According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche are open to trading defenseman Samuel Girard. Thanks to a surplus of blueliners on the left side, Girard has become somewhat expendable and the team is looking to use him as trade bait to upgrade their forward corps or add another goaltender.
Chambers is reporting that because of the strong play by 20-year old defenseman Bowen Byram, the team has two very similar players. When you add the fact that Devon Toews is back from injury, the Avs are deep on the left side and Girard is a player the team can afford to move if it will help in other areas.
Chambers writes Byram has really turned heads in Colorado with his strong play. At 20 years old, he became the youngest Avalanche defenseman to score two goals in a game. He logged 25:17 in ice time during that game and it’s being viewed as his coming-out party. Chambers adds, “And I believe he’s why the Avs nearly acquired Eichel and his remaining $50 million contract from Buffalo — because they’ve realized they no longer need like-minded defenseman Sam Girard.”
Chambers goes on to explain:
Girard, 23, is also a special player, a puck-possession/moving gem of a skater. He’s off to a slow start (two assists and minus-6 in seven games entering Saturday) but usually does things most defensemen can’t do. Byram, however, does it better, already, and the Avs had the opportunity to ship Girard plus (fill in the blank) to Buffalo for Eichel — if only the Sabres would have agreed to retain some of Eichel’s $10 million cap.
Obviously, the Avalanche didn’t land Eichel because he’s now officially a member of the Vegas Golden Knights. That doesn’t mean the Avs won’t look elsewhere if they believe Girard could be the key to getting them a piece at forward they would really like.
Not only would moving Girard and his $5 million annual cap hit give the Avs space to add a player of significance, but other teams would be interested in taking on the full contract considering he’s a sold defenseman who is signed through the 2026-27 season.
A trade may not be imminent, but Girard’s name will certainly be one to watch heading into the NHL trade deadline.
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