It may be time for the Colorado Avalanche to start shopping some players, especially if the team falls further out of the playoff race.
Bruce Garrioch had a particularly morbid way of noting the team might be sellers before the trade deadline.
The vultures are circling around the Avs. Expect them to start selling off assets soon. #NHL— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) February 20, 2012
And as Adrian Dater of The Denver Post noted, the team has a few players who should attract attention around the league:
Most likely, the names mentioned will be guys who can become unrestricted free agents this summer (David Jones, Shane O'Brien, Jay McClement, Daniel Winnik and Cody McLeod), or, a defenseman or two who might interest teams (Kyle Quincey, Ryan O'Byrne, Ryan Wilson).
Then, there are the what-if scenarios involving players that once seemed untouchable. Paul Stastny is one. True, he's making a ton of money ($6.6 million salary cap hit, with two years left on his deal), but there is always the chance a desperate team in need of offense might give up a lot for him at the last minute.
Here's another scenario people probably haven't thought much about: What about Jean-Sebastien Giguere to a team desperate for a goalie in the playoffs?
The Avalance are certainly not short on players who could bring in some young assets or draft picks for the future.
And with such a jumble in the West at the bottom of the playoff picture (seven teams are within seven points of one another for the last two playoff spots), it is going to be a struggle for this Avalanche team to reach the playoffs.
If teams come calling and blow the Avalanche away with offers or dangle some appealing young talent, the Avs should cut their losses this year and look to the future. They did so last year, making several trades that should benefit the team in the future.
This year, the smart move would be to do the same. With the playoffs still a possibility this year but unlikely, the team would be wise to turn their attention to being playoff contenders for the next several years, even if it means sacrificing this one.
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