NHL Free Agency 2012: Should the Colorado Avalanche Make More Moves?
At the end of week one of free agency, the Colorado Avalanche have made some solid signings to improve their roster.
The additions of John Mitchell, Greg Zanon and P.A. Parenteau are by no means large splashes in the market, but they were signings that addressed needs of the team moving forward.
The one question that remains for the Avalanche is, with the prizes of the free agency-pool (Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) gone, do the Avalanche really need to make any more moves this free-agency period?
This question goes beyond the idea of simply signing more free agents and should also include the idea of the Avalanche making a trade.
Many theories exist on what the Avalanche should do, so let's recap.
On paper it is a move that makes a lot of sense. The Avalanche need scoring help on left wing and Bobby Ryan could certainly provide that.
The only negatives come in the uncertainty of line combinations and not knowing who the Avalanche will use on the third and/or fourth line as centers.
It's a deal that has a lot of potential positives and could really help the team, but there is no doubt that Stastny's absence would be noticed.
From one proposal that makes the most sense to an idea that makes very little sense. In yesterday's Denver Post, Mark Kiszla wrote an article that suggested that trading Matt Duchene was the smartest way for the Avalanche to go.
In the article, Kiszla suggests that the Avalanche should make a move with Duchene to get either Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan. He also suggests that Duchene has shown that he isn't the player the Avalanche wanted him to be when they drafted him.
What Kizsla doesn't address is that just Duchene alone won't be enough to convince the Ducks or the Blue Jackets to give up their star players, not to mention that Duchene is just one season removed from a year where he tied for the team lead in goals with 27. Also, Duchene is just 21 years of age and has yet to reach the ceiling of his potential.
Yes, Duchene had a bad year, but labeling him a failure with the Avalanche because of one bad season is ludicrous.
Again, on paper this would seem like a deal that would make sense. We need a scoring winger and Semin is a scoring winger. Should be a match, right?
Sadly, things aren't nearly as simple as that. Semin carries a lot of question marks, many of which have to do with his character.
If you watched any of TSN's coverage of the "NHL Free Agent Frenzy," you saw that their panel didn't really have that many positive things to say about Semin. And by that I mean they didn't say a single nice thing about him and labeled him as a bad teammate, a guy who hurts his team despite his production and as the ultimate coach killer.
Do the Avalanche need to make more moves?
At the same time, watching Semin in the playoffs this season showed him doing a lot of the things he takes heat for not doing. Back-checking, blocking shots and giving a solid effort all over the ice.
Which guy are you going to get? It's hard to say, but are the Avalanche willing to roll the dice on him? My guess is probably not. At the very least, it should be safe to say that the Avalanche won't match the $10 million-a-year offer he reportedly received from the KHL.
Here's a wild theory that not too many people are tossing about. Perhaps the Avalanche don't need to make any more moves. Maybe the team is in a pretty good position as it is.
If the season were to start today, my guess is that the lines would look like this:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those lines. Matt Duchene will benefit the most from the signing of P.A. Parenteau, and we will see a lot more of sniper Matt Duchene this year.
Parenteau will do a lot of great work along the boards, down low and in the high slot to get the puck in scoring position to Duchene. Landeskog will also benefit simply by playing the way he always does and just being around the net.
Stastny's line will continue to get a chance to click, as it did toward the end of last season, and Jamie McGinn might end up being the scoring winger that we all have wished for. Don't forget that he had eight goals in 17 games for the Avalanche.
Jones may rotate around with Hejduk depending on the way the two perform, but Ryan O'Reilly is a type of center that Jones would play well with.
To suggest that the Avalanche absolutely need to make a move and acquire anybody else just doesn't seem to be the case.
Should the Avalanche acquire Ryan, that would be wonderful, but it would have to be in a way that would make sense for the team.
Semin could make a solid addition to the team, but then again, he also carries a risk of being a type of player that the Avalanche have worked so hard to rid themselves of over the past few seasons. Think Chris Stewart.
As it is, the Avalanche not only have a team of exciting young talent, but the team has really solid depth and could get scoring from a lot of different places.
Not only that, but each of the players on this team are guys who are excited to play for this team. That is a factor that I have downplayed in the past, but there is no denying the difference that it made to have guys like Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn injected into the lineup in place of downers like T.J. Galiardi and Kyle Quincey.
At this moment, the Avalanche may be happy with the roster that they have, and they have every reason to be.
It's natural for the fans to want the team to make a big splash, but perhaps we should look at this more in the way that we look at Olympic diving: A splash is going to be made, but we're looking for the right type of splash.
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