Category Archives: Col. Avalanche

Predicting Protected Lists: Colorado Avalanche 

Many of Colorado’s major moves, which could include trading Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie, are likely to come after the expansion draft. That being established, Colorado will not have many issues, outside of goaltending, when it comes to Vegas taking a player from them. 

The Avalanche could go with either seven forwards and three defensemen or four forwards and four defensemen. It all comes down to whether they buy out Francois Beauchemin or if he waives his no-movement clause.

Beauchemin is 37-years-old with one more year on his deal at $4.5 million. A buyout would not be crippling for Colorado, but it still would not be ideal. Getting Beauchemin to waive his no-movement clause for the expansion draft would be a huge plus for Joe Sakic and company. 

Assuming Beauchemin is not protected, the Avalanche will likely go with the 7-3-1 scenario. 

Up front, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Matt Duchene will definitely be protected. 

Outside of those three, though, there are not many other clear choices. 

Mikhail Grigorenko is a decent asset that Colorado probably will not want to lose for nothing. 

Other protected players could include Sven Andrighetto, Joe Colborne, and Matt Nieto. Blake Comeau and Carl Soderberg are producing too little and have too big of contracts to warrant protection. 

On defense, without Beauchemin, it will likely be Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov that will be protected, along with Erik Johnson who has a no-movement clause. 

In goal, Joe Sakic already said it will be Semyon Varlamov that will get the spot. Calvin Pickard, therefore, becomes a prime candidate to be picked by Vegas. 

The Colorado Avalanche’s protection list could wind up looking something like this:

Forwards: Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, Mikhail Grigorenko, Matt Nieto, Sven Andrighetto, Joe Colborne 

Defense: Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson, Nikita Zadorov 

Goalie: Semyon Varlamov 

The Avalanche have a lot of questions to answer in the next few weeks. Joe Sakic’s actions this June will determine the state of the franchise moving forward for the next decade. 

It all starts with the expansion draft. The Avalanche have a few core pieces set to be protected, but after that it becomes a matching game. In the end, they could still go down the route of four forwards and four defensemen (with Beauchemin or Barberio) as opposed to the option mentioned here. 

Next team: Columbus Blue Jackets 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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The outcome of the NHL draft lottery complicates roster decisions for Hextall, Nill 

The NHL draft lottery has come and gone for yet another year. This time around, however, it was quite controversial and unexpected amongst many fans and league management alike. 

Colorado, Vancouver, and Arizona, who were the three worst teams in the league, all do not have top-three picks this year. Instead, New Jersey moved up from 5 to 1, Philadelphia moved up from 13 to 2, and Dallas moved up from 8 to 3. 

The NHL lottery system is designed to prevent tanking, and that is exactly what it did last night. Colorado, Arizona, and Vancouver were all trying to ice competitive teams at the start of the season, but it did not work out. It just so happened that these three teams became casualties of a system that was put in place after the Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel draft. 

As for who won the lottery, it will have a significant impact on certain players being on the market come draft day. The top prospects in the draft — Patrick, Hischier, and Mittlestadt — happen to all be centers. 

To be fair, New Jersey does not so much fit into this category as well as Philadelphia and Dallas do. The Devils need a bonafide center desperately as they lack star power down the middle. Whichever road they go of the three aforementioned prospects, they will be in good shape. Adding one of them to Taylor Hall (and potentially Ilya Kovalchuk) puts them in a solid place moving forward with their rebuild. 

As for Philadelphia and Dallas, things are not as simple. Both teams already had a logjam of centers heading into this offseason and the outcome of the draft lottery does not make it any easier. Albeit, Hextall and Nill likely aren’t complaining. 

For the Flyers, down the middle they previously had Giroux, Filppula, Couturier, with a combination of other players including Bellemare, Vecchione, Cousins, and Weal playing on the fourth line. Along with the group of previously mentioned fourth liners, Boyd Gordon and Scott Laughton can also play in that role. Travis Konecny is a natural center as well but saw a large majority of his time on the wing last season and will likely continue to see so moving forward. 

In the end, the Flyers have some choices to make over the summer if they want to bring one of Patrick, Hischier, or Middlestadt on to the team next season. 

The player that could be in limbo throughout this whole situation is Sean Couturier. The 24-year-old center was already in trade speculation following the Filppula acquisition at the trade deadline, but now things are even more complicated. Couturier posted 14 goals and 34 points in 66 games last season and is more regarded as a defensive center. 

A handful of teams would love to get their hands on Couturier. It would be a tough sell for the Flyers and Hextall, but they made be forced into a move due to the outcome of the draft lottery. Regardless, the price on Couturier would not be cheap. 

In fairness, however, the Flyers could keep one of Hischier/Patrick/Mittlestadt or Couturier on the fourth line and work things out from there. Or, they could return their second overall pick to Juniors/the USHL. The latter is a lot more unlikely but not out of the question. 

The Dallas Stars are in a similar situation. The original plan heading into next season, according to Stars reporter Mike Heika, was to have Seguin, Spezza, and Faksa play at center. Devin Shore or Mark McNeill could fill in at fourth line center. 

This plan leaves out Cody Eakin, who Heika speculated could be traded before the expansion draft. Much like Couturier, Eakin is a defensive oriented middle-six center that a lot of teams would have serious interest in. 

Moving forward after the expansion draft, a lot of questions need to be answered for the Stars. They did not want to drop Radek Faksa down the depth chart for Cody Eakin, but will they think the same way for a bonafide center prospect? Only time will tell, but it is certainly up in the air. 

This situation with Dallas may unfold differently than people expect. Due to their already quality center core, they could look to trade down in the draft. A team like Colorado, Las Vegas or Vancouver would definitely be interested in one of Patrick, Hischier, or Mittlestadt. 

The Stars could go the root of taking a defenseman too. Cale Makar and Miro Heiskanen are both slated to go in or near the top-five of the draft. 

Also set to go high are Gabriel Vilardi and Michael Rasmussen, both of whom play center. 

There will rightfully be a lot of speculation in the upcoming months on behalf of the teams selecting within the top-three in June. The stunning outcome of the draft lottery has changed the outlook of the league and will show its true effects very soon. 

Stay tuned for more draft coverage coming soon. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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.

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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.

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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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