As the March 4 trade deadline approaches, Colorado Avalanche fans better buckle up! As this could be one of, if not the most nerve racking trade deadlines this franchise has ever witnessed.
The Avs are guaranteed to wake up March 4 with a record under .500. Although, they could end up with 63 points which, as of right now, would put them only two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. That makes deciding rather to buy or sell extremely difficult.
I am going to review both options, starting with Buying:
Should the Avalanche win all three games from now until March 4 and climb their way back into the playoff race they will most likely be buyers. But if they do decide to go the buying route, don't expect any huge deals or big names coming in.
What would most likely happen is something along the lines of Colorado's first or second round pick and Ian Lappierriere for Manny Legace or a goalie of similar skill.
Another deal that would not surprise me would be something along the lines of Jordan Leopold and a prospect for Vaclav Prospal or even Antoinne Vermette.
The Avs NEED one more 2nd line goalscorer but, as I said earlier, probably will not bring any big names. Vermette is likely as "big" as it gets.
Selling(the most likely option!):
If the Avs loose ANY of the next few games, it pretty much seals their fate as a non-playoff team this season. That would make the Avs for sure sellers for the first time since the organization has moved to Denver.
In this case, names such as Ryan Smyth and even Milan Hedjuk will most likely come up in trade talk. Although, due to their no trade clauses, both would have to agree to being moved before so.
But dont be surprised to see the Avs trade Hejduk or Smyth for something like a first round pick and a few prospects, putting the Avs into a rebuilding mode for the first time in a decade.
Also, I don't doubt the team will trade Ian Lappierriere as well, due to his contract expiring at the end of this season. The team is currently talking to "Lappy" about signing an extension but i wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
Brett Clark could also be in danger of being moved but I'm not sure who would want to take on his $3.5 million per season contract. However, if he was traded, expect something like a third round pick in return.
And it doesn't even end there with players who may very well be departing. I've heard a lot of talk about Marek Svatos heading out the door as well. Chances are, Svatos would go for a second round pick or a decent prospect. Personally, I think the Avs should hold on to Svatos.
This promises to be a stressful deadline for Avalanche fans like myself. But whatever happens, I'm behind my team 100 percent!