Avalanche "small" Defense

Alright, so this has bugged me for a little while.  Every article whether written by Dater, Frei, or even on here, has said that the Avalanche defense need to get bigger.  So I present you a possible top five for next year (since the sixth is up in the air)...

EJ 6-4 232
RoB 6-5 234
Quincey 6-2 207
Wilson 6-1 207 (I think he has shown improvement, and he actually hits, good third pair maybe)
JML 5-10 185

and then add a sixth, probably small but maybe not, Gaunce has decent size at 6-1 203, Elliott is decent, not super small like JML but not a behemoth either at 6-1 180 (he will probably add some weight), Holos at 5-11 196, short but beefy, Shawn Belle at 6-1 235 (maybe he'll impress come next year), Hunwick, Barrie, and all those other PMD's etc.

So what these top five show me (since the sixth is debatable), is an average height of 6-2 and an average weight of 213 lbs (with JML skewing the stats a little.  Now, outside of teams that have Behemoth defensemen like Hal Gil or Chara, let's look at say, Vancouver's defense...

Ballard 5-11 208
Bieksa 6-1 198
Edler 6-1 215
Erhoff 6-2 203
Hamhuis 6-1 209
Sami Salo 6-3 212

This shows me an average height of just over 6-1 and an average weight of 207.5 lbs. 

So now comparing the two teams, Avs top five average 6-2 213 (and their sixth may make that go slightly up or down, but not by much)  and the Canucks average defenseman is 6-1 207.5 lbs.  Our defense is actually, on average, bigger than theirs.  Now don't get me wrong, I am NOT comparing skill, because well, it's obvious that the Canucks have much more of that than the Avs, but we have them on size.

At the very least, if our sixth defenseman is a small PMD like Hunwick, Cumiskey, Barrie, Elliott, etc. then our average may be equal.  It's apparent we don't actually need to get bigger, just better.  Teach them how to use their size, which comes with development.  EJ, Wilson and RoB are still young and developing and maybe we will see the Quincey of 2 years ago. 

So please, challenge this, agree, disagree, let me hear what you, Avs fans (and even the outsiders that visit) feel about this.  I also understand it may have been a bold assumption that Wilson will be starting, but I personally would like to see him start.

All numbers were taken from the Col and Van websites. is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of

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