Colorado Avalanche Should Consider Trading Chris Bigras

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are severely lacking defensive depth in their organization, so it would probably be foolish to trade Chris Bigras, right?

Wrong actually, Chris Bigras might have more value to the Colorado Avalanche as a trade asset, rather than a roster player.

After starting this season in the AHL with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in nine games, Bigras has cooled off considerably. He now has just 8 points in the 24 games since returning from injury.

Granted, his season was derailed by injury. Still, Bigras has just three points in the last 12 games for the Rampage.

The San Antonio Rampage have lost all 12 of those games, but that shouldn’t hinder his production. In fact, his production is likely contributing to the losses the Rampage are accruing right now.

I’m not trying to bash Chris Bigras. He’s a great defenseman who isn’t too flashy, and is responsible, but the Avs just don’t need him.

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They already have Nikita Zadorov as their future on the left side. Furthermore, a Matt Duchene trade for a top-tier left-handed defenseman seems inevitable this offseason.

Chris Bigras is a top four defenseman, and the Avs will likely be set in their top four on the left side by the time next season begins.

So, why not trade one of their more enticing prospects?

They won’t need him in the bottom pairing, with players like Duncan Siemens, Mason Geertsen, Sergei Boikov, Andrei Mironov and Will Butcher still in their system. One of those players is bound to develop into a bottom pairing left handed defenseman.

There are a couple different ways the Avs could move Bigras too.

Including Chris Bigras in Big Trade Could Tip the Scales Enough to Get Deal Done

Matt Duchene’s continued frustration is starting to be a bane for the Avs at this point.

In Saturday night’s contest, he was demoted to the “third line” and he had the following to say on the matter, according to the Denver Post:

"I’m not going to give you much on this. I can’t right now. … This is crazy. Know what? I’m going to keep working, be a good team guy. I’ve been here before. I can work out of it. That’s the way things have gone this year."

He’s also been nonplussed by the amount of media — myself included — asking for his departure, or citing his lack of production, and here’s what he had to say right before the deadline:

"I mean, I want to win. Whatever it takes for that to happen, that’s what I want. That’s my answer, I guess. I mean, it’s out of my control. I’ve made clear my opinion in the past, and that’s kind of the way it’s staying."

He’s obviously frustrated by the Avs right now, and seems willing to make a change if it will bring him a chance at winning. And there’s certainly nothing definitive about his desire to stay in Colorado in that answer above.

It seems likely the Avs will make a move to acquire the defenseman they are looking for. It also seems likely that Duchene will be fine with a trade, even if it means the end of a dream that started on his draft day.

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So, if Chris Bigras can be a kicker in a trade that involves Matt Duchene and a top-flight defenseman, then the Avs should absolutely include his rights.

Teams trading for Matt Duchene are aware of the cost, and the cost is high. However, they may be more willing to complete the deal if they are getting a touted top four defenseman in return.

But, that’s not the only way Chris Bigras can be traded.

Chris Bigras Could Be Traded in a Deal that Involves a Swapping of Prospects

Generally it’s difficult to get teams to trade prospects before they’ve proven what they can be. However, it’s more of a common thing nowadays, and it also works out well with second round picks.

For example, the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators traded Pat Sieloff and Alex Chiasson last summer. Both were former second round draft choices.

Chris Bigras could certainly fetch the Colorado Avalanche another top six forward prospect.

They could be interested in someone like Ryan Hartman from the Chicago Blackhawks, who was drafted two picks before Bigras at No. 32 overall in the 2013 NHL draft.

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Or, the Avs could target a player like Adam Erne from the Tampa Bay Lightning, or Valentin Zykov from the Carolina Hurricanes, drafted at No. 33 overall and No. 37 overall respectively.

The problem is, the Avs don’t really know what either of those players are capable of, and no one really knows what Chris Bigras is capable of.

That is why this prospect swap trade is less likely than the trade that helps tip the scales, at least for now.

Whatever the Avs decide to do with Bigras, they should at least consider trading him this offseason.


It’s tough for the Avs to consider trading one of their higher rated prospects. However, Bigras might have a ton of value on the open market, and the Avs need to explore all options for improvement.

Chris Bigras is going to be a top four defenseman, and the Avs just simply don’t need his services. Nikita Zadorov is ahead of him on the depth chart. Furthermore, if the Avs are able to trade Duchene this summer for a top-flight left-handed defenseman, Bigras becomes even more obsolete.

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He is also very close to being NHL ready. If the Avs don’t include Bigras in a Duchene deal, they should try to acquire a top six forward for him.

There are teams looking for defensive depth just as much as the Avalanche. There are also teams who currently have some cap space problems, who might also be interested in Bigras if the Avs target a player of theirs.

Whatever happens, the Colorado Avalanche need to consider any and all options that can improve their team. Chris Bigras could be a great option for the Avs to trade in their quest back to relevancy.