Colorado Avalanche: Free Agent Frenzy


Some say the draft is more important than free agency these days. I disagree. I think it depends on which team you are really. If you’re like the Oilers and somehow manage to land the first pick almost every year–then yeah–I’m sure you’re always excited for the draft. The Colorado Avalanche will look towards this year’s draft, but they will also be looking at the free agency market for some help next season.

The reality of it is, the Avalanche won’t really be able to land a Mike Green, or Paul Martin because those type of guys are going to be expensive and they’re the ones you look at bringing in for an extended period of time. With the inevitable signings of Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson, and Tyson Barrie, the Avalanche need to think ahead to the 2016-17 season so they don’t break bank.

Everyone knows the Avs need some blue line support in order to help boost their possession numbers. Barrie and EJ will be the foundation this club can build on. Ej was having a career year before his season-ending knee surgery. Barrie has 91 points in 144 games for the Avs and has earned a top spot in the league among defenseman. Zach Redmond deserves to be on the team–but guys like Nate Guenin and Brad Stuart–I feel need to be replaced.

Apr 3, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Oduya – D

Age: 33
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 190
Shoots: Left

The Avalanche could really benefit from a guy like Johnny Oduya. He’s a defensive defenseman, an excellent skater, and possesses great defensive instincts.  He’s a seasoned veteran with a Stanley Cup in Chicago. As of right now, Oduya would be my top choice.

Mar 8, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) during the third period of the Boston Bruins 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Adam McQuaid – D

Age: 28
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 209
Shoots: Right

To add a little bit more size and aggression on the back end, the Avalanche could look at Adam McQuaid. The Bruins are in a tough spot with him, seeing as they also have to watch their spending. Last season he was around a $1.5 mil cap hit with the B’s, and could end up demanding just a little more than that. He wants to stay in Boston, but with a little persuading, I can see him agreeing with another team.

Jan 20, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth (35) makes a save on Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Ward – RW

Age: 34
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 226
Shoots: Right

Joel Ward would be a great net presence guy. He is aggressive on the forecheck–and with his size–he is hard to move out from in front of the net. Ward will score goals from down low, but doesn’t shoot as often as he should anywhere else on the ice. He can be inconsistent at times, but that can be fixed. “Wardo” would be a little more expensive, but I think it’d be worth it. Washington could most likely resign him, but he would still be worth a look for the Avalanche.

I feel like these three players could make a difference for this Colorado Avalanche club. Both Oduya and McQuaid alone could boost the Avs’ abysmal possession numbers. The draft is where the Avs need to add depth to this club. Add a couple trades in there with a few more leaving for free agency, and the Avalanche could have themselves an improved roster.

Next: NHL Draft Depth: 2015 Draft The Deepest Since '03?

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