Hot Take: The Colorado Avalanche shouldn’t make a splashy trade

ST LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 11: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on December 11, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 11: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on December 11, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche want to repeat for the cup, but maybe, just maybe, that means letting the team gel with the prospects. In my opinion, the Avs shouldn’t be focused on a big-name trade this season.

Yes, it seems enticing when a player like Bo Horvat is involved in the conversation and who recently has been rumored to have rejected a contract extension from the Vancouver Canucks. Sure, a trade could put this team over the top when Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews who are on a terrible Chicago team are being floated as trade bait to the Avs by national reporters. However, there are many reasons why adding these players may not be in the best interest of the Colorado Avalanche.

Let’s start with the obvious one–our injury situation. Gabriel Landeskog and Darren Helm have yet to suit up for a game. That’s a top-line winger (our team captain), and powerplay/penalty-killing specialist that have missed every single game this season. The good news is, both players have started skating. While their recovery has taken longer than expected, adding Landy and Helm in the next month or so will be a big boost for the Avalanche. Not to mention, Nathan MacKinnon, Evan Rodrigues, Bowen Byram, Josh Manson, and Kurtis MacDermid are also all out currently with injuries. The hope is most of these players will be back by January (Rodrigues could play tonight), putting the Avalanche on a trajectory to get some win streaks going and locking up a decent playoff position come April/May.

Building off of the injury discussion comes the topic of our prospects. Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen top developmental players getting shipped out just to make a run at the cup. (Drew Helleson and Justin Barron anyone?) There’s also been plenty of 1st and 2nd round picks shipped out, (thanks Darcy Kuemper et al.) which has diminished our pool of new prospects coming in. But, we’re finally seeing some of the system guys stepping up, and they look every bit as advertised.

Jean-Luc Foudy and Ben Meyers are the names that come to mind. Meyers is 24 years old and in his first full season with the Avs. (He was signed as a UDFA last spring). Foudy is also in his first season with the Avalanche after spending the last two with the Colorado Eagles. Both players have played less than 10 games with the team but both are averaging over 11 minutes on the ice with 5 shots (Meyers) and 12 shots (Foudy). They’ve been paired with Charles Hudon on the third line who’s averaging over 13 minutes of ice time and has 16 shots. Simply put, they are clicking, creating chances and once they get that first goal as a unit, look out. These are also the names that most likely would be involved in any trade discussions along with Oskar Olausson, who has every indication of being a good, if not great, player with a little more development.

Lastly, we need to address the cap situation. Acquiring a high-level player is going to mean a big contract is needed to get him to hang around after one season. Bo Horvat, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane ALL become UFAs at the end of the 2023 campaign. Not only that, but they are on massive deals right now that the Avs simply can’t afford without shipping a player like Girard out just to get us some more cap space. Guys like Foudy and Meyers are still on entry-level deals, and you might be able to keep around for a while on friendly contracts in the future.

I get the allure of wanting to add another superstar. It would be super fun to watch the boys put up 10 goals against every opponent, but the Colorado Avalanche have plenty of stars to get the job done. They also have some young talent that is showing potential. If you truly want to build a legacy, then it’s time the Avs start paying attention to their future, and not some elite veterans of yesterday.