Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Avs Deadline Preview

With the Olympics now over, the NHL teams, players and fans are waiting for today's 3:00 eastern trade deadline. We've all heard names being thrown around all season but let's take a look at what the Avs have on the trading block.

JM Liles - There's no denying it, Liles has been in Joe Sacco's doghouse since he returned from his injury earlier this season. He can be an effective power play quarterback but has lost that form in Denver. With Jordan Leopold fetching a 2nd round pick yesterday, it's safe to assume that Liles could fetch at least a prospect and a pick. Only thing that might stop a trade is his contract which still has 2 years left at 4.2 million.

Ruslan Salei - He hasn't been in the lineup much this season (3 games) due to injury but in the 2 he's played since he's come back, he has been pretty good. Salei was also the captain for Team Belarus in the Olympics and logged more ice time than anyone else on that team. Also a former deadline deal for the Avs, he's starting to play like he did when he came over from Florida. He can hit and he can put pucks on the net plus he's a free agent after this season. He could fetch a 2nd or 3rd round pick or a prospect from a team needing defensive depth.

Brett Clark - With the logjam the Avs have at D, Clark might be the easiest to trade and has the most trade value of him, Liles and Salei. He's played more than Salei and doesnt have the terrible contract Liles has. He can bring a contender tremendous shot blocking which we've seen since he's been with the Avs. I would be happy with a 2nd or 3rd round pick for him.

Marek Svatos - It's pretty obvious that Svatos has no place on this team anymore. He hasn't been scoring like he did in his rookie year since his rookie year. If he starts scoring, he gets injured. If he doesn't get injured, he doesn't score. It's not like he's helping in the defensive side of the puck either. He has just 10 points in 44 games this season and is a team worst -11. Maybe a change of scenery will help his career but I can't see a team giving up more than a late round draft pick for him.

Wojtek Wolski - This name just started floating around last night by TSN's Bob Mckenzie via his twitter account. Like Liles, Wolski has also found his way into Joe Sacco's doghouse throughout the season. He was awful against the Wings on Monday night being held shotless and, as Dater pointed out in his blog, only has 4 power play goals in his last 150 games. He does have a lot of offensive potential and will blossom into a star in this league if and when he can find consistency in his game. He's still young at just 24 so there's still time for him to develop and it doesn't hurt that he's an RFA after this season. I could see a team giving up a 2nd round pick and a prospect or a current roster player and a later round pick for Wolski's services.

With all that said, there are still holes in the Avs roster. Trading Wolski would surely leave an even bigger hole at LW than they already have. The power play has been terrible as well so that needs to be addressed too. It is sure to be a crazy day throughout the entire league but hopefully the Avs make some deals that will help beyond this season. I really like that Greg Sherman is not even thinking about trading a Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly or anyone else out of the youth core.

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