According to Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, the team’s approach to the trade deadline is going to be modest.
Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was known as Quoteless Joe in his Hockey Hall of Fame playing days. As the current general manager of the team, he can’t keep his lips tight.
However, Sakic isn’t about to give anything away. When it comes to trades, that’s probably an admirable quality. However, it does leave us here in the fandom guessing.
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Sakic did join Altitude TV to talk about the upcoming trade deadline, which is Monday, February 24 at 1 pm MT.
The burning question right now is whether Sakic will let the current spate of injuries drive his trade deadline decision. The Avalanche are seen as being in win-now mode — their window is wide open to win it all.
While Sakic played his cards close to his chest, he did give us some ideas about how he intends to approach the impending trade deadline.
When asked outright if the rash of injuries will change their approach, Sakic said unequivocally, “No, it won’t change anything.” As he pointed out, all the currently injured players will be back by the end of the year. He also stated confidence in the current group to “get through” until the injured players return.
"“I believe in this group. We’ve got a lot of character in that dressing room.”"
As he pointed out — and I’ve noticed myself — the team plays well even when key players are injured. They seem to band together and play a team game.
Sakic had one more thing to add on that topic:
"“It hasn’t paid off for a lot of teams, giving up assets for a run.”"
The team doesn’t look poised to make a change based on injuries. Not do they want a purely rental player for the playoff run.
Sakic did mention one specific the team would be interested in: “We’e going to look to see if we can add a depth goal tender just to protect ourselves.”
According to Sakic, the front offices have been looking at potential trades for around a month. He said there are some guys “we think would be a good fit for our group, our dressing room, impact players.”
Sakic said of their approach, “We know what we’d like to add, but we also know what we’re not willing to part with.”
That latter seems pretty obvious. Beyond the actual stars, Colorado seems pretty unwilling to deal their two first-rounders from last summer, Bowen Byram and Alex Newhook. They probably wouldn’t move Conor Timmins either.
Ultimately, Sakic summed up his pleasure with the current roster but did add, “It’s my job to look to see what we can do here.”
Analysis for Trade Deadline Day
As our GM said, the Colorado Avalanche have depth. They’re the best they’ve been in a long time.
The team has a good mix of youngsters and veterans, including those with Stanley Cup experience. They also have some good options at every position to roll four lines and three defensive pairings. They have a lot of finesse and a little grit.
There are, however, a couple glaring weaknesses. That last point is one — grit. They don’t have a ton of grinding capability. Granted, that lack is exacerbated by the loss of Nazem Kadri and Matt Calvert. However, they were never strong in that respect.
Grit is still a necessary part of North American hockey. Look at the last two teams to win the Stanley Cup — the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues. Both teams feature some greasy players that make facing their teams unpleasant.
The other glaring weakness is goal tending. Their second and third string goalies were undrafted. As Sakic said, a depth goal tender would help augment the team.
Now, I don’t know which players are available. Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was at the game tonight, supposedly because his daughter goes to college here. Colorado has scouts at the Habs-Wings game. No idea who Montreal might decide to dangle.
The NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching. I don’t believe the Colorado Avalanche are going to make a big splash. They will certainly make a trade — I don’t think Sakic can stop himself from making a trade. However, I believe it will be for depth players.