In honor of today's epic lunch meeting between myself and Lowayne (who, amazingly, had a burrito and not a taco), the Avalanche have made a few moves. Figure there will be more to come.
The "big" move today was trading T.J. Hensick to the St Louis Blues for minor leaguer Julian Talbot. Talbot, seen here doing...uh...., is a 6' 185 lb 25-year-old center who has spent the last 3 years playing for St Louis' AHL club. I know absolutely nothing about him and presume him to be targeted for an assignment to Lake Erie next year. He's slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but you have to figure he'll re-up with the Av. Hensick is a restricted free agent (the second such player the Blues grabbed today). It had been widely rumored by, well, pretty much just us here at Mile High Hockey, that Hensick would not receive a qualifying offer from the Avalanche by the June 28th deadline. The Avalanche get a minor leaguer for a player they weren't going to keep, the Blues get a guy who still can turn his career around and Hensick gets a fresh start. Wins all around.
In addition the Avalanche formally announced the re-signing of UFA Philippe Dupuis as well as the signing of restricted free agents Kevin Porter and Ray Macias. Adrian Dater is reporting that Porter's 2-way deal is for $600,000. We had speculated that the Avalanche might try to sign him for less than the required tender offer of $892,500 and it looks like that has come to fruition. Porter should vie for time on the bottom two lines in Colorado, or, perhaps, could shuffle down to the Monsters. We didn't expect Ray Macias to return, but it's a nice surprise to have him back in the fold with Lake Erie.
Still to come: movement on the bigger RFA names...specifically Chris Stewart, Peter Mueller, Kyle Quincey and Brandon Yip. We've speculated here that Stewart, Mueller and Quincey could sign long-term deals this summer. We're less certain about Yip; he should be back, but perhaps on a shorter term. The other RFAs are Codey Burki, Derek Peltier and Wes O'Neill. All three could move on this summer.