Colorado Avalanche Claim Mark Alt Off Waivers — Why?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 21: Mark Alt
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 21: Mark Alt /
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The Colorado Avalanche made a waiver claim on NHL Trade Deadline Day — Mark Alt of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Colorado Avalanche made a move in the middle hours of the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. It was not a move. The Avalanche made a waiver claim — Mark Alt, a defensive prospect from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Mark Alt is a 26-year-old with good size — 6-foot-4, 201 pounds. He’s a right-hand shot who was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010, 53rd overall. Alt is in the final year of a contract with a $650,000 cap hit. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent afterward.

Fun fact: Mark Alt is the son of former NFL lineman John Alt. He hails from Kansas City, MO. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of another NHLer from Kansas City. There may be some — I just haven’t heard of one.

Because Colorado picked him up as a waiver claim, they can’t put him back on waivers to send him down to San Antonio. That means at the very least they expect to have him sticking around with the team.

Alt is not exactly an NHL-ready defenseman. He’s known as being a big depth defenseman with a shutdown style. He has 9 NHL games to his name with zero points.

So, why did the Colorado Avalanche pick up a borderline NHL defenseman off of waiver on Trade Deadline Day? One possible scenario is that they’re planning on sending Duncan Siemens back to the AHL. That would be awful. Siemens recorded his first NHL point against the Calgary Flames and was largely heralded as the best Av in the 5-1 debacle.

It’s more likely the Avs send David Warsofsky back down.

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Another scenario is that the Avs are really that mad at Nikita Zadorov. Big Z is supposed to step up big time in the face of Erik Johnson’s (presumably season-ending) injury. He’s played horribly in the last couple games, though. He rode the pine for half the game against the Edmonton Oilers and followed it up with another horrible outing against Calgary. Maybe they want to dangle the big Alt in front of Big Z.

Yet another scenario is that the Avalanche needed to fill a roster spot here in Colorado because the San Antonio Rampage are injury-depleted as well. Alt could be expected to do nothing more than sit in the press box.

Another scenario is that the Avalanche plan on making a bigger move and needed… an extra defenseman to throw in?

I mean, we also can’t discount the idea that GM Joe Sakic made this acquisition just to prove he was earning his paycheck on Trade Deadline Day while he’s really just web surfing today.

In any case, the Colorado Avalanche have the longest-ever streak of making a move on Trade Deadline Day at 15 years. I’m not sure if picking up Mark Alt counts as a move, but that’s what they’ve done so far.

Next: Avs Need Home Mojo vs Vancouver

Side note: The St. Louis Blues traded former Avalanche center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2018 1st-rounder, forward Erik Foley and a conditional 4th-rounder in 2020. The Blues have to retain 50% of his salary. He’s a free agent at the end of the season.