Colorado Avalanche: 4 Players the Team Must Unload

Jan 2, 2017; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) defends against Vancouver Canucks forward Henrik Sedin (33) during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2017; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) defends against Vancouver Canucks forward Henrik Sedin (33) during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Carl Soderberg

Position: Center

Age: 31

Height: 6’3

Weight: 210 lbs

Shoots: Left

Contract:  $4.75 million cap hit through 2020

Carl Soderberg is younger than Beauchemin, but he’s slightly more expensive and signed on for two years beyond Francois.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up Soderberg as a poor man’s Ryan O’Reilly. They needed a big, two-way center to take O’Reilly’s place in preparation for trading Ryan to Buffalo.

Soderberg had a lot of potential — in his early years, when he kept playing in Sweden rather than report to his NHL team, the Boston Bruins. The Avs’ big mistake with Carl was believing he still had the same level of potential as he neared 30. His 51 points last season were the highest of his NHL career.

This season, Soderberg only looks good for around 20 points. That’s hardly worth $4.75 million.

Scenario: Carl Soderberg would be even harder to unload than Francois Beauchemin. Again, the Colorado Avalanche’s best hope is a two-way center on a contending team gets injured, making them desperate. As with a Beauchemin trade, the Avs would probably have to retain salary.

Soderberg has a limited No-Trade clause, which means there are 10 teams Colorado cannot sent him to. I’m not sure if that includes the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights. If not, exposing him in the expansion draft is an option.

Otherwise, Colorado might as well keep him and bury him in the bottom six. It’s not like they have a fantastic two-way center coming up the ranks, thus necessitating vacating a roster spot.