Big problem the Colorado Avalanche face at the 2023-24 NHL trade deadline

2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Will the Colorado Avalanche be buyers at the 2023-24 NHL trade deadline? We recently saw the team move enforcer Kurtis MacDermid to the New Jersey Devils for a draft pick and a prospect. How much more are we going to see from General Manager Chris MacFarland?

I will admit that I’m not a salary cap wizard. What I do know is that the Avalanche have just over $2 million and without trading a high-priced player, they probably won’t be able to bring in a huge name. One of the bigger names that I have seen floating around in terms of rumors for the Avalanche is Vladamir Tarasenko. He’s on a one-year deal worth $5 million from the Ottawa Senators. The Avalanche don’t have that right now.

The Avs have a strong core of players in Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, and Devon Toews. Those players are going nowhere. They’re staying put. They could ship off someone like Jonathan Drouin despite him having a decent showing as of late.

The most popular name in Avalanche trade rumors is Ryan Johansen, who hasn’t shown enough to warrant him sticking around. He’s by far the most likely candidate to be included in a trade by the Colorado Avalanche. The problem is the return he would generate. It doesn’t seem likely that it would be a lot.

Now, the big problem that the headline of this article suggests is that the Avalanche would be taking a risk by trading a player outside of Johansen. It’s hard to know how well the return would fit in as we near the postseason. Personally, I bought in to the idea of Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon reuniting. I bought into the idea of Ryan Johansen returning as a very productive player. Neither of those things came to fruition.

While the Colorado Avalanche have shown flashes of greatness, they lack consistency in their play. If I’m MacFarland, I’m going to make sure whatever moves I make as General Manager are going to be the best for the organization. He needs to do his best to not make this a guessing game.