Category Archives: Col. Avalanche

A match made in heaven? Colorado could have a perfect trading partner for Duchene 

Not much has been going right for the Colorado Avalanche this season, however they do have the chance to do now what other teams sometimes dream of: start over. 

For a couple of weeks now, left-wing and captain Gabriel Landeskog and center Matt Duchene have been in trade rumors across the league. These two players will come at a high price, but it’s hard not to want to pay up when it is players of this caliber available. 

Matt Duchene is certainly the more interesting name of the two. Drafted third overall in 2009, the speedy center has solidified himself as a premier talent in the league. 

Duchene hit a career high in points three seasons ago with 70 in 71 games played. He’s trailed off a bit since, but that could be attributed to a number of things — most notably Colorado’s horrible possession numbers and lack of depth. 

Sitting at 32 points in 45 games this season, Duchene would be on pace for almost 60 points in 82 games. Pretty solid numbers on a squad that may go down in the records books for the worst team in the salary cap era. 

The popular rumor is that in exchange for Duchene, the Avalanche are looking for a proven player, a prospect, and a first round pick at minimum. They’ve placed an emphasis on wanting to get younger on defense. 

A few teams come to mind when looking at these categories, but one team should stand out beyond the rest. It’s almost a match made in heaven. 

The Carolina Hurricanes. 

The Hurricanes have a glut of young defensemen and also have a need for a star center. They have the likes of Victor Rask and Jordan Staal, who are by no means slouches, but Duchene is on another level. 

For defensemen 23 years old and under, the Hurricanes have Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin, Ryan Murphy, Roland McKeown, Haydn Fleury, and Jake Bean. 

Between all of the players on that list, which doesn’t even include Justin Faulk and Klas Dahlbeck, Carolina has a few parts they could spare. 

It’s unlikely the Hurricanes trade Slavin. Pesce is a nice piece, but he alone is not enough to garner Duchene. Hanifin is an intriguing one, but giving him up would be a tough pill to swallow for Rom Francis. It’s not impossible, though. 

Another bonus for both teams is the current position of Carolina in the standings. If they were to trade a 2017 first round pick to Colorado, it would likely fall into the 10-16 range. Not a deal breaker for Carolina, but certainly nice for Colorado. 

At the end of the day, a lot of moving pieces are going to be needed for any team to acquire Matt Duchene. Carolina is perhaps in the best position to get him, 

but it’s a matter of will for both teams. 

More trade deadline coverage coming soon. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Five players who are likely to be moved at the 2017 NHL trade deadline 

The trade deadline is almost upon us, and so far it is unclear what will happen when it officially rolls around. With expansion on the horizon, trades are at an all time low. The market is stagnant. However, that could change when teams feel the crunch before playoff time. Here are five players likely to move at or before the February 28th trade deadline. 

1. Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche

The ex-Calgary Flames captain bounced around for some time in the NHL before landing a four year contract with Colorado. He has reached the last year of that deal, but things are not going well in the Mile High City between player and team. 

Iginla only has five goals and 11 points in 39 games this season. The 39 year old right winger has lost a considerable amount of speed and skill over the years. 

Despite all that, Iginla can be a valuable asset for a team in the playoff hunt. He provides a great deal of leadership and still has the scoring touch in him that can be revitalized. 

If the Flames stay in the race in the Pacific, a trade back “home” would be quite the story. Montreal makes sense as well.  

2. Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes

Things are not much better in Arizona than they are in Colorado. The Coyotes sit second to last in the league despite having a promising 2015-2016 campaign. 

Lucky for them, they have a number of assets to deal at the deadline, one of them being Martin Hanzal. In the last year of his five year deal, Hanzal, 29, carries a $3.1 million cap hit. 

Although he does not put up a large amount of points, Hanzal is revered for his two-way game. His career high in points came last season with 41. 

Hanzal is the best fit for any team looking for center help at the deadline. Minnesota maybe?

3. Michael Stone, Arizona Coyotes

Stone is another asset the Coyotes hold. He is Arizona’s second best defenseman behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and he has really solidified himself as a top-four mainstay in recent years. 

Stone would likely be classified as a defensive defenseman. He does not put up goals (he has zero in 27 games this year), but you get what you pay for and know what to expect night in and night out with Stone. 

I could see a team like Columbus or Edmonton being interested in Stone’s services.  

4. Ryan Spooner, Boston Bruins 

Spooner has had trouble finding his groove since entering the NHL with Boston, who don’t want to lose him for nothing on waivers. 

Spooner was a second round pick in 2010 and had a promising season with Boston last year tallying 49 points, but this season only has 19 points in 40 games. 

A big reason for this may be his shift to wing. With the likes of David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci down the middle, it has been tough for Spooner to gain a consistent center spot in the lineup. 

Spooner still has loads of potential and could thrive in the right situation. The price for him wouldn’t be high, but you certainly won’t get him for pennies on the dollar. 

Possible suitors include Vancouver and Carolina. 

5. Cody Franson

After holding out all the way until training camp when he was a free agent a few summers ago, Cody Franson eventually decided to sign a two year deal with Buffalo. That deal is now ending, and with the Sabres at the bottom of the standings, Franson may become subject to trade rumors. 

Franson’s time in Buffalo has not been anything to write home about. In 85 total games, he has five goals and 21 assists. However, he can still be utilized as an effective defenseman in a bottom-pair role on the correct team. 

Franson is an effective puck mover and is not too far removed from solid seasons with Toronto. 

He probably will not cost much from Buffalo, so it may be worth the risk. 

The Rangers could look at him, as could the Capitals. A Toronto reunion, if they stay in the race, would be interesting as well. 

The trade deadline is 52 days away. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles 

Roy’s departure gives Avalanche a much needed change 

Reports came out on Thursday afternoon that Patrick Roy would be leaving the Colorado Avalanche. Roy, 50, spent eight seasons as a player with Colorado and the past three seasons coaching them. Roy was also Vice President of Hockey Operations.  Read the rest of this entry

Eight teams that should protect four defensemen in the expansion draft 

In next summer’s expansion draft, teams have two options in which to protect their players. One is protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The other choice is protecting eight skaters and one goalie. The former gives you more players to protect but you risk losing a top-four defenseman, whereas the latter allows you to hold onto that fourth (or fifth, if you so please) defenseman, but you are losing out on protecting two top-six forwards. It is a calculated risk that teams have to weigh, and there are eight teams that should choose to take the second option and protect four defensemen.  Read the rest of this entry

Colorado’s Barrie generating tons of interest 

Recently, reports came out from Elliotte Friedman that Tyson Barrie is likely to be moved by the Colorado Avalanche this summer.  Read the rest of this entry

O’Reilly, Avalanche Face Tough Situation

Ryan O’Reilly is one of the biggest names floating around in the rumor spectrum this offseason. O’Reilly put up 55 points in 82 games this season, a drop from 64 points in 82 games the one prior. He signed a two-year, ten million contract as a restricted free agent with Calgary, but Colorado soon matched it. This is the final year on his current contract, and yet again conflict is arising with him. 
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