NHL Trade Rumors: Analyzing Latest Colorado Avalanche Trade Rumors

Kevin GoffContributor IFebruary 20, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 09: Chris Stewart #25 of the St Louis Blues against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on February 9, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

With just one week until the NHL trading deadline, the rumors are swirling around every team in the NHL.

The buyers and sellers are slowly becoming clearer and clearer, which means the rumors are getting more and more specific.

Today, I'm going to zero in on a couple of rather interesting rumors surrounding the Colorado Avalanche and analyze what might come of them.

First, earlier this month, Adrian Dater reported that former Avalanche power forward Chris Stewart was back on the trading block as a result of his less-than-stellar season in St. Louis this year.

He went on to say that if this was actually the case, then the Avalanche would be smart to try and bring him back to the Mile High City.

There were a wide variety of reactions to the trade that sent Chris Stewart out to St. Louis in the first place, most notably from former Quebec Nordique star Peter Stastny, who said that Greg Sherman had just "destroyed the team."

Almost exactly a year later came Dater's story about potentially bringing Stewart back.

Dater makes some pretty good points as to why bringing Stewart back could be a positive thing for the Avalanche.

First, Chris Stewart never wanted to leave Denver in the first place and even said so after his being traded to the Blues.

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 18:  Chris Stewart #25 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center on January 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Canucks 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Ima
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Yes, his initial success with the Blues certainly made it seem like he wasn't going to miss Denver that much, but Dater explained that as well.

Here’s my theory on why Stewart played so well after the trade: he was angry at the Avs and wanted to show them up. At least, that was a part of it. He’s a guy who plays well when he’s mad, and he was very mad at getting dealt. Mad, and hurt.

This makes a lot of sense. Hockey is an emotional sport and guys that ride those emotions can have long strings of success when they get angry.

Avalanche fans need look no further than Peter Forsberg, who could take over a game once he got mad.

Couple all of this with the fact that Stewart is still good friends with several of the guys on the current Avalanche roster, and it might be like he never left.

The downside on this could be Stewart's relationship with Joe Sacco.

Just before Stewart's trade, Sacco had made Stewart a healthy scratch a couple of times in order to send a message to him.

Would Stewart want to play for Sacco again?

Then comes the question of who the Avalanche would send back to St. Louis. Dater suggests that the Avalanche send David Jones to St. Louis, exchanging one young player who is struggling after putting together an almost-30-goal seasons for another.

The big problem with this, as Dater points out, is that David Jones will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, whereas Stewart will only be a restricted free agent.

This brings more risk for the Blues than for the Avalanche, so a one-for-one trade seems unlikely.

Could the Avalanche add another player in the mix? Possibly, but I don't think the Avalanche want to continue to send any solid defenders or prospects over to the Blues the way they did with Kevin Shattenkirk.

Also, the Avalanche don't really have a draft pick to send along with Jones.

I won't deny that there are some very interesting possibilities with this trade, but I can't see it happening.

The second trade rumor brought up by Adrian Dater was the possibility of dangling Jean-Sebastien Giguere as trade bait.

Fact is, Giguere has had a tremendous season for the Avs and has championship pedigree. He also has a small cap number ($1.25 million) and he's signed through next year. Might not a contending team with some goaltending issues (Chicago, maybe San Jose) perhaps be attracted to having a guy like him around, and give up something nice in return—say a high draft choice?

This is an interesting perspective from a guy who seems to take every chance he gets to jump on Semyon Varlamov for his inconsistency.

Even more interesting considering an answer he gave in his mailbag column for the Denver Post a little less than a month ago.

Still, it's an interesting idea, especially if the Avalanche have fallen far enough out of the playoff hunt in a week, and depending on what the return is.

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 04:  Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere #35 of the Colorado Avalanche defends the goal against the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center on February 4, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Canucks defeated the Avalanche 3-2 in an overtime shoot
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Honestly, the only piece that the Avalanche should consider making trades for would be one of two things: a scoring winger that can help push the team into the playoffs this year, or a first-round draft pick to make up for the one given up in the Varlamov trade.

Do we see Giguere scoring that price even from a contending team desperate for goaltending depth? I don't.

Giguere very well might entice a few teams to make some offers, but that price seems a bit high, even with the solid year that Giguere is having.

Once again, an interesting prospect, but not one that seems likely to happen.

I stand by my earlier assertion that the Avalanche won't be making any big moves at this year's deadline.