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Trade Deadline, Fourth Line Center, and more

It’s time for my first Colorado Avalanche mailbag with Colorado Hockey now.

After trying really hard for a while, the Avalanche hit their stride again and were back in the playoff game. It’s time to check in with our readers and see what questions they have about the team.

From Dude Where’s Makar: Who are some real-life business date targets?

That’s something I plan to really dig into during the All-Star break. For a while there after Christmas, it seemed like the trade deadline might be a whole different discussion altogether. Now that the team has won, is healthier, and climbed up the rankings, we’re back to looking at who the team can add instead of selling anyone.

Without naming any specific player, I think there are two areas they need to address: the bottom up front, and the depth on defense. The Avalanche did not get any production from future recalls. With Darren Helm’s season likely to come to an end, it seems necessary to add the bottom six.

Rival teams always want to add a defense at the deadline. They wouldn’t have the ammunition (or need) to go get another Josh Manson, but a seventh or eighth defenseman could be executed. The return of Manson and Bowen Byram would help, but these two have injury histories, so he would be another great option.

I know the center of the second line is the main topic of discussion, but will the Avalanche have enough assets to trade to get one? That’s something I’ll be looking at here in the coming weeks. he Sean Monahan Really an upgrade on what they have? An interesting name people have given me is Bone Jenner. This is a logical person if Columbus was willing to move him.

From Taylor Dafoe: Of all the Avs call-ups and waivers this year, who’s your best player? Most disappointing?

Well, the MVP certainly isn’t any forward, because they get almost none.

The MVP is clearly Brad Hunt. Jacob McDonald has struggled this season, and Hunt has kind of filled that role. Plus, without Byram and Manson, he added some offense. The Avalanche was built around a crack in the defense, so this was crucial.

Honorable Mention by Jean-Luc Vaudy, for giving some hope for the future with his play.

Most disappointing? Possibly Martin Coyote. It’s not that he was bad, but more that he didn’t take the bull by the horns. 27 games is a lot of a call-up, so you can’t say he didn’t get his shot. You are just left wanting more when you watch it.

From JD Schick: I’ve seen a lot of talk about bringing in a 7D like Jack Johnson. Doesn’t Englund seem to have done enough to fill that list?

I liked Englund, and he showed improvement, but if you want confrontation, you need a seventh better defense. Realistically, he’s probably even lower on the depth chart when this team is healthy. I’m not sure Jack Johnson was the guy I was targeting, but I can see it. You have familiarity with him, but at the same time he is a year older than him. I feel you can do better. Johnson’s appeal is just that ought to Cost almost nothing to get it.

From ParoxiWife: Why did avsmin’s puck game videos disappear to the side of the road? Any good to report?

My understanding is that the person who was in charge of Twitter Avalanche moved on, so someone else ran it. They also try to change the content from year to year. Unfortunately, media isn’t allowed in the room when things like this are broken, so we don’t know who gets what after the games.

From Blake Wheeler: What are the Avs doing in the TDL if they don’t get Landy back this season?

For me, that is the ultimate question. If I were the general manager, I wouldn’t sell any major rental assets unless I was 100% sure Gabriel Landeskog would be back this season.

Is it possible for this team to win the cup without Landeskog? Yes, this is possible. The Western Conference isn’t really impressive, and without Landeskog the Avalanche still has a decent roster. Do I bet on it? I don’t think I will.

Landeskog does so much for this team, both on and off the ice, that winning four rounds without him would be very difficult. Just look how good he was at qualifying on just one leg.

But this is just my opinion. As a GM, it can be hard not to go all-in when you have superstars like MacKinnon, Makar, and Rantanen at the peak of their careers. I certainly hope Landeskog returns, because no other team can touch this addition on or near the deadline.

From Snydone: Anton Blidh put on concessions yesterday and bounces back at Avs tonight. Assuming they know it won’t be claimed, what advantage does Avs get by doing this?

It’s just about the flexibility of the menu. Blidh had to clear waivers to be sent, so she tries to sneak him through waivers before the All-Star break. It is unlikely that the team will take him to just sit and pay the NHL money during the break. Now he has another 30 days where you can send him to the AHL without worrying about waivers. Guys like Malgin, Manson, and Byram are all set to return in this time frame.

From Glen: If the view is on Helm he might get it done for the season then try Avs to get a 4C or are they happy with Meyers. If they try to add someone to the bottom 6, who do you see as a good fit?

The Avalanche loves Myers, but that won’t stop them from adding depth. You can like someone, but you also have to be realistic and see that there is a way to upgrade in that. They saw how important it was to have a good fourth line in the playoffs last year. They’ve barely had a playable fourth line this season, so there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll be looking to get promoted. With Helm’s health in question, they might even need attackers.

Coach Prime is coming!: What’s your favorite Always Sunny episode?

I’m sneaking this one at the bottom because it’s not about the Avalanche. For the longest time I felt it was “guerrilla wrestling for the forces”, but I’ve recently changed my mind. It’s “the gang desperately trying to win a prize.”

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