In final review, the move by the Colorado Avalanche to acquire Semyon Varlamov was bold, unexpected, and risk with upside. We are all surprised by it but it has become the hallmark of recent Avalanche trades. Chances are Varly will make the Avs a better team and hey, he even has a shot to become a top-tier goaltender.
So why did this move place a unsettled, nagging feeling that peculiar region of my body that empathizes so much with this hockey team? Yes, the strategic execution of acquiring a goalie was severely wanting and ultimately a cause for concern as Sherman develops a history of getting decent but unequal returns. However, this concern is ancillary , almost trivial in nature. The Varlamov trade was a large scale revelation of reality. In one swift moment the Avs sent a message about how they feel about the team and how it will be managed.
And I am frightened. Well, the irrational part of me that adopted a pro sports team to cheer that is.
After enduring lottery pick season 2 out of the last 3 years as a rebuild from within, the Avalanche management has signaled that this is it, time to win. No more hoarding top picks for the future, we want our guy in goal, now. No more lottery picks, we wants the playoffs and we want to win there.
As long as we don't have to spend over the salary cap floor to get there.
Pardon me if I have a hard time buying into this. Either sell the farm and get loaded for bear or stay home and till the soil till something good grows. The absolute worst thing you can do is sell the farm to move across the street.
We are told the Avalanche offered a 1st and 2nd round pick because Washington would have countered an RFA term sheet. The cold reality is that the Avalanche were not allowed to offer enough money to ensure Washington would let Semyon walk on over without a counter, none the less sign Tomas Vokoun. It wouldn't have taken that much more. Instead, they offered picks.
Avalanche management thinks this team is ready to go. The team needed a goalie and they got one, by mortgaging the future because an internal salary cap could not be broken. So here things lay, around $48.3 million. Just as we all expected, minus two top picks.
The farm is being sold off, are we loading up fully for bear or muskrat? The answer seems clear.