Avalanche Make Some Surprise Moves...And Some Surprise Non-Moves,Too


 The NHL trade deadline has passed. The Avalanche made a big move, shipping out Wojtek Wolski to the Phoenix Coyotes for Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter and a sentimental move, trading for former Avalanche Stephane Yelle. The Avalanche were not expected to mortgage their future and they met expectations. Although they did move Wolski, the only other assets they parted with were minor-league forward Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a 6th round pick.

While the Wolski deal raised a few eyebrows and the Yelle deal tugged at a few heartstrings, today may be more notable for what the Avalanche didn't do. Once again, John-Michael Liles sweated through another trade deadline without changing teams. Ditto for Ruslan Salei and Marek Svatos, both of whom were expected to be moved for draft picks today. It's possible that the recent injuries to Brandon Yip and Kyle Cumiskey put any potential trade plans on hold. Or, perhaps Avalanche GM just didn't feel there was a deal to be made there. Whatever the case, the Avalanche have some depth and flexibility both up front and on the blueline - not a bad thing to have considering how many injuries this team has suffered. There may be some interesting roster decisions to make if everyone gets healthy at some point but, as someone I know is fond of saying, those are good problems to have.

I don't love the Wolski trade, but don't hate it either. Mueller and Porter are intriguing players and this move could really swing in either direction. The Avalanche save cap space and get younger in the deal and lose a player they thought was going to be overpaid, so it's not a terrible move. Yelle is a nice veteran addition. I don't think he will have as much an impact on the ice as we'd like him to, but he should provide depth on draws, the PK as well as providing some veteran tutelage for the young forwards - especially the centers.

Not the splashiest of days, but not a bad day indeed.

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