Colorado Avalanche: Angry Fans if There’s No Trade

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

The Colorado Avalanche seem to be keeping quiet during the 2017 NHL trade deadline. How angry will fans be if they make no trades?

Colorado Avalanche fans are on tenterhooks waiting for the 2017 NHL trade deadline to pass.

The 24-hour mark before the NHL trade deadline has technically come and gone, though trades can be finalized after March 1, 1:00 pm MST. So far the biggest trade has been the St. Louis Blues sending defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals.

Actually, that’s about the biggest Avalanche news this trade deadline so far, by virtue of the fact the Shattenkirk was one an Avs player. Otherwise, the team has been dead silent.

Does that mean GM Joe Sakic is doing nothing? Of course not. He’s got the two players that are the center of the hottest trade rumors — Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog — on his team right now. At bare minimum he’s fielding calls for said players.

Plus, Denver Post writer Mike Chambers reports Sakic has remained in Denver to keep working:

It’s been reported several times over that the ask for either of those players is a young, NHL-ready defenseman, a draft pick and a prospect. General managers have scoffed at that offer, saying it’s too high.

Then the Martin Hanzal trade happened. Yesterday the Minnesota Wild picked up Hanzal and fellow forward Ryan While, along with a fourth rounder in 2017. The price? Forward Grayson Downing, a first rounder in 2017, a second rounder in 2018 and a conditional pick in 2019.

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How could you say Duchene or Landeskog would be worth less than Martin Hanzal, who’s 30 and whose career-best in points was 40 three years ago? Duchene’s career-best was 70 the same season, while Landeskog’s was 65 that season. Duchene is 26 and Landeskog 24.

Anyway, the price for either of those players isn’t the point. The point is that, as much as Avs fans say they don’t want GM Joe Sakic to make a trade just to do something, they really do.

More to the point, they want Sakic to unload some contracts and pick up some draft picks. I think the general consensus is that no one wants to see Duchene or Landeskog go unless the return is huge — this isn’t the Ryan O’Reilly situation from a couple years ago.

We all dream about Sakic being able to unload Semyon Varlamov ($5.9 million cap hit through 2019) or Carl Soderberg (($4.75 million cap hit through 2020). That’s not very realistic, though.

We’d love to see him send Blake Comeau ($2.4 million through 2018), Joe Colborne ($2.5 million through 2018) or Francois Beauchemin ($4.5 million through 2018) to another team. That would free up so much cap space for next year that it would mitigate the dead weight of Varlamov’s and Soderberg’s.

That’s a remote possibility, and it would be great to get some draft picks for those players (Preferably for next year since this one is so thin).

In reality, the Colorado Avalanche might have a better chance of sending off “rental players” — those whose contracts are up at the end of the season. Here are some players other teams might be interested in:

I think we’d all be delighted to get any kind of draft pick (though again 2018 is preferable) for those players.

I deliberately left one name off that list — Jarome Iginla‘s. His contract is up at the end of the season. He has acknowledged he’s not part of the Avs future and he’d like to be traded to a playoff-bound team.

I’d say Avs fans would be rather irritated if Sakic didn’t get some draft picks in return for one of those rental players or, even better, Beauchemin, Colborne or Comeau.

I think we’d all feel angry, though, if Jarome Iginla is an Avalanche after tomorrow. He may not have performed for our team as well as we’d have liked, but we still respect him. We’d like to see him go out in style, with a contending team.

Next: Guide to Surviving the NHL Trade Deadline

My thought is Joe Sakic will do everything he can to make this trade happen out of respect — and his own personal experience. There’s no way he can’t be thinking of Ray Bourque coming to the Colorado Avalanche for one last rodeo.

He won’t beggar the team to make it happen. But I bet he retains salary and maybe even throws in a journeyman — Cody Goloubef needs a new home.

If we got a draft pick (even 2017) back for Iggy, well, that would just be the icing on the cake.