Now that the dust has settled from the Smyth trade, it looks as though Colorado needs to make more trades.
As said in yesterdays blog, one defender is going to be traded. In all likelihood, it's going to be Scott Hannan because he makes the most salary and the team is in cost-cutting mode. A possible suitor could be the Tampa Bay Lightning because they have the cap space and need defense (signing Ohlund and Walker doesn't fix the league's worst defense).
In return, a affordable forward must be sent to Colorado. The Avalanche still need a checking line center (which I continue to become less optimistic about them getting as the days pass) and at least another top 6 forward (which may come in the form of Sakic and/or Duchene). If Sakic and/or Duchene do end up playing this season, Wolski would probably return to LW. But if they don't, Colorado is in some serious LW trouble as the depth chart looks like this:
Stoa plays LW, but there's no certainty he'll make the team. Even if he does, he won't be able to cover up the crappiness of the left side by himself.
To bullet point everything:
- Sign a checking line center. This is a must; even though the team is in "retooling" mode, improving the penalty kill would make the Avalanche a much better team. The best remaining free agent options are Blair Betts, Manny Malhotra, and Eric Perrin. Betts would fill this role best, seeing as the Rangers penalty kill was #1 in the NHL, and he led the team in shorthanded ice time.
- Move a high salary defenseman not named John Michael Liles. I wish Brett Clark were the defenseman being traded because he's the most overpaid, but he's too much of an unknown for that to happen. I don't expect Foote to be traded, either, as he'll likely finish out his career (this season) as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
- Sign or acquire at least one top 6 forward. This may be Sakic, Duchene, or an affordable UFA (which includes Tanguay, Kotalik, and Sykora). Trading for or signing an RFA another team may have trouble signing (cough, Versteeg, cough) should be considered as well.