Analyzing the Colorado Avalanche at the Trade Deadline

Anthony BumbacoCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2009

Coming into the deadline, the Avalanche find themselves in unfamiliar territory, losers of five straight contests and in the cellar in the Western Conference—a place the Avalanche did not expect to be in only six months earlier.

As far as the Colorado Avalanche go at the trade deadline, I believe that the team needs to get bigger and faster. I think the deadline would be a good time for the Avs to admit the mistake they made signing Scott Hannan and ship him out. He was brought in to be a shut down defender but has posted a -18 rating over the last two years.

Secondly, Colorado needs to go out and find a big shot from the point. This will not only help their power play, but will also make a player like Ryan Smyth, who finds ways to tip shots and cause havoc in front of the net, to be a more effective player. The Avs have had a difficult time finding this type of player since losing Rob Blake after the lockout.

Thirdly, the Avs need to find some sort of stability between the pipes. Neither Andrew Raycroft nor Peter Budaj have gotten the job done in goal this season and are not likely ever going to be No. 1 goaltenders in the NHL Whether it be guys in the system such as Trevor Cann or Billy Sauer, the Avalanche need to address their goaltending woes that have haunted them since the retirement of St. Patrick.

Finally, the Avalanche must address issues in both coaching and management. Tony Granato is not the right man for the job in Colorado. He was given a questionable second chance by Francois Giguere after letting go of Joel Quenneville in the offseason and has proven he cannot succeed as an NHL head coach. He is unable to motivate his players, and he is far too inexperienced to help develop a team in need of a youth movement.

Francois Giguere is also responsible for this team's losing ways, as he hired Granato as coach, and for doing a terrible job in the offseason not addressing the obvious team needs. He needs to be accountable as well.

Whatever the case is, look for the Avalanche to be a large seller on Wednesday before the trade deadline and the rebuilding to begin in Avalanche land.