NHL Trade Speculation: Avalanche Players Most Likely to Be Traded
The Colorado Avalanche are right in the thick of the playoff picture as the trade deadline approaches.
In the past, Avalanche fans all sat and held their breath at the deadline, knowing that Pierre Lacroix would manage to pull some magical trade out of his hat to help push the Avalanche deep into the playoffs.
Yesterday, I published a piece that explained why we shouldn't expect the Avalanche to make any big trades.
While the Avalanche most likely won't be making any big trades, that doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be making any moves.
David Jones had a career year in many ways last season.
He was tied for the team lead in goals with 27, and managed to almost play a full season without getting hurt for the first time in his NHL career.
Jones has managed to stay healthy again this season, but has had a terrible year as far as production.
Jones has only 23 points this year, 12 of which are goals.
Why would a team pick up a guy that is having a bad year? Well, Jones has been playing better hockey as of late and has been scoring enough to boost his trade value.
With Peter Mueller hopefully overcoming his torso injury soon, and Matt Duchene's return against Winnipeg, Jones might be expendable from the offense.
Ryan Wilson hasn't seen a lot of action in the past few months as some other defensemen have been coming in and out of the lineup.
Wilson is a young, physical defenseman that has a lot of potential upside for other teams.
The Avalanche are deep in their system with defenders, and could potentially get an okay return for Wilson without missing him too much on the blue line.
Both Shane O'Brien and Kyle Quincey are playing well and showing great leadership.
If the Avalanche want to give Stefan Elliott another go with the team during the playoff push, Wilson could make decent trade bait.
After a bit of an off-year last season, and one that ended early due to an injury, Kyle Quincey has once again done a lot to establish himself with the Avalanche.
He put on a ton of muscle and has been playing a much stronger physical game.
Quincey has good trade value because of this physical game and also is capable of putting up some decent offensive numbers.
I'm not certain that trading Quincey would be a good idea for the Avalanche, but there are people out there that think Shane O'Brien or even Cameron Gaunce is capable of providing the same type of play that Quincey has.
Personally, I don't want Quincey going anywhere.
Shane O'Brien has seen his name pop up in some trade rumors lately because of his solid play on the blue line.
O'Brien would provide great leadership, veteran savvy, a mean streak and even some pretty decent offensive ability for a team that might want to make a run at the cup.
He's been providing fantastic leadership for the Avalanche blue line since the beginning of the year, and might have made himself a coveted player.
This is another trade that I think the Avalanche would be crazy to make, but having seen the trade rumors, it's possible.
If the Avalanche are going to move somebody, it will likely be a defenseman since they are deep on the blue line.
If they do make a move, even if any of these players are included, don't count on it being a big move.
The Avalanche are looking at the big picture with their roster and really shouldn't do anything to jeopardize the future of their very talented young roster.