Colorado Avalanche: The Ups and Downs of Sam Girard

RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 10: Samuel Girard
RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 10: Samuel Girard /
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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 16: Samuel Girard /

The Future of Sam Girard

I don’t want to call the Devil to prove me wrong, but it’s hard to see how Sam Girard’s future isn’t bright with the Colorado Avalanche. He’s following the typical trajectory of a defenseman — ups and downs while he tries parts of his game out. However, Girard is just doing so at an accelerated pace.

Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche /

Colorado Avalanche

Do I think it’s possible he might regress a little next season? Well, anything’s possible. I don’t know anything about Girard’s summer training. I do know the Avalanche coaching staff is specific in what they want players to work on in the summer. I have a hard time thinking Girard would deviate too much from that.

I imagine Sam will want to return to his native Quebec for at least part of the summer. I’d hope he might train at least some time with one of the veteran defensemen — Johnson, Barrie or even Mark Barberio. Or a veteran defenseman from another team. I mean, that’s worked for Nathan MacKinnon.

Concerning farther in the future… I’m going to make a not-so-bold prediction. In fact, the writing appears to be on the wall. Girard will one day replace Tyson Barrie. It could be at this year’s NHL draft or at next year’s Trade Deadline — or anytime in between — but Barrie will be traded for further building-block assets.

Girard is already better at covering the point on the power play than Barrie — he just doesn’t quarterback it for points like Tyson does… yet. We’ve also got one more smallish offensive defenseman in the pipelines, Cale Makar. While he might not join the team next year, his ceiling is much higher than Barrie’s.

And we will definitely have the puck-moving, offensive skills of defenseman Conor Timmins next season. He’s already signed with the Avalanche. He might season a little in the AHL, but I boldly predict he will see NHL ice next season.

So, as early as next season we can see a sophomore Sam Girard on the ice with at least one more puck moving offensive defenseman (Timmins) if not two (Makar). I just don’t see a place for Girard and Timmins and Makar and Barrie. At a certain point you need actual defense beyond some fancy stickwork.

So, yes, I see the future of Sam Girard as a replacement for Tyson Barrie. Before that happens, I do hope the young Quebecois learns everything he can from our talented rover. I also hope he learns from Barrie how to pack the pounds onto a 5-foot-10 frame.

Next: Sam Girard Player Profile

It’s way, way too early to say the Colorado Avalanche won the Matt Duchene trade. However, I feel pretty safe in saying I think this particular lottery ticket is a winner.