Colorado Avalanche Should Have Pursued Alexander Radulov with Conviction

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are on the road to face the Montreal Canadiens, and they’ll get a good look at Alexander Radulov, a player they should have pursued with more conviction over the summer.

When Patrick Roy resigned from the Colorado Avalanche he sited issues concerning the vision of the team. That’s basically common knowledge at this point.

One of the probable disagreements likely had to do with the way the Avs went about pursuing the rights to Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov.

Well, Radulov has been pretty impressive so far this year for the Canadiens. He has 21 points (5g, 16a) in 26 games, and has been a steady presence all year long.

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Those five goals give the Canadiens a reason for optimism too because Radulov is generally viewed as a sniper. In fact, this is his lowest goals per game total over the entirety of his NHL career (which isn’t very long).

He has also been a beast possessing the puck, with a 52.4 percent Corsi-for percentage on a very good possession team. I mean, he’s second overall in team scoring.

In other words, the Avs made a big mistake passing up on the winger over the summer.

Patrick Roy Was Right About this Team

Let’s get a couple things straight here. I am by no means supportive of Patrick Roy’s coaching style because possessing the puck is extremely important. And, scoring goals and not giving up a ton of shots is also important (although Jared Bednar hasn’t been much better in that department).

However, I do respect the fact that he knew this team needed a change over the summer.

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One of the biggest things he seemed to be advocating for was the return of Alexander Radulov to his coaching wings. Remember, he coached Radulov in the QMJHL.

However, the price was steep for Radulov. A lot of teams ended up backing out for the running of Radulov actually. But the Canadiens hung in there, and now that decision is paying dividends.

For the Avs to get Radulov though, they probably would have had to trade Tyson Barrie. But, in retrospect, would that have been the worst of decisions?

In other words, Radulov is making 5.75 million this season on a one-year contract, and he has been wonderful. Meanwhile, Barrie is making 5.5 million this season on a four-year contract, and he has been pretty bad.

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Barrie is the worst on the Avs in +/-, he has a dismal Corsi-for percentage, and he gives the puck away like it’s his job. Worst of all, he doesn’t take the puck back enough to make any of his offensive risks worth it.

Is it as Simple as a One-to-One Comparison?

Maybe it’s unfair to compare the stats of Barrie and Radulov because they play different positions. They also play for two teams that could not be more opposite in the standings right now.

And yeah, there isn’t much worth to the +/- stat. However, Barrie is consistently the worst on the team in that stat, so there’s something there.

Nonetheless, to me it came down to a decision, and so far it appears as if the Avs made the wrong decision. The point is, they could have used the money they gave Barrie to give Radulov a contract. Then, they could have traded Barrie for a more reliable defenseman.

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Two problems solved with the use of one player. Not only would the Avs have a more solid defense, but they would also have a more balanced scoring attack.

Eh, hindsight is 20/20. But, the more I think about it, the more I see Roy’s argument in all of this. He may not have been the best coach, but to me it certainly seems like his vision of the team was spot on.

Too bad we had to lose Roy the front-office man along with Roy the coach. It would have been nice to see him slide into a front-office position. Maybe that’s just me.


Perhaps it’s not as simple as what I’ve detailed above. However, there were a bunch of teams interested in Barrie’s services, and it is well documented that Radulov wanted to come to the Colorado Avalanche.

However, there are other things to consider as well.

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For example, would Radulov play for the Avalanche if Roy wasn’t the coach? Would he have even been able to develop chemistry with our forwards? And who says the defenseman we would have gotten for Barrie would have been able to contribute defensively more than Barrie? Or, if the Avs would have even traded Barrie for a defenseman.

It’s just interesting to speculate, especially because Radulov has been so successful this season. And, because I believe we can rather safely assume that the Avs had every intention of signing Barrie, which is why they couldn’t pursue Radulov.

Maybe the link isn’t as strong as I am suggesting, but I think there is something there. Anyway, the Avs play the Habs on Saturday night at 5:00 pm MST in the Bell Centre. Hopefully they’ll be able to string a couple wins together.