Colorado Avalanche: Was the Grimaldi Trade just for Cap Space?

The Colorado Avalanche effected a straight one-for-one trade with the Florida Panthers, backup goalie Reto Berra for Rocco Grimaldi. Were the Avs just trying to free up cap space?

The trade the Colorado Avalanche made with the Florida Panthers was straight up — backup goalie Reto Berra for winger Rocco Grimaldi.

Reto Berra was acquired in a trade deadline deal in 2014 that sent a second-round draft pick to the Calgary Flames in return. In 25 games with the Colorado Avalanche Berra went 10-13-2, recording a .872 save percentage and a 3.63 goals against average. He spent a lot of time with the San Antonio Rampage.

The Florida Panthers drafted Rocco Grimaldi overall in the 2011 draft. He played in 27 games across two seasons, earning six points (three goals, three assists).

The 29-year-old Berra carried a cap hit of $1.45 million, while the 23-year-old Grimaldi’s cap hit is $925,000. And that may tell us something about the trade — the Colorado Avalanche want to free up some cap space.

Overall, I like the trade because the Avs had goalie depth and needed to shed a goalie. And, considering they gave up a 2nd round pick to acquire Berra, it’s good they get one in exchange.

However Grimaldi is small, and he hasn’t proven much at the NHL level yet. Surprising the Avs went through with this trade considering the makeup of their current roster (ie. big). But he does bring speed, and they must have scouted something in his play that makes this trade smart.

Overall, this was a good value trade for Berra, and I sense that they were trying to cut the weight of one of their goalies, and couldn’t expect much more of a return for Berra. If Grimaldi pans out and is able to bring some scoring depth in the bottom 6, then this is a good trade. I’m just hesitant about his size because players at his height are either really quick and skilled (Marty St. Louis) or kind of fizzle out in a few years.

Still, good luck to the young cat, and nice proactive goalie trade by the Colorado Avalanche. I just wish they would have traded Varly instead.

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