The Deal: Colorado trades a first-round draft pick in 2012 and a conditional second-round draft pick to Washington for the rights to Semyon Varlamov. They then sign him to a contract: Three years/$8.5 million ($2.83 annual cap hit)
This trade is easily the worst deal by any team so far during the free agency period. Instead of trading for his contract rights, if the Avalanche had simply signed Varlamov to an offer sheet for $2.83 million per season, they would have only had to give up a second-round pick as compensation to Washington.
Instead, they traded away a first-round pick and a second-round pick. Clearly, the entire Avalanche front office was out to lunch when they made this trade. Varlamov had been relegated to the back-up goalie with the Capitals behind Michal Neuvirth and there had been reports that his negotiations were not going well with the team.
So why would Colorado give up a first-round pick that will likely be in the top 10 of next year’s draft for him? It’s absurd to think there’s a legitimate chance that the Washington Capitals could hold the number one pick in the 2012 NHL Draft thanks to Semyon Varlamov.
What’s even worse for Colorado is the fact that Tomas Vokoun, who reportedly wanted to play for Colorado, ended up signing for $1.25 million less than Varlamov only two days later with, of all teams, Washington.
So not only did the Avalanche trade away an unnecessary first-round draft pick for Varlamov, if they had just waited a couple of days, they could have signed a better goalie for much less money without giving up any draft picks at all.
What a horrible move by the Colorado Avalanche!
But enough with the bad deals. Let's now take a look at the five best deals of the 2011 free agency period.