The Colorado Avalanche have been in discussions with the Boston Bruins regarding left winger and captain Gabriel Landeskog, reports longtime Colorado writer Adrian Dater, currently with Bleacher Report (all links to Twitter).
The Avs are in need of quality young defensemen and asked for rookie Brandon Carlo but the Bruins aren’t willing to move him at this time. Dater suggests that young blueliners Jakub Zboril and Joe Morrow, as well as left wing prospect Jake DeBrusk could be part of a potential package for Landeskog along with their first round pick. Making a trade like that, one where a top forward is going for predominantly a collection of futures, could constitute the beginning of a larger-scale rebuild and there’s no evidence to suggest that GM Joe Sakic is willing to consider that route at this time.
Earlier this week, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported the Avs had trade discussions regarding Landeskog around the Draft Lottery in April that would have seen them land an established defenseman in return. The belief was that the blueliner in question was Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba but talks regarding him never rematerialized. Dreger also noted that Sakic is more inclined to move center Matt Duchene and that his preference is to keep Landeskog.
The 24 year old winger is in his sixth NHL season, all with Colorado and has struggled this season, collecting just 12 points (6-6-12) in 28 games. He also carries a cap hit of just over $5.57MM, which most teams wouldn’t be able to absorb without sending some money back. It’s worth noting that Boston is one of the few teams who could as they sit comfortably under the salary cap.
In a reader mailbag, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post suggests that Duchene is likely to fetch the biggest return but isn’t sure Sakic will move one of his top forwards now. He wonders if the GM may wait until the offseason before deciding whether or not to change the core or to try and build around it.
The team does have several pending unrestricted free agents that could move as rental players. Those are forwards Jarome Iginla, John Mitchell, Rene Bourque, and Andreas Martinsen plus defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Cody Goloubef although the Avalanche shouldn’t expect significant returns on any of those players.
With Colorado sitting at the bottom of the league standings with a 12-25-1 record and being 17 points out of a playoff spot, they’re a clear seller come trade deadline time. There’s sure to be plenty of discussion regarding the likes of Landeskog and Duchene between now and then. With so few guaranteed sellers, they’re certainly a team to watch in the weeks ahead.