Saturday, June 21, 2008

Avalanche Trade Brad Richardson

I have to run get my precious locks cut but I spotted on Jori's blog that the Avalanche traded Brad Richardson to LA for the 61st pick.

We all saw the writing on the wall for Richardson and I'm actually glad to see him go to LA. He was never able to find a permanent home here but I think he'll do well with the Kings squad.

Jori's also been keeping tabs on the draft which resumed today at 9 am EST time. Otherwise known as "before I wake up on Saturday"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Columbus Trades the Avalanche's Pick

The Columbus Blue Jackets just traded the pick they received from the Colorado Avalanche in the Adam Foote trade to the Philadelphia Flyers as part of a deal for R.J. Umberger.

So in the A-to-B-to-C line of things, we received Adam Foote and Columbus received R.J. Umberger. Hmm...I'm still ok with the deal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

NHL Entry Draft Order Released - Avalanche Pick 50th

The NHL has released the entry draft order (PDF) and, as we all knew, the Avalanche's first choice will come midway through the second round at #50.

Do I want a first-round pick for this team? Yes. Do I lament losing it for the Adam Foote trade? No. Adam Foote helped propel this team into the playoffs and showed some of the youngsters on the squad what it meant to be a determined and gritty player. I wish the lessons had lasted longer but it was invaluable first-hand experience.

The Avalanche tend to have mixed sucess with first-round picks while finding some gems in later rounds. So I'm holding on hope for that to continue this year or for Giguere to pull of a shrewd trade for an early first-rounder. And by "shrewd trade" I mean a controversial trade which will re-ignite the blogosphere for a few days.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Avalanche Choose Kevin Shattenkirk 14th Overall

The Avalanche stick to their U-18 US hockey roots and choose the captain of the U-18 team, Kevin Shattenkirk. He's a 5'11" defenceman who currently weighs in at 193 lbs so he's a tad undersized. He put up 34 points in 48 games so is a very offensive undersized d-man. I can't quite put my finger on who it reminds me of but maybe someone can help me out.

The players that Colorado could have taken still included Alexei Cheraponov and Angelo Esposito who, by the way, is still unpicked 2/3 of the way through round 1. But if there's one thing the Avalanche have, it's a lot of quality up-and-coming forwards. The one thing they don't have is a lot of up-and-coming quality d-men. So stocking the pool a bit with a defenseman with obvious leadership qualities is a great move.

This pick won't make any of the current d-men any more expendable than they already were as Shattenkirk will be playing for Boston University come fall. So this move likely picks at the nerves at some fans as it doesn't bring immediate relief to the defensive corps. However no pick would have helped them out this season.

Shattenkirk will put on more size as he will easily bust past the 200 lbs barrier and has a chance at clocking in at 210. He is known to be a very smooth and mobile defenceman who is extremely smart and aware of where he is at all times. Reminds me a little bit of someone else. A man who's thinking of retiring after doing it all in hockey this year.

No, I'm not comparing Shattenkirk to Niedermeyer. In fact, I hate the "He reminds me of..." talk. But, this is a good pick and has a chance at turning into a great pick 2 or 3 years down the line. So why did I say it? Well, it seems it's the thing to do. Just ask Mr. McGuire who can't talk about any prospect without comparing them to a pseudo-random possibly soon-to-be/current hall of fame player.

Here are some scouting reports on Shattenkirk, in case you don't want to take my word for it. But why wouldn't you?

And a chat with the young man himself:

EDIT: Esposito finally went at #20 to the Penguins. Good thing b/c they don't have enough young centermen.

Avalanche Re-sign Arnason for Two Years

Today the Colorado Avalanche announced that they have re-signed Tyler Arnason for two years. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed but it's likely for around 1.2-1.5 million a year. He was sixth on the team in scoring, putting up 16 goals and 33 assists over 82 games while centering the third line.

Arnason is not at the age where you can tie incentives into his contract which is unfortunate as he has been known to be prone to laziness and was certainly a streaky scorer with the Avalanche this year. Some nights he would chalk up 2 or 3 points but would follow it up with a 4 game point drought. On average he's putting up just over a half point a game while skating on the third line so there isn't much to complain about. If he can raise his level of consistency, this will be a great signing for the Avalanche.

EDIT: He was signed for 3.35m/year which is a cap hit of 1.675M. A bit more than I expected but I'm a lowballer by nature. This is still a good signing for the Avalanche.

Stay tuned for more draft day coverage as news breaks, including an analysis of the first overall draft choice for the Avalanache, whomever it may be.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Guite and McCormick Signed

The Avalanche announced today that they have signed Ben Guite to a two-year contract and Cody McCormick to a one-year contract. So the signings keep on trickling in which is good to see. As for these two signings, I give two thumbs up to Guite and two thumbs at neutral position on McCormick.

Signing Guite for two-years was a great move for the organization. After being called up as an extra body, he solidified his spot in the lineup with his hard-working, gritty playing style. He was put on the penalty kill unit shortly after joining the team and never looked back. In fact, his first NHL goal was a shorthanded goal against the Dominator. He also led the Avalanche in faceoffs and showed some other other players on the team what it meant to finish your checks.

Ben Guite has seen his way around the league. He was drafted by the Canadiens in '97, was picked up as free agent by the Islanders in '01, was then dealt to Anaheim in '02, then signed with the Rangers in '03, then went to Bridgeport in '04, got signed by Boston in '05 and then finally by the Avalanche in '06. However, his only other game played as a non-Avalanche was with Boston in '06. So for all intents and purposes, we can claim him as our own.

He will likely find a home on the PK unit as well as being a third or fourth-liner who can also be used in key faceoff situations, likely when the team is defending a lead towards the end of a game. Either way, I'm happy to see him in the lineup and fully expect him to be a starter after training camp.

Cody McCormick signing is more about having enough players for their new AHL team than anything. He wasn't able to crack the lineup for more than 6 games last year and unless his game has vastly improved, I doubt he'll crack it for much more than that this year. He's got some grit for sure but he doesn't really have much aside from that. The Avalanche already signed Parker for their token fighter and with Guite being a better version of McCormick...well I think that's all that needs to be said.

Of course that being said, it's not improbable that he could find a home playing winger on the fourth-line. It would depend on exactly what Colorado's other three lines look like in the end. If they have enough depth on the first 3 lines that they don't need to worry much about the fourth line (I'm looking at you Anaheim), then he could be welcomed there as a cheap player who tosses bodies around.