Colorado Avalanche: Potential New Teams for Joe Colborne

Dec 22, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Joe Colborne (8) in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Joe Colborne (8) in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche might try to trade forward Joe Colborne for draft picks. There are three teams who might bite.

All is quiet on the Colorado Avalanche trade front. As sports writers watch for a potential blockbuster trade involving Matt Duchene and/or Gabriel Landeskog, I believe the names are going to be a lot smaller.

Well, Colborne at 6-foot-5, 221 pounds is hardly smaller than those two players — quite the opposite.

The playoff hunt is just heating up. For about 20 teams, there’s either a viable chance they’ll make a deep run in the playoffs or at least get invited to the dance. For the rest of us, it’s time to sell off some contracts.

One of the things GM Joe Sakic wants to do is free up cap space. Maybe he’s planning a big trade this summer or maybe he’s thinking of throwing money at some free agents — or both — but he’s made no bones about the fact that he want’s to trim the fat of the Avalanche’s salary cap.

Joe Colborn’s salary isn’t exactly fat, but it’s one that would be on the books next season, too. Let’s look at the idea of trading the big forward.

Joe Colborne

Position: Forward
Height: 6′ 5
Weight: 221 lbs
Contract: $2.5 million cap hit through 2018
Age: 27

Joe Colborne has struggled this season the same as every Colorado Avalanche player. He scored a hat trick to start his Avs career on opening night then went dry until February 12. That means he’s got just four goals (and one assist) in 50 games.That’s not a lot to attract some teams, I know.

However, there’s that size, and there’s his versatility. He can play all three forward positions.Colborne can jump into a power forward role in the right situations. He’d be a good fit for a team looking for some big depth for a long playoff run. Let’s look at who might take Colborne on.

Anaheim Ducks

Except for the whole inconsistency part, Joe Colborne is a forward in the Anaheim Ducks’ model. They like big, bruising forwards who can still score.

What’s more, the Anaheim Ducks feel they have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. They’ve been coming so close. They’ve got to be looking to keep some strength on their team for a deep playoff run. They’ve been pretty consistent at second place in the Pacific Division this season.

With Injured Reserve cap relief, the Anaheim Ducks have about $2.8 million cap space. They also have a few UFAs coming off the books this summer. They could probably afford Colborne.

The Ducks have the following draft picks: 1,2,3,4,5. Weirdly, the second and third are conditional picks. Anaheim likes to make trades.

And Colorado likes to trade with the Ducks, or at least pick up Anaheim players. Ahem, Francois Beauchemin.

Boston Bruins

When you think big, bruising teams, your mind should go to the Boston Bruins.

Reportedly, Joe Sakic was in negotiations with the Bruins to send Landeskog to Boston. The deal fell apart supposedly because the Bs didn’t want to part with Brandon Carlo.

Maybe the phone lines are still open, and maybe Colborne would fill Boston’s need for some bottom-six help. Currently the Bruins are in the third seed in the Atlantic Division.

They seem to have tons of money — over $17 million in cap space.

Boston has the following draft picks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 7. I don’t think I’d be upset if Colorado took the sixth rounder for Colborne, though I’d be happier with the fourth.

Philadelphia Flyers

More from Mile High Sticking

The Philadelphia Flyers might be something of a long shot. That’s because they’re definitely a bubble team. The Flyers are currently four points out of a playoff spot, but third in line for the last wild card berth.

That said, Philadelphia is another team that likes size and the power forward style — they pride themselves on being the Broad Street Bullies, after all. Maybe Colborne could be part of their plans for revamping the team next season.

The Flyers don’t have much cap space — just under $2 million. That means the Colorado Avalanche would have to retain some salary or take a player back in trade. That would make this trade a lot harder because then we’d be talking some big pieces moving.

Philadelphia has a plethora of draft picks: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7. If Colorado is retaining some salary, then I want to see them get a higher pick for Colborne — at least one of those third rounders. I’d prefer the second rounder.

Hey, Colorado traded their second rounder a while back for Reto Berra. Things like that happen.

MORE FROM MILE HIGH STICKING: Finding a Team for Blake Comeau

Acquiring Joe Colborne in free agency wasn’t the biggest blunder GM Joe Sakic made — Brad Stuart was probably the worst. However, Colborne really didn’t work out this season. There’s no reason to think he’d work out next season. So, hopefully the Colorado Avalanche can find a new spot for him — and get some more draft picks.

By Nadia Archuleta for Mile High Sticking