Friday, May 29, 2009
Offseason Needs (Part 2)
Welcome to part 2 of the Avs offseason needs going into this summer.
CHECKING LINE FORWARDS:
Sad to say, the Avs haven't had a real shutdown center since Chris Gratton left...in 2004. This area NEEDS to be addressed. If Colorado goes into next season with a "checking line" of Tucker - Hensick - Svatos, this team will almost certainly miss the playoffs again. Having a shutdown line is THAT important.
POSSIBLE CHECKING LINE PLAYERS:
Free Agent Market: (2008 salaries noted)
Todd Marchant (2.5118)
Rob Niedermayer (2.00)
Marty Reasoner (1.00)
Eric Perrin (0.750)
Stephane Yelle (0.750)
Radek Bonk (1.475)
Travis Moen (0.912)
Mike Grier (1.775)
Radek Dvorak (1.550)
Within the Organization:
Ben Guite (0.475)[UFA]
David Jones (0.522) [RFA]
Ian Laperriere (1.150) [UFA]
Cody McLeod (0.522) [RFA]
Justin Mercier (TBD)
Ryan Stoa (0.850)
Darcy Tucker (2.250)
Brandon Yip (Unknown)
I'd say Colorado needs to sign at least one of the players from the "Free Agent" list, and definitely re-sign both Guite and Jones from the "Organization" list. If I were GM (which I'm not...yet), I would make my bottom two lines look like this:
Stoa (0.850) - Reasoner (1.50*) - Jones (0.900*)
McLeod (1.00) - Guite (0.600*) - Yip (0.850)/Tucker (2.250)
I know lines fluctuate, but you get the point. There's no reason for Guite not to return as the 4th line center; he was actually a + player last year, so he deserves to be there. I also think putting Jones on the 3rd line is a smart move; he's the quickest player on the team and hits hard. He'd also add a dimension of scoring to the 3rd line along with Stoa. Add in Reasoner, who had an outstanding 52.8 faceoff % this season, and I think we're cooking.
Seeing as the GM likely won't buy out Tucker, I see no other place for him than 4th line RW, occasionally a scratch for hard working forward Brandon Yip.
I think Laperriere needs to be let go. He's been good for this organization, but I get the feeling he's looking for more than 1.5 million, and that it's worth it for this rebuilding franchise. He's too old, too slow, and doesn't produce offensively.
Making the lines like this would add 3.85 million to the Avalanche's cap hit, putting them at 45.925 million spent on 15 players.
Part 3 coming shortly.