Instead of making the big free agent signing during free agency, Criminal Mastermind Joe Sakic took his team in another direction. He traded Anton Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov to Chicago for Brandon Saad and Dennis Gilbert. The also traded two second round picks to The New York Islanders in exchange for Top 4 Defensemen and RFA Devon Toews.
The Avalanche just announced that they have signed Devon Toews to a four year $4.1m per year contract.
Now trading two second rounders is risky because you need ELCs to keep to your team competitive and under the cap. Devon Toews makes the Avalanche a serious threat in the Central Division.
Let’s just take a look at the Avalanche defense.
Add on to that they also have soon to be NHL graduate Bowen Byram, who they got from a draft pick for trading a player who didn’t want to be in Colorado anymore. They also have prospects Justin Barron, Drew Hellison, and there still is plenty of time for Josh Anderson to get it together.
Joe Sakic sat there and said look, what’s better than 4 top 4 defensemen? 8 top 4 defensemen. No matter what combination they have the ice, the Avalanche are going to be horrifying to play against. Knocking on wood, unless the injury bug spreads again come post season.
Cale Makar is going to take another step, I don’t think it will take Byram long to solidify as a #2. Sam Girard will still continue to play his lights out offensive game on a team friendly contract. Graves man, he’ll still be serviceable. All of that led by team assistant captain Erik Johnson.
The Avalanche are deep, and are going to be more than ready to compete whenever the season starts.