The Free Agent Frenzy Is Near - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Free Agent Frenzy Is Near

In a mere 24 hours the gates will lift and the NHL's annual free agent frenzy will begin. What does that mean for everyone? Well, if you are lucky enough to live in Canada, you get to watch endless speculation by the TSN talking heads while following along on Jay Onrait's live blog as he makes fun of his co-workers. And of course you get to do that while sitting in your underwear on the couch because tomorrow is Canada's birthday. The little guy is growing up so fast.

If you're in the US, you can follow along on TSN's website along with their handy free agent tracker. They tend to get the breaking news up quickly and only if it's 100% confirmed. If you're the informed rumor loving type, Spector and The Fourth Period have you covered. If you're the ill-informed rumor mongering type, you know where to go (but hey, we've all gone there once or twice).

So what does Giguere currently have on his grocery list? Well, I don't know as I haven't talked to him for a little while (ie. ever) but I know what I'd be looking for if I were him.

If Joe Sakic were to do the unthinkable and retire, that leaves the team with Paul Stastny as the #1 center (good) and Tyler Arnason as the #2 (bad). Of course, T.J. Hensick could sweep into camp and take over the #2 slot but he just doesn't seem ready for that many minutes at this point.

Since there isn't an abundance of centers on the market, I would love to see Giguere pull a swap that would send Arnason out of town and bring in a 2nd-line center. I shudder to think at what he'd have to package up to get that sort of return though.

I'm pretty happy with the wingers on the team. Assuming Wolski and Svatos get signed that's a left-wing lineup of Smyth, Wolski and McLeod. Cody McCormick played left wing for most of last season so could fill in that fourth slot. Then on the right you've got Hejduk, Svatos, Jones and Lappy.

Well, after the signings of Liles and Foote, the defense is pretty well locked up. Giguere could be trying to make a move to bring in the uber-coveted Brian Campbell but I think that's unlikely. As for Wade Redden, I'd love to snag him but Giguere would need to move out someone like Clark or even Hannan to make room both roster and salary-wise.

With Jose Theodore all but gone it would appear that Peter Budaj is the presumptive #1 with Tyler Weiman the favorite to back him up. Admittedly that doesn't fill me with a sense that the Cup will be coming home. However it's not a terrible option either. Budaj has shown to be a solid goaltender during extended runs and I'm getting more comfortable each day with giving him a shot.

The other options out there include names like Ray Emery and Andrew Raycroft, both of whom I wouldn't touch with 100 foot poles. If Giguere were to bring in Ty Conklin at a reasonable price, I certainly wouldn't cry about it but I must admit, I'm itching for Weiman to get some NHL action.

So what you're trying to say is...?
Which brings us back to what I think Giguere should do. I'm going to go on the presumption that Sakic comes back just to make things easier. I think if Giguere can package up Clark and Arnason for a return of draft picks, he should go after Redden. Forget about Campbell, Redden is the guy at the top of my defensive list. He may be older and not as fancy with the puck but he can still break guys out of the zone and is very responsible defensively.

That would leave Stastny, Sakic, Hensick and Guite down the middle which I'm very comfortable with. It would also leave the team with Foote, Redden, Hannan, Liles, Salei and Leopold on the back end. I've got to say, that's a squad that could pull a deep playoff run out of Budaj.

The best part is, I am fully confident that he will do something even smarter than what I'm suggesting.

Related Links
Free Agency - Part 1 from Jib
The Free Agency Countdown Begins
Giguere talking today and Dater's free agent ideas


sakic19 said...

well here's what i think they should do. everyone in avcountry agrees tyler only plays against the oilers arnason must go. so here's what we do. we trade tyler arnason, jordan leopold and a 3rd(next year) to tampa for boyle. reason being, tampa said they are looking for trades for boyle and thats a better option than redden because that way we can get rid of our access fat(leopold,arnason).its also very clear that liles performance will be much higher if he has a big time d man to play behind and he doesnt have to be the offensive leader. then colorado just has to go get a 3rd line centre(assuming sakic will resign) who can check and play defense. and finally, depending on how much money is left, u can go for a cristobal huet to try and fill in the goaltending position(i dont trust budaj). and finally, thank you for getting rid of quenville mister, oo yah we played well, but we lost.

Amy aka Ingenious_21 said...


I wonder if you would be interested in having your blog featured in the Project Trinity website. It launched with the start of free agency tomorrow. So let me know.

Shane Giroux said...

sakic19, I don't think Boyle will waive his NTC so I'm not holding out hope for that. I'm also not sure if Boyle is that much better an option than Redden.

Huet could be an ok option but I see him signing with the Capitals or getting overpaid. I'd prefer someone else had an overpaid goalie ;)

Shane Giroux said...

amy, I might be interested. What exactly is Project Trinity?

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