Colorado Avalanche Shake Up: Possible Player Changes


Wednesday I wrote about how the Colorado Avalanche culture was ruining the growth of the young players, and I concluded by saying that organization change doesn’t come easy. And it won’t, but something needs to change on this team. The personnel is simply too good to be at the bottom of the division again.

My fellow contributor Janik Beichler did a great job honing in on some possible changes the Avalanche can make yesterday. But I want to focus on players available to trade. A big trade. Thus prospects and peripherals to the team- such Jack Skille- won’t be included. Were talking pieces of the core here. I’m sure no one will disagree in the comments.

Anyways, there’s obviously untouchables on the team such as Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and probably Tyson Barrie. Other then that I think it’s time to make a splash. Here are the choices.


Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I can’t guarantee anyone’s safe, (besides Mac-Daddy and Landeskog), but potential shake ups also need to have value. Lets go over our possible forward choices. Remember, one Avalanche player has to go!

Matt Duchene– He was once primed to be a super star, now I feel like the only headlines we see about Duchene are wondering when is newest scoring drought is going to end. He lacks two way skills, but he still has the tools to be a 35 goal scorer. Obviously his value has taken a hit given his current struggles, but if we’re going for a splash and want something decent back in return Duchene might be our guy.

Jarome Iginla– The future Hall of Famer has bucked his usual slow start in favor of 3 goals and 5 points through 8 games. He’s certainly a tough veteran that a young team such as Tampa Bay would covet. His reputation probably bolsters his trade value above his actual worth at this point. I’m not sure how big of a shakeup trading Iginla really would be though, I see him more as a dying rental then a true Avalanche. Maybe the players feel different.

Carl Soderberg– So far, for me, Soderberg has been a whole lot of nothing this year, and that’s despite seeing 17-18 minutes a game. Granted head coach Patrick Roy hasn’t given him much to work with during most of his whacky line combinations. Could have some value on the market, but as a new signing I doubt it would make a huge change to the Avalanche. He’s approached the 50 point mark twice and actually has decent production this year with 4 points, but I still question the value. Lastly, Soderberg is already directly contradicting Roy to the media, I’m sure Roy doesn’t appreciate that.

Alex Tanguay– A lot like Iginla without the reputation, however Tanguay’s recent comments show that he’s playing to win; despite how his terrible forechecking skills sometimes make it appear. He’s not nearly the offensive force he used to be, but some sneaky good hands and great offensive awareness might net the Avalanche a small return.

John Mitchell– Personally I think he is one of the most underrated players on the team. In fact, ignore his name I’m not letting him go.

All the other forwards– We’re looking for splash and something in return here. Let’s not waste our time.

THE VERDICT FOR FORWARDS- Matt Duchene! He’s the only player who can get significant value, and let’s be honest his lack of two way play is not a good example for the other young players. He used to run the show in Denver, but now it’s MacKinnon’s time. I vote Duchene is the Avalanche player who is… THE WEAKEST LINK!!!


Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

So for a trade to be worthwhile there needs to be an Avalanche player with value, on defensive that becomes a challenge because the only players with value are the only things keeping them from losing by 6 goals every night. Francois Beauchemin is out of the question because he’s truly solid and doesn’t have much value in a league where teams are looking for young puck moving defenseman.

Erik Johnson– EJ was long considered a bust as a first overall pick but has really developed the last two years on both sides of the ice. His stock is probably as high as anyone’s on the Avalanche right now because of it. Good puck moving D are a hot commodity in the league and Johnson brings size and defensive prowess with it. Obviously it would be hard to give up one of, if not the best Avalanche D, especially after the contract extension. At the same time it probably just adds to what the Avalanche could get back.

Tyson Barrie– Widely regarded to become an elite talent in the NHL, Tyson has even better offensive awareness then EJ. In addition he is a great skater and plays decent enough D. He is undersized, but his positives more then compensate. Tyson Barrie is probably the most valuable asset on the list because of his promising future.

All other D– We’re looking at players with value. So no.


So Who’s Gone?

Honestly, I think it’s Matt Duchene from a logical, build-the-team-now stand point. If they could get a solid top 4 defenseman and a pick for Duchene I would be happy. At the same time he’s considered the core of the team and I doubt management is willing to part with him. If we’re looking for the most in return Tyson Barrie is your guy for his bright future in a league where fast defenseman are becoming increasingly needed. Goalies can be saved for another day.

Feel free to share your thoughts down below, but the Avalanche need to do something to get this group going. Columbus tried to do a big trade before firing their coach, I doubt franchise legend Roy is going anywhere, so pick your player to go!

Next: Avs Need to Find Their Fire

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