Colorado Avalanche Rebuild: Finding Defense Before Deadline is Difficult

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are certainly exploring all of their available options before the deadline, but making that big trade is going to be difficult.

The rumors before the trade deadline continue to be dominated by the Colorado Avalanche. However, making a trade to acquire a young defenseman before the deadline will be difficult for the Avs to complete.

Usually, it could be done, but the expansion draft throws a wrench in too many deals this year.

For example if the Colorado Avalanche take on another defenseman without dealing Francois Beauchemin, then they suddenly have to protect Beauchemin, said defenseman they acquire — depending on how long he’s been in the league — Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov.

That leaves them with the ability to protect three forwards and one goaltender.

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This is probably the reason the Colorado Avalanche are reportedly only looking for young defensemen that are still very much prospects. Then, they wouldn’t have to worry about protecting said defenseman.

However, teams are also dealing with the expansion draft and how much value they could lose if they don’t make trades. This also throws a wrench in things because teams want value for their prospects, and aren’t willing to budge on that value.

The Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes are two teams that are dealing with too much defensive depth for the expansion draft at this point.

Which is why a big trade for that defenseman the Avs have been looking for seems unlikely before this summer.

Wait for the Summer, or Pull the Trigger Now?

Francois Beauchemin is in the twilight of his career, and he may want to go to a contender this year. However, teams that take him on in a trade would also have to deal with another year of his 4.5 million cap hit.

I’m not sure if they would need to protect him though if he’s already waived his no-movement clause to be traded in the first place. Anyone know the answer to that question?

Regardless, finding a suitor for Beauchemin is not going to be easy because of that 4.5 million cap hit.

So, the question remains, is it in the best interest for the Avs to make a big deal at the deadline, or wait for the summer?

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When the Avs dealt Ryan O’Reilly, they waited for the summer, and received a nice return in the deal. Nonetheless, that trade is not the best barometer this year because the Avs still needed Ryno for a playoff push that year.

This year, the playoffs are out of the question. So, if a deal is there, then the Avs would obviously want to pull the trigger. However, depending on who they trade for, they could be forced to let go of someone for free in the expansion draft, and that is obviously not ideal.

Regardless of what the Avs end up doing at the deadline, they will still have to expose a player they’d probably rather hold onto.

At this point, it’s probably better for the Avs to wait for the summer, but the summer may not present the Avs with the best value for who they want to trade.


The Colorado Avalanche certainly want to get the best value possible for trading a core player. Yet, it’s difficult to ascertain whether the value they could get would be best during the summer, or at the deadline.

When they traded O’Reilly, they were able to acquire a real nice return, but that deal might not be there this summer.

Who knows, the Avs could end up holding onto both Matt Duchene and Gabe Landeskog for next season, and just dealing their depth players.

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The draft pick they are likely to get this year is also going to play a roll in who the deal. Seeing as prospects have a lot more time to prove their worth, it may be best if the Avs wait to make a deal until the offseason strikes.

The teams that are going to end up targeting Matt Duchene and Gabe Landeskog are not the deepest in their prospect ranks. However, the Ducks have a lot of depth at defense, and could use a player like Landy or Duchy for a Stanley Cup run.

The trade deadline inches closer and closer, and rumors are going to continue to heat up. However, at this point it seems like the Avs would do well to hold onto their talent until the offseason.

The expansion draft is just too much of an unknown currently. Hopefully, the Avs can find a way to make some good moves at the deadline regardless of whether or not they deal away big names.