Colorado Avalanche Need Sustained Success to Make Rebuild Stick

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 02: Erik Johnson
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 02: Erik Johnson /
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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 29: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov /

Needed Pieces for the Colorado Avalanche

So, we’re all in agreement that the Colorado Avalanche need to keep on keeping on. However, while there shouldn’t be as much turnover as there was last season, we still need key pieces for the rebuild to continue.

No one really agreed on this one.

Ross Sellers thinks we need wingers:

Wingers, of course. This team needs wingers so badly. Of the top six ilk as well.”

Conversely, Mark Kinz thinks we need centers:

They may not need to necessarily “add” this, but at the moment, it’s unclear as to who the second line center is. Before he was injured, J.T. Compher was playing well beyond what anyone thought his potential was, and made a strong case for himself. However, Alex Kerfoot would be an obvious choice, as he’s easily the best rookie on the team right now. And of course, Tyson Jost was expected to fill this role upon the Duchene trade, so he could still develop into a clear #2. Until the center situation is cleared up, however, the team couldn’t be hurt by acquiring more young depth players on the wings, especially if some of the vets are traded away.

There was a little agreement between Ross Kleppe and Tom Janz. Here’s what Tom said:

I think the biggest hole in the Avalanche organization is in net. I don’t think Varly or Bernie are solid long-term answers in net. Spencer Martin has not developed all that well in the AHL. He’s not bad, but doesn’t appear to be ready to be an NHL ready goalie at the moment. I’m NOT advocating trading for a goalie right now, but I think the team will need to add one eventually to get deep into the playoffs in future seasons.

Ross concurred somewhat:

The young forwards are continuing to get important minutes and there is significant prospect defenseman depth for the first time in a while. The biggest question on this team remains the goaltending position. Jonathan Bernier has been absolutely stellar this season in relief of Varlomov. The problem is inconsistency has been Bernier’s main issue his whole career and Varlomov unfortunately cannot stay healthy. If I was Joe Sakic, I would seriously look at the goalie market in the offseason to see who’s available through trade, free agency, or even the draft.”

Again, everyone has made key points. I’d say what the Colorado Avalanche need most is future superstar Rasmus Dahlin, but the odds are against that happening. Aside from him, I don’t think the Avs need anything more on defense.

Right now the Carl Soderberg-Matthew Nieto-Blake Comeau line is the team’s second-hottest line. That can’t be sustainable. Those are third- and fourth-liners.

Alexander Kerfoot, Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher are the up-and-comers. We need to solidify how those three players will consistently be top-nine for the Avalanche. I’ll explore that further in a future post, but Sellers may have a point that we need some wingers.

I think it’s become glaringly obvious that the Avs have an impending goalie situation. Semyon Varlamov’s groin has never been what it was in 2013-14 — that was as much of a mirage as their Central Division title. We’ll have to drill down how to solve that situation in future posts, but something other than Varly’s groin has got to give at goal tending.