The Colorado Avalanche continue to play uninspiring hockey, and Joe Sakic cannot let this kind of team performance slide.
The Colorado Avalanche don’t even have any bright spots developing during the course of this season, and it’s depressing.
Sure, Mikko Rantanen seems to be having the type of year that points to a lot of excitement down the road. And, the Avs are likely going to end up with a top-four pick because of their dismal performance.
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Nonetheless, no one is turning any heads on a team depleted of inspiration and confidence. Semyon Varlamov just had season-ending surgery, and Erik Johnson can now chalk off another year where he failed to play the entire season.
Along with it all, the Avs have won four games since starting 9-9, and our now 4-24-2 since starting .500. So, what else should Avs fans look forward to other than a shakeup? And, what else could Joe Sakic possibly have on his mind other than changing the makeup of the roster?
Obviously, it’s the only thing that’s on my mind right now:
The point is, Joe Sakic cannot afford to stay quiet at this year’s trade deadline, he must be willing to take risks in order to get this franchise back up and running.
What Does a Shakeup Accomplish for the Avs?
That’s a good question you loyal readers you. A shakeup accomplishes a number of things for the Avs.
In short order, it makes room on the roster for call-ups that need a chance to prove their worth at the NHL level. A shakeup also changes the current makeup of the roster, which is clearly not working. Finally, it also gives the Avalanche a chance to fill some holes in their roster by trading from areas where they currently have depth.
The Avs don’t need any help finishing at the bottom of the standings, that is pretty much certain at this point. So, a trade does not service their desire to tank and begin the rebuild. A trade does not help them acquire that player in the draft that everyone wants — that player is not in this draft.
The reasons Joe Sakic makes a trade are because this season is through, and next season needs to be the focus.
Thus, it is his duty to give players that figure to be integral parts of the roster next season a chance at proving they can be integral. Joe Sakic has a duty to change this roster for the sake of standing up to the kind of performance the current roster is giving. And finally, Joe Sakic must take the risks necessary to constructing a roster that can win.
There are obvious holes on the roster, and obvious areas of depth. It’s time for Joe Sakic to make a move involving those areas. It’s time for Joe Sakic to show some sand.
What Does Said Shakeup Look Like?
Another savvy question from the readers, way to bring it.
This is not an easy question to answer; however, here’s how I see it.
The Avalanche have depth at the center position, holes on both wings, and gigantic holes at the defensive position.
Luckily, they are pretty stocked with defensive prospects right now. Nicolas Meloche is going to be in the top four someday soon, Chris Bigras is getting some good development in San Antonio, and Nikita Zadorov should be ready to take the next step soon.
Furthermore, the center position looks pretty good for the Avs as well. Tyson Jost is having a good year at the University of North Dakota, and J.T. Compher looks to be developing into a solid top nine center.
The Avs look pretty good at wing too, but mostly in the bottom six.
Cameron Morrison needs a couple more years to develop, but he’s got a lot of upside. A.J. Greer is also having a stellar year in San Antonio, and he’s got a lot of potential as a third line left winger.
But there are holes at the wing, and both holes are in the top six. The Avs need another top six left winger, and another top six right winger. Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen are both good wingers, and both should stay with the team.
So, who are the most tradable assets on the Colorado Avalanche then? Enter Tyson Barrie and Matt Duchene.
Tyson Barrie and Matt Duchene Need to be Shopped with Gusto
If I’m Joe Sakic, I’m taking into consideration the fact that I want this team to get younger. I’m also taking into consideration the type of player I can get in this year’s draft. Finally, I’m looking at the type of players I can get for Tyson Barrie and Matt Duchene.
For Barrie, Sakic should be looking at a top six forward from a team that has depth at that position and needs defense. For Duchene, Sakic should be looking for a top-pairing defenseman who is preferably right-handed.
Or, he can take a stab at a left-handed defenseman, trade a left-handed prospect, and get another 1st round draft pick out of the deal.
Then, Sakic would have to decide between Nico Hischier, Nolan Patrick, and Timothy Liljegren at the top of this year’s draft.
The options are plentiful folks, but Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie need to be the most tradable assets within the organization. Barrie is definitely not being dealt from a position of strength currently, but the Avs have a lot of defensive prospects within their system.
Duchene, on the other hand, is definitely being dealt from a position of strength, and should be able to fetch a nice return to fill their gaping defensive holes.
The verdict is in Joe Sakic, this team cannot win the way it is currently constructed, and something must be done.
The Colorado Avalanche are the worst team in the league for a number of reasons. None of those reasons can be fixed this season, but every one of them should be focused on for next season.
This kind of performance simply cannot happen again for the Avs, and Joe Sakic has to realize that. Sakic’s duty is to ice a team that can win, and if he doesn’t make some moves at the deadline, his ability to ice that kind of a team needs to be put into question.
The Colorado Avalanche have a number of tradable assets, and a number of holes in their lineup. The stool is in your corner Joe Sakic, time to do something to get this team off the ropes.