While the biggest news of the day was the loss of Paul Stastny, the Avalanche made a number of other moves that will impact the club immediately and shore up some depth issues for the Lake Erie Monsters. The staff weighs in on what went down.
c6hor8: Jerome fucking Iginla. Landeskog, learn from your mentor.
SteveHouse: I love signing the player, I am not a fan at all of the third year on the deal. I guess we'll wait and see whether he suddenly starts to realize he's old and whether he even plays that third year.
mfured20: Hellzyes. When I first saw what Landeskog is capable of, I immediately thought about how I hoped he would grow into an Iginla-like player. I the wake of losing Pauly Walnuts, I was concerned about our top-6 depth. Less so, now. My only worry is that, at 37, he might start to slow down sometime soon. Tangs is getting up there, but we just added two more 37 year olds. Anyway, Iggy will dominate when he gets the puck fed to him by either of our elite centers, and I look forward to seeing it.
Cole: love it. One of my favorite players in the league and I think he's an excellent fit for the Avs. Some people have concerns about his speed on a team that has so much of it, but I think it's a non-issue. Maybe Iginla won't line up so well with MacKinnon who still plays a very north south game, but I can't see any reason that he won't fit with Matt Duchene. Ryan OReilly isn't exactly fleet of foot and he's had excellent chemistry with Duchene because the two play a strong cycle game down low. Who else plays that type of game? Iginla. Park him in front of the net and let OReilly and Duchene run their give and go play at the half boards = profit.
Earl: Thumbs up
Cheryl: one hell of a Plan B for Stastny. I think it's great, and I'm not really all that concerned about the term. I see a Selanne ending to Iginla's career, not a Hejduk one.
c6hor8: I love the Stuart trade. He's tough and he adds a hardnosed presence.
SteveHouse: Urgh. I don't know very much about his game these days, other than Sharks fans were thrilled to get anything in return for him. Which does not bode well. I do know he's an older, not-very-fast, "defensive defenseman," and we just got rid of one of those in Sarich.
mfured20: Since Erhoff didn't give anyone a chance to blink before he wandered off to play with penguins, I am fine with this. I'm glad that the Avs noticed their need for better D, and when they didn't like how the market was shaping up, they bought one with draft picks. Is he going to solve all of our problems? No. But he's an upgrade over most all of the blueline, and a he brings a stay-at-home attitude that we really need. I expect him to be top pairing with EJ, and let Hejda cover Barrie's growth.
Cole: Whatever. It's just very Blegh to me. Stuart will be an improvement over Benoit in the mean department but his footspeed isn't very good and no one is going to mistake him for Tyson Barrie on offense. I think the Avs made a mistake letting Benoit walk but they clearly wanted to get bigger and meaner and Stuart does accomplish that. We'll see what happens. Sacrificing talent and puck moving ability for size and snarl is a very Toronto way of doing business (aka not successful). On the bright side if he's bad it's a one year deal and we're out from under it soon.
Cheryl: Still on the fence. Never really a fan of Stuart but never disliked him either (except when he concussed Landy). I think he adds a lot of stability on the back end, though, kind of like Hejda did when he came on board. He also makes the D so much tougher and grittier than it was.
(Not an FA day trade, but who's counting?)
c6hor8: I think briere still has game but has been misused.
SteveHouse: Old, declining, not getting better, not a piece that's going to help the Avs return to the playoffs, acquiring him makes me think the front office has a whole lot more faith in the team's ability to pull off two runs in a row the numbers call unsustainable, and the last time we tried that we ended up with Ottawa's goalie photoshopped onto mobile artillery. Plus ew, Briere.
mfured20: I... I don't particularly like the guy as a person. I haven't liked how he's played the game. But he does have talent, and has shown it over a pretty damn impressive career. I don't expect him to be munching huge minutes every night, but I think that he will be valuable in filling in, using the energy that he has in a slightly more limited role, and being a steadying force for the younger guys. I think he will demonstrate himself to be Roy's kind of player, and he'll do well with us. As for PA... I knew you would be going soon, buddy, but I'm glad you'll get a chance in Montreal. You'll tear it up there.
Cole: Every time I look at CapGeek I do a double take over that albatross of a contract. Briere is not. Is not as good as PA Parenteau and I can't believe that other GMs view his contract as being soooo bad that the Avs had to pay Monteal extra to take him off our hands. That's probably the biggest surprise to me in all of this free agent period. Engelland gets whatever ludicrous contract he got, Moulson gets a 5x5 and Parenteau at 2x4 is an overpayment? Ok NHL whatever. As for Briere himself who knows. The guy scored 34 not too long ago so maybe he'll rediscover his game a little bit on a new team. If he lines up alongside Mitchell and McGinn then maybe he can beat last years' 13 goals. It's a good recipe for a line, but it will depend heavily on how much Briere has left in the tank.
Cheryl: I'm okay with this as long as he's not expected to do any top-6 duty. I think his value will be best seen in the playoffs. His ability to be clutch was so needed this past season.
SteveHouse: Three years is a little much for not-quite-a-full-season but I'm fine with him sticking around for under $2 million.
mfured20: If we are going to keep anyone from our current crop of AHL defensemen, I prefer it to be Holden. He's a little suspect defensively, but he sure has flourished under Roy's system, and I can't deny that. I'm not sure he'll be the answer to all of my dreams, but not everyone can be. He's not Guenin, thats for sure.
Cole: Best thing about this deal is that Holden got paiiiiid.... For what he is. A third pairing D. Ok Roykic, you paid Holden appropriately now play him where he belongs. I don't want a repeat of the playoffs where Holden looked over his head in additional minutes.
Earl: More thumbs up.
Cheryl: Love it. Spot on in both price and term. He has a lot of upside, especially if last season wasn't a fluke. If it was, he still provides enough to be a 6-7 guy. Prefer him over Guenin any day of the week.
c6ho8: I went to school with Jesse. I was better friends with the other guys but he's a hard working kid. He has more offense than cliche and could theoretically play the 3rd line.
mfured: Who? Hang on, let me look... Wait.. oh, here he is. I suppose he might be able to step it up, but I think this is more of a safety signing than anything. After the top five defensemen, that sixth spot looks a little thin. Of course I'm hoping that Wilson finds his game, and that Elliott comes out gangbusters, or Siemens magically makes it out of camp. But really, its a toss up. And if some of the kids need to hang out in LEM to hone their game, I'd rather we call up a Winchester to sit on the bench than take valuable experience away from someone who needs it. I guess. I would have rather thrown in some extra cash for Fayne, but whatevs.
Cole: Hey I'm fine with a Cliche upgrade. Last season Winchester literally scored 9 times more goals than Cliche has in his career. He had a career year in Florida and some of those fans seem bummed to lose him sooooo cool beans for us. Next time Avs please don't extend the guy you're trying to replace.
Earl: Even more thumbs up.
Cheryl: Have to get back to you on that one after training camp and preseason. Though I do dig that Whores went to school with him.
Ben Street/Zach Redmond/Bruno Gervais
SteveHouse: I don't know anything about any of the rest except Bob beat me to the Mars Ricky joke.
mfured20: See what I said above about Winchester? It mostly applies to this, too. LEM is going to be a whole lot stronger this year, and the Avs can have their pick of whoever is going to do the best in a call-up situation.
Cole: These look like AHL depth signings, then again, so did Guenin and Holden last summer. As long as Roy puts these guys where they belong then I'm fine with it. Lake Erie needed some personnel desperately to support the Avalanche prospects. And we all know how important having a top end AHL team is when it comes to success. Right Detroit? (no but really it's important look at Tampa).
Earl: Big thumbs up to Richmond.