Colorado Avalanche: Calvin Pickard’s Trade Value


The Colorado Avalanche has a goalie problem. Not the Edmonton Oilers kind, but rather the Vancouver Canucks kind. Trading one of them may help — but is it worth it?

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In the 2015 NHL offseason, the Vancouver Canucks decided to trade Eddie Lack. Before that, they had traded Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo. Basically, their thought process must have been: we have too many goalies and at least one of them isn’t happy. Let’s solve everything by trading all of them. A good move?

For the Canucks, it may have been the right thing to do. For the Colorado Avalanche, however, it’s a little bit different. As of right now, the Avs have one elite starter, one not-exactly-elite backup and one possibly-soon-to-be elite starter who is currently in the AHL. Recently, I looked at the possibility of trading Reto Berra, the current NHL backup, to the Buffalo Sabres, while making Calvin Pickard the backup — good idea, right?

Well, it might be, but it might also not be. A fan made a valid point in the comments:

"I could see the Sabres being much more interested in Pickard. They would have to give up more than 6th rd pick. But the deal could work for the Avs. Varly is the guy for the Avs so why not flip Pickard for something useful.Either way It’s a good chance for the Avs to move an extra piece to a team in need and get some salary cap relief or picks/prospects. It’s always better to the team trading from a position of power and not desperation so this could work out for the Avs.— WorkingMan"

Obviously, Berra has had his struggles and he won’t be around for too much longer. Pickard, however, has his brightest days still ahead of him. Logically, he could be more interesting for Buffalo.

Then again, the Sabres know what they would be getting in Berra, while Pickard is still a bit of a wild card. He has only appeared in 16 NHL games so far and he’s only in his fourth pro season. So, he could totally turn out to be below Berra level. Even if the Sabres were 100 percent convinced that he can be a great starter for the franchise for years to come, the Avalanche likely wouldn’t get a lot in return.

The Canucks got a third and a seventh-round pick for Lack.

The Boston Bruins got a first-round pick and a no-name prospect in return for Martin Jones.

The Ottawa Senators got a first-round pick in return for Robin Lehner and David Legwand.

The San José Sharks got a seventh-round pick in return for Antti Niemi.

So, the only big-ish return for a starting goalie last offseason was a draft pick and a prospect for Martin Jones. All other goaltenders did not exactly bring back a lot. If the Avalanche was to send an AHL goalie away — which is what Pickard is at this point — we probably can’t expect anything more than a second-round pick for him. So would it be worth giving him away?

The answer is most certainly no. Not only because the return wouldn’t be enough, but also because it would make zero sense to trade Pickard. If everything works out, Pickard is the Colorado Avalanche’s future. He may be stuck behind Berra right now, but the Swiss goalie will be gone soon enough. In a Pickard trade, the Avalanche would lose Pickard, not win the return.

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