Colorado Avalanche: One Trade Bait For Each Position


More from Mile High Sticking

The Colorado Avalanche are in desperate need of immediate help, if they want to get back to the top as soon as possible. One way to do that is to sign free agents, the other is to acquire improvements via trade. While the Avalanche’s main targets should be free agents, there are also some players that would be available to be given away in a trade.

However, the goal in some of those possible trades will not be to get immediate improvements, but rather to clear roster spots and acquire some late-round draft picks. Without further ado, here is who the Colorado Avalanche could give away and what for.


On this position we obviously have to go with backup Reto Berra. The Avalanche’s current starter, Semyon Varlamov, is an elite goaltender who can compete with the best in the league. The next-best goalie would be Calvin Pickard, but as opposed to Berra, Pickard has a two-way contract, which leads to the assumption that coach Patrick Roy would have to start Pickard in the AHL.

Of course Pickard would get more playing time with the San Antonio Rampage, but playing for the Avalanche should be better for his development anyway. He is ready to take the next step and a reliable backup for Varlamov would be an important step towards getting better as a team.

Trade targets: draft picks


The D-man with the highest chance of working out as a trade bait is Zach Redmond. The team would be better off trading Nate Guenin, Nick Holden or Brad Stuart, but it seems unrealistic. Redmond is on a cheap contract and is a good option as a seventh defenseman. He is a good puck-moving D-man that got the honor to represent Team USA at the IIHF Worlds this year.

As a return, we cannot hope for anything more than a draft pick and also should not ask for anything more. The goal here is, once again, to clear a roster spot. Chris Bigras and Duncan Siemens would like to make the jump next season.

Trade targets: draft picks

Left Wing

More from Avalanche News

This is where it gets interesting. The left wing that could be traded away is Jamie McGinn. He has been talked about as a trade bait for the Avalanche for quite a while and now may be the time to part ways with him.

McGinn is a very good third line power forward that can also help out on the higher lines and has done so a lot for the Avalanche. He had some injury problems last season, but his value should still be high enough to acquire an asset that can help the Avalanche rise again. If help cannot be acquired through free agency, McGinn could either be traded for a defenseman or a bottom-six center.

Trade targets: defenseman, center


There probably aren’t too many Avalanche fans that will support this decision. Nevertheless, the center trade bait is still Ryan O’Reilly. The problem here is not that the Avalanche shouldn’t pay a player $7 million or more. The reason is that they shouldn’t pay him that.

If you want your team to have a balanced salary structure (I will elaborate that in a future article), you likely have room for two or possibly three $7 million contracts. However, those contracts should be handed out to the two or three best players of the roster — and O’Reilly is not one of them. It does not look like he will sign for less. Therefore, a trade is the only option.

Trade targets: D-partner for Erik Johnson, top-six forward (right wing ideally)

Right Wing

The Colorado Avalanche have a right wing problem already. So finding a trade bait here is not as easy as on other positions. To be honest, it was impossible to find someone.

RFA Jordan Caron may not be re-signed, but he likely wouldn’t bring any compensation if a team wants to sign him. Therefore, nobody would trade for his rights either. The rest of the right wings are either untradeable in the current situation (Jarome Iginla, Nate MacKinnon if counted as RW, Dennis Everberg) or were injured and aren’t natural wingers anyway (Freddie Hamilton, Jesse Winchester, Patrick Bordeleau).

Therefore, no right wing is likely to be traded.

As we can see, there aren’t too many options that can make fans hopeful for big improvements. However, any of the above moves could at least make room for those big improvements, which would be a great start. Whether any of them will happen is still as certain as next weeks lottery numbers, so all we can do is wait and see.

Next: Possible RFA Options For Avs

More from Mile High Sticking