With less than a week before the NHL’s trade deadline, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with all the rumors. While no one expects Joe Sakic to make a significant splash, the rumblings that he is ready to tinker with the Colorado Avalanche lineup have become louder over the past week or so.
The team is playing better and currently only sit a point of the the second Wild Card playoff position in the Western Conference. For many fans, the idea of being “buyers” this week isn’t very appealing. That said, making the postseason is definitely a goal for the players so Sakic might bite the bullet and bring in come more immediate help.
With that in mind, here is a compilation of all the rumors that have been floating around as we approach the February 25th deadline.
From Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts:
Patrik Nemeth is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and with the emergence of Ryan Graves on the left side of the blueline, there really isn’t a need to keep Nemeth around. He is barely an NHL defender but he’s big and hits hard to there are going to be GMs that would like to add him as playoff depth.
As for Andrighetto, he is still under team control this summer as an RFA. The problem is that he’s arbitration eligible and due a qualifying offer of $1.55m - that’s likely not a price the team would like to pay for a depth winger that hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup.
Both Nemeth and Andrighetto have seen themselves fall down the depth chart over the past few months and both have become expendable. If Sakic can turn either or both into a draft pick, he’d likely jump at the chance.
From AJ Haefele of BSN:
Have heard Avs and Sens have had talks regarding Mark Stone. Given Sakic’s insistence he’s not giving up some of his young core pieces, obviously doesn’t look like a real fit there right now.
The fact that Sakic would even call about Stone points to the Avalanche GM leaving the door open to acquire an impact forward before the deadline. Unless he’s willing to give up one of the first round picks and a high-end prospect, these talks will likely go nowhere. On the bright side, Sakic’s interest in Stone could go a long way this summer.
On Nikita Zadorov:
Like it or not, the Avalanche have had trade talks involving Zadorov. The pending RFA is due for a raise this summer and the coming negotiations could be scaring the Avalanche into moving on. There have also been rumblings that Zadorov has asked for a trade (coming from a speculative source at BSN, so take from that what you will).
According to one of their beat reporters, the Montreal Canadiens had interest in Zadorov earlier this season - a fact that corroborates what people around the team have been saying.
They were taking a look earlier this season https://t.co/t1LdkkFnSd— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 14, 2019
The Tampa Bay Lightning are another team that have been tied to Zadorov over the last week or so.
Word is out that the Detroit Red Wings have asked the 29-year old winger for a list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause for. The Fourth Period is listing the Avalanche as one of the front runner for his services. As a pending UFA this summer, Nyquist would be a rental but he would bring a huge boost to the Avs lineup for the remainder of the season. He has 48 points in 59 games this season - a total that would put him well above every other Avs forward outside of the big-3.
If the Avalanche trade away Zadorov and Nemeth:
Another name that is out there in terms of an addition for the Avalanche is Los Angeles Kings defender Alec Martinez. The 31-year old has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $4m. If the Avalanche decide to move on from Zadorov, Martinez would be a very strong replacement. He is a lot older, but also a lot better than Zadorov and with the Kings looking to shed long term salary, the Avs might be able to bring in Martinez at a discount.