Colorado Avalanche Roster Outlook: Part 3 – Left Wings


Apr 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) attempts a shot on goal in the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Everything is pretty quiet around the Colorado Avalanche, as all eyes are on the 2015 NHL Playoffs, where the first round is coming to a close.  We can, however, be sure that although the offices at the Avalanche facility are quiet, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, and the scouting team are working on the roster for next season.

There is lots to do for them. The draft is coming up, Ryan O’Reilly needs to get a contract extension or be traded. Personnel decisions have to be made on every position. We have talked about the Avalanche’s goalies and defensemen, so it is time to turn to our forwards. Who is there, who should go, who should stay?

2015-16 Left Wings

Expiring contracts: 


Depth Chart:

  1. Gabriel Landeskog
  2. Alex Tanguay
  3. Jamie McGinn
  4. Cody McLeod
  5. Patrick Bordeleau

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The only notable contract that is expiring, is Andrew Agozzino’s. He will be a restricted free-agent and will most likely be signed to a two-way extension. Agozzino has seen some NHL-time before, but is not expected to come back up and stay anytime soon.

As opposed to some other positions, there is nothing that has to be changed on left wing, really. With Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay, the Colorado Avalanche have a great tandem for the first two lines. Behind that, Jamie McGinn — if healthy — is a reliable two-way forward that can also see top-six minutes if necessary. Cody McLeod and Patrick Bordeleau can play on either wing on the fourth line. However, I do not expect Bordeleau to see much ice-time in the NHL ever again. He is loved by many fans, but it seems proven that full-on, one-dimensional enforcers are not needed anymore.

Nevertheless, a lot can change by the time the draft rolls around. With Ryan O’Reilly still not locked up long-term, a trade on draft day is a strong possibility (click here for details on possible draft day trades). However, if O’Reilly does stay, either he or Nathan MacKinnon will likely be moved to the wing. If it hits O’Reilly, he would slot right in behind Gabriel Landeskog on the depth chart. That would cause a few other things to happen.

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Firstly, Alex Tanguay is not a third-line-winger. However, he may stay there if Patrick Roy decides to roll more balanced lines. But then we still have Jamie McGinn, who is most certainly not a fourth-line-forward. So that turns Jamie McGinn into the trade-bait number one all of a sudden. With enough quality on forward, but a big lack of defense, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy may decide to try to trade McGinn for a bottom-four defenseman.

The likelier scenario, however, is that Nathan MacKinnon stays on the wing. Before his injury, we had an incredibly good line with O’Reilly centering Landeskog and MacKinnon. That said, Sakic and Roy may still try to trade Jamie McGinn on draft day or later in the future. Depending on who is healthy and who is allowed to stay on their natural position, there is a large variety of players that could slot in as the number-three left wing. Among them are John Mitchell (C), Joey Hishon (C), Jordan Caron (RW), Borna Rendulic (RW), and Jesse Winchester (C/W) — and we still have the Monsters’ 30-goal-scorer Andrew Agozzino.

Ryan O’Reilly should stay at the center position.

Personally, I would try to acquire a reliable defenseman for Jamie McGinn, if nobody can be signed in free-agency. Ryan O’Reilly should be re-signed, as long as he agrees to reasonable terms, and stay at the center position. That would allow Patrick Roy to move Nathan MacKinnon to the right wing, and some rookies to move up and get a chance to prove themselves.

As we can see, the left wing position is the one that can be adjusted depending on what happens on other positions. There is nothing that has to be done, but lots that can be done to have a competitive team in Denver next season.

Next: Roster Outlook - Defensemen

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