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While I was out having fun Tilt'd Toledo was holding down the fort with some fantastic game recaps. If you haven't checked out his Av-manick for Feb 1st-7th you should, It's an excellent read and way more interesting than that TPS report you're procrastinating.
But now it's back to life which means procrastinating work to talk about the Avs. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching and the Avs looking more and more like sellers the talk of the town is what do the Avs need. With a team underachieving as much as this one there's a wide variety of opinions out there, everything from blow up the entire franchise to just a couple of pieces, and who could be traded. We'll make a list. No one is un-touchable but there are certainly guys less likely to be traded than others. Today we'll look at the Avs Roster and who could and should be traded. Tomorrow we'll get into the meat of it all by identifying prospects.
Players not going anywhere:
These guys aren't going anywhere for a number of reasons. No trade/no movement clauses, young talent, etc. This is the core of the team next season (unless Sakic retires), or a combination of No Movement & untradeable contract (Hannan. Even though I don't think the Avs should trade him anyways)
Most likely to be traded:
• Jordan Leopold
• Brett Clark
• Ruslan Salei
I think the Avs should keep one of these guys, and my choice would be Salei. Clark's contract has to be one of the worst ever issued to an Avs player, and getting rid of it would open a lot of doors for the Avs this summer in Free Agency. It will be hard to get rid of him though because of the contract, but teams are always looking for depth on the blueline. Combine that with the fact that it's going to be a sellers market and I bet the avs can unload him. Jordan Leopold will probably fetch the most return of these three.
It better be a really sweet deal:
Before realizing I could get the Avs announcers over the putrid Minnesota duo last night I heard them talking about Laperriere as a trade asset. It makes sense too because he's due to be an UFA at the end of the season. I don't think any Avs fan wants to see him go, but if a deal was presented that was really sweet I don't think the Avs could pass it up. He would be a tremendous addition to a playoff team that thinks they need some toughness, and that team may be willing to pay. Liles does have a NTC, and I think Hejduk has no interest in leaving either, but I think both could be had for the right price.
I don't see any of those four being traded however.
• Darcy Tucker
• Tyler Arnason
• Brett Clark
The Avs should be looking to Move Tucker, if only to get the cap space for next season. I don't really care what they do with Arnason at the deadline. If they can swindle a draft pick out of someone that's fine. If not let him walk this summer. Whatever. This may give people the impression I dislike Brett Clark. I don't dislike him as a player (like say Tucker and Arnason) but his level of play versus his contract is astonishing. I think a priority should be to trade his contract away. Cap space is the most valuable thing the Avs can get in return for Clark this season.
Certainly Available, but likely staying
I just don't see playoff teams needing the services of any of these guys. It's possible a team will try and bolster their depth a little if a team gets an injury, but in reality I don't see the phones ringing for these guys.
I could see all three of these players moved. Teams are always looking for goaltending depth, and Budaj would provide that. since I don't see the Avs giving another shot to him as the starter he could be traded to a team that needs a good backup. Svatos will be of interest to any team that is looking to add some scoring depth. While Hensick is still young, and I think the Avs would be reluctant to part with him, he's certainly a valuable trading chip. I think he'll be in a Unirpon next season though.
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