Hypothetical trade brings Kerfoot back to Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche v Calgary Flames - Game Two
Colorado Avalanche v Calgary Flames - Game Two / Derek Leung/GettyImages

While scrolling through the twitter verse (Xverse?) earlier today, a tweet from Colorado Avalanche analyst Adrian Dater popped into my feed about the Avalanche re-acquiring Alex Kerfoot. Read the tweet for yourself:

It is NHL trade deadline season and rumors are rampant. Kerfoot returning may help the Avalanche for the stretch run.

The 5’11”, 186-pound Kerfoot spent the first two years of his NHL career in Denver and has since played for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Arizona Coyotes (currently). Through 60 games this season, Kerfoot has 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 total points. He’s also a minus-11 this season, however Arizona has been in a free fall of late and is not playing well defensively at all.

While in Colorado, Kerfoot enjoyed solid seasons of 43 and then 42 points over close to 82 full games (79 then 78).

Why would the Avalanche make a trade like this and who would they ship off were immediate questions that popped into my head.

The Avalanche should acquire Kerfoot to fill the second center role. It’s been a struggle all season, with several different players getting quality minutes there, but not producing a ton, unfortunately. Kerfoot is also a solid defensive player, and the Avalanche need help with their overall defensive structure, so adding him wouldn’t hurt them there either.

The man they initially brought in during the off-season, Ryan Johansen, is also likely the guy to go back to Arizona in exchange for Kerfoot.

There could be issues making this happen, as the Avalanche are in a precarious position when it comes to the salary cap and would need to make some numbers work. Johansen is making $8 million this year and next, and Nashville retained 50 percent of his cap number in the trade to Colorado this past offseason, meaning the Avalanche are on the hook for $4 million. Alex Kerfoot currently makes $3 million this season and $4 million next season. He also has a modified no trade clause.

The Avalanche would likely need to retain some money for the Coyotes to take on Johansen, or potentially get creative with adding draft picks for the Coyotes to take on the full salary.

Overall, it appears Johansen’s time in Colorado is likely over. He seems to be a chance that was a low risk but has not become that high reward that Avs fans were hoping for. With Kerfoot being able to put points on the board as well as play a sound defensive game, that likely bodes better for a playoff type game.  It’s time the Avalanche make the move and look towards playoff time.