The Avalanche are rolling on offense. Experience and consistancy are lacking on the back end. Burke is unloading salary and Avs might be the perfect fit for a wiley old backline veteran.
Look, I'm not one of those trade proposal kind of guys. I think trades happen rarely, and when they do usually no one has a clue they are coming. With the rare exception of deals like Bourque, who at the time was clearly looking for a last shot somewhere. Now, it's clear that Burke has to trade some salary to make room for Niedermayer. I would be thrilled to see Mathieu Schneider playing on the Avalanche.
This Avalanche teams really needs a player like Schneider for a few reasons. First, he's a left handed shot and plays defense from the left side. The Avs are pretty weak up the left side right now with Liles, Skrastins, Sauer and Hannan*. Hannan is obviously, not a weak link here but his game is much stronger on the right side. He's had a really rough start to the year playing on the left side, regardless of who is partner is. On the right we have Clark, Finger and Leoprone. Cumiskey seems to play either side equally because well, he's a nut. Second, Schneider is a veteran who has played on some really, really quality defenses in his time. He moves the puck well, knows how to play the point on the PP. Of all the players on the Avalanche defense right now, Karlis Skrastins is the veteran. Hannan, who is supposed to be the premier veteran to lead that squad is 28 years old. A guy like Schneider can provide some needed leadership on that back line. Last, Schneider is on just a two year contract right now, just in time to make a good decision on letting him go or not after '08. NHL contracts are all coming in with HUGE contract lengths right now. The Avs would be on the hook for a prorated portion of his current 5.5 mil. deal. Then they would have his 5.75 for next year. They would be under less pressure to ink Liles if he got an RFA offer from someone else.
A lot of people are still hoping for a Forsberg reunion with the current cap space. I think the dire need of the Avalanche is on their own end, not on offense. Schneider could do great things for the next couple of years. Currently he's got 15 points and is a plus 4 on what started as a struggling Ducks team. Burke can't want much for him and can't afford any salary back. Besides, for some reason the Avalanche front office and Burke seem to communicate so there has to be an open line over there. We even delt him Brad May for a bag of pucks and he turned out to single handedly (handedly is my own made up word, stop giving me crap spell check) carry the Ducks to the Stanley Cup.