good season. Roy wanted to win now and that cost the team a lot in the long run. No more short cuts. Asset management needs to improve in a big way. No more trades for over the hill defensemen, or UFA deals with 1 too many years on them. Draft well, which Sakic has done in the last few seasons. Develop the players and then give them a chance. Stop this Duncan Siemens type purgatory. At some point you need to know what you have, and you’ll never know if you just leave them in the AHL. The draft is going to be the next place the Avs can make moves and I wager they will.