The Colorado Avalanche are clinging to the final wildcard spot in the west and are looking to hold onto it. They pulled the trigger for Shawn Matthias, adding depth to their bottom-6 forwards, but are they done?
The obvious choice for an upgrade is another solid defenceman to play beside the young Bigras who has been holding his own with the pro’s. Bodnarchuk who they picked up off of waivers from Columbus earlier in the year and Zach Redmond have been in the revolving door for the 6th Dman and neither can cement their spot there. Joe Sakic and the Avs would like to slide Nick Holden down with Bigras which would give the offensive minded rookie some room to shine. Someone like the Islanders Travis Hamonic who has been on the market all year would then fit perfectly into that #4 spot. Getting the 6’2, right shooting d-man who is sIgned through to the 19-20 season with a yearly cap hit just under 3.9 million a year would be a steal. Dan Hamhuis or Kris Russell could also be rental players for the Avs but I’m not sure that they’d give up the going rate of a second round pick when they’re on the bubble. Should be noted though that the Avalanche and Flames have been known to do business in the past.
If you’re looking for a possible forward change for the Avs look at them to move John Mitchell. With the acquisition of Mattias, the 4th line center has become expendable. They could package him along minor players like Agozzino or Hishon and a pick to get a player like Boedker from Arizona. He could jump in and replace the veteran Tanguay who has slowed down and isn’t producing like years past. Would either give a good boost to the MacKinnon line or they could throw Landeskog with Mackinnon again and put Boedker with the other big bodies of Soderberg and Comeau.
Other Avalanche players that could possibly be on their way out are goaltender Reto Berra, defenceman Zach Redmond and Rampage defenseman Duncan Siemens.
A lot of people have mentioned the name Jonathan Druin but I don’t expect to see Joe Sakic make a push at Nathan MacKinnon’s former teammate. The asking price of a Top D-man and a first round pick just seems to be too high for an unproven NHLer.