I am a modest man in my predictions. As an optimist, I hope wildly for the acquisition of a new "young gun" with some real charisma (where are you Ian Laperriere?!), an unbelievable shot and sick skills to come to the Rockies on March 3 in exchange for Marek Svatos and Darcy Tucker. Oh youthful folly.
What I think could happen that may just be under the radar-
Apparently the Avalanche are now seeking a goaltender to replace Budaj for the stretch run (according to Aaron Musick). The hot name is Carey Price but I don't think that's a viable option. I do think that Budaj could go for Martin Biron in NYI but it seems like the Avs are trying to go bigger than that- perhaps the injured Nikolai Khabibulin for Budaj and Liles. He has been a backup and the Oilers would probably do anything to get out of the miserable contract they signed him to (his cap hit is not awful at 3.75 mil but the possibility of his retiring is). An aging goalie with a whole lot of skill seems better suited to a backup role for the next 3 years and Anderson could have confidence taking a night off once the thrill of being a starter rubs off next year. If Andy signs a similar deal to Jonas Hiller (4 year 18 mil), the 2 year cap hit of (4.5+3.75) 8.25 mil is steep but not unmanageable. If Magnus Pajaarvi Svensson were included, the Avs might make it a deal by including Svatos, Hensick, or Stoa.
Speaking of Hensick, the Avs may be inclined to move him due to his RFA status on July 1 and his lack of stick in the system that once touted his skills. A possible destination for a blockbuster is none other than the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have many problems on the horizon (48 mil committed with only 3 aging d-men signed, no proven #1 goaltender, the possibility of one Ian Laperriere retiring and leaving the team with a 1.16 mil cap hit for nothing, and a crowded left wing with Scott Hartnell @ 4.2 mil, Simon Gagne @ 5 mil, and James van Riemsdyk @1.4 mil). Can you say target? Hartnell, Gagne, or van Riemsdyk would solidify the weak LW position immensely and their ages are 27, 29 and 20 respectively. The Flyers will want to move some cap space while not messing up the future or chemistry on their way to the playoffs that they pretty much guaranteed to their fans by trading for Chris Pronger at the beginning of the season.
The Flyers need a goalie and the fact that the Avs are considered one of the front-runners for Carey Price's services may be a sign of a potential multi team deal (the one thing the Avs do not need is a #1 goalie). Price's salary is reasonable right now and that's something the Flyers need with only $800,000 in cap space but they also need to move some assets to even fit him in @ 2.2 mil. Enter the Avalanche. The avalanche could easily absorb one of the Big LW hits (Gagne or Hartnell) giving them room to breathe and allowing van Riemsdyk to continue to progress on the 1st or 2nd line. They would probably be more inclined to move Hartnell due to his contract coming of age in 2013. So...a possible trade could be-
Budaj, Hensick, 2nd Rd Pick--------Price
I would love for Lappy to come back for Tucker as part of that but I can't see him not being a part of Philly's playoff chemistry.
New trade thoughts for an intensely boring olympic day.