The Colorado Avalanche are off to another disappointing season. Currently in last place in the Western Conference with just 25 points in 34 games. The struggles have left many questioning the teams’ direction and future. Now with trade deadline sneaking up on them and the chances of making the playoffs nearly impossible it is time to make some critical decisions.
The list of questions is endless:
- Is Semyon Varlamov the answer in net, and if available for trade would he bring a return? I do not think Varlamov is the long-term answer, but there is no way they will be able to move his $5.9 million per year contract now. He is serviceable and in a more defensive system may just be the answer. The return does not outweigh the potential on this one.
- Will or should they trade future Hall of Fame player Jarome Iginla? Probably would make sense to move him at deadline, but seriously is he a viable player for teams pushing for a Stanley Cup. It has been a long time since he carried the Calgary Flames to the finals. I just don’t think a contender would give a return for him, and he would not want to go to a non-contender.
- Fedor Tyutin and Rene Bourgue could be options but again what would the return be? No return, plain and simple.
- The big question is would General Manager Joe Sakic ever consider moving Tyson Barrie, Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog? The smart choice is to keep this core. The only way I would deviate from that decision is if a key top end defenseman was offered for Duchene or Landeskog, and that is about as likely as winning the lottery. Keep this core. It is solid, but it needs some key depth guys to supplement it.
The truth in Colorado is that management changes, and the abrupt departure of coach Patick Roy has shook this team up, and changed their direction. Their performance has suffered. The core is in place in Colorado, but defense is a huge downfall. It is costing them dearly now and has them questioning their goaltending. The remedy will not come quick and needs to be done with quality drafting. Three years, and the addition of a couple of solid defenseman will be just what the doctor ordered. As much as the fan base wants sudden change, I think the best decision is to develop a plan and draft smart.