The Colorado Avalanche are a good team. In fact, they’re so good, hockey analysts and Avs insiders are wondering if the team has a surplus of strong talent in certain positions and the flexibility to make a trade from an area of strength. The idea would be to free up some cap space and position themselves for a deep run in the 2020-21 postseason, specifically targeting an improvement in goal.
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Notably, Mike Chambers and Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post took a closer look at just how deep the Colorado Avalanche blue line is this season and suggested the Avalanche might be willing to make a move. They both agree the Avs have the best young D-corps in the league with Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Sam Girard, Ryan Graves, Conor Timmins and Byram. Because of that, they wonder if Erik Johnson, 32, and/or Ian Cole, 31, are going to be made available?
The scribes label Cole and Johnson the most likely candidates to be moved but also not that Johnson’s final two years at $6 million per season could be tougher to deal away. He has a modified no-trade clause which gives him some control and teams are tight up against the cap, with more hesitation this year to do a deal thanks to quarantine issues when moving a player across the border.
What About Third Option? What About Girard?
Chambers adds that, “Some folks will cringe, but Girard, 22, is probably the most tradable of the bunch”. He noted that the defenseman just began a seven-year, $35 million extension this season and it’s not a terribly prohibitive contract for other teams but moving his $5 million cap hit could do a lot for the Avalanche.
If there’s one area the Avs are a bit weaker, it’s at the goaltending position and Chambers believes Girard could help solve that issue.
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