On Wednesday, I shared my thoughts on the Avalanche at the trade deadline on. Well, they were half of my thoughts. In that article, I discussed the moveability options for the Avalanche defensemen and goalies. Today, I release part two: the forwards.
Joe Sakic ($6m, UFA): Just about every year, some yahoo postulates that the Avs should trade Sakic to Vancouver at the deadline for a heap of draft picks. It. Wont. Happen. Ever. To be honest, I'm not convinced we're going to see Super Joe on the ice again this year...but I'm also hoping to see him return in the fall.
|2008 - Joe Sakic||15||2||10||12||-6||6||0||0||0||0||46||4.3|
Ryan Smyth ($6.25m, signed for 3 more years): Smyth's name is still circling about around the rumor circuit. While it's certainly plausible that Francois Giguere has explored the market, I don't the Avs want to move him. Even if they did, I'm sure the list of teams Smyth would waive his NTC for is extremely small.
|2008 - Ryan Smyth||61||20||30||50||-9||52||8||1||3||0||199||10.1|
Milan Hejduk ($3.9m, 1 year): Like Smyth and Sakic, Hejduk too has a NTC. That, his tenure in Denver and his favorable cap number all mean that he's not going anywhere.
|2008 - Milan Hejduk||61||23||24||47||-7||12||9||1||2||1||168||13.7|
Wojtek Wolski ($2.8m, 1 year): Double Dub seems seems more and more like a cornerstone player now that he's shifted over to center. He may not be untouchable, but he's only moving if he's part of a big, big deal.
|2008 - Wojtek Wolski||60||14||22||36||-3||26||2||1||3||0||125||11.2|
Paul Stastny ($850k this year, $6.6m next year, 5 years): This one IS untouchable.
|2008 - Paul Stastny||35||10||22||32||-6||16||6||0||2||2||92||10.9|
Darcy Tucker ($2.25m, 1 year): Despite his contract, I'd have to think Tucker would attract some interest from teams looking for playoff grit and, yes, leadership. The crazy thing is that I'm not convinced the Avalanche really want to move Darcy Tucker. I would love to, but I don't get to make the deals.
|2008 - Darcy Tucker||48||6||6||12||-11||56||1||0||1||1||65||9.2|
Marek Svatos ($2.05m, 1 year): I've said this before: I don't think Svatos has much usefulness if he's not able to crack the top two lines. He's been unable to do that so far, and doesn't appear likely to do so in the future. I've loved Svatos since that first playoff series against Dallas and there may not be anyone who would like to see Svatos succeed more than me. I just don't believe that success is going to happen in a unipron, and would like to see him moved if only to allow us to move to a different look on that tepid 3rd line. Svatos' name gets bandied about a lot in potential deals among Avalanche fans; this might just be the year that fantasy becomes reality.
|2008 - Marek Svatos||54||13||15||28||-3||32||6||0||1||1||108||12.0|
Tyler Arnason ($1.67m, UFA): Take him.
|2008 - Tyler Arnason||58||5||14||19||-12||12||2||0||1||0||96||5.2|
Ian Laperriere ($1.15m, UFA): This one's the gut-wrencher. Word is, the Avs offered Lappy a pay cut, but he would like a raise. The truth is, Lappy has probably been underpaid since he's been on the Avs. That doesn't mean the Avalanche have an obligation to meet his demands now, but it does explain why Laperriere may be reticent to offer a home town discount. I think Giguere will make an effort to bring Lappy back, but he won't break the bank. If a deal can't be reached, Lappy will be on his way to any number of teams who need an upgrade in the heart department. And that will be one sad day indeed.
|2008 - Ian Laperriere||53||7||10||17||2||98||0||0||0||0||49||14.3|
Cody McLeod ($522k, RFA): The Avs are very high on McLeod. They may get some inquiries, but I doubt he's going anywhere.
|2008 - Cody McLeod||61||12||5||17||-1||116||0||0||3||0||88||13.6|
Cody McCormick ($522k, RFA): The other Cody Mac, however, is a bit more expendable. The team has a bit of a log jam on the lower lines and could use the trade deadline to thin the herd a bit. And his strong play of late should improve his trade value.
|2008 - Cody McCormick||37||1||10||11||4||51||0||0||0||0||44||2.3|
Ben Guite ($475k, UFA): If any team is looking for some depth at faceoffs and on the penalty kill, Guite would be a solid pickup. I hope he sticks around, though.
|2008 - Ben Guite||30||3||5||8||4||10||0||0||0||0||31||9.7|
Brian Willsie ($600k, UFA): A couple of months ago, Willsie looked done, but he's played quite well lately - maybe well enough to attract the attention of another team.
|2008 - Brian Willsie||29||1||3||4||-4||8||0||0||0||0||39||2.6|
TJ Hensick ($727, 1 year): Hensick has struggled to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL and is currently firmly entrenched (and rightfully so) in the Tony Granato doghouse. I know some fans are outraged that he is getting scratched instead of being sent to Lake Erie, but I don't think he has much more to prove in the AHL. ANY NHL experience - even watching from the press box - is a good thing for TJ. I still have a lot of faith in Hensick. Even if the Avalanche brass don't share my optimism, they aren't going to give up on him yet.
|2008 - T.J. Hensick||43||4||14||18||1||12||1||0||0||0||87||4.6|
Chris Stewart ($590k, 1 year): In my book, Stewart is almost as close to untouchable as Stastny is at this point. He looks like he's well on his way to becoming a cornerstone player for the Avs.
|2008 - Chris Stewart||36||9||7||16||-10||42||0||1||0||0||75||12.0|
That wraps up the forwards. Tucker, Svatos, Laperriere, Willsie, McCormick, Arnason and Guite seem to be the names that would make the most sense to deal, although I'd say only Svatos and Lappy are going to warrant a return worth talking about. With the deadline arriving next Wednesday, we won't have to wait long to see just how far off on this I am.