Colorado is off to a nice start this season sitting third in the Western Conference despite being hit hard by the injury bug including long-term absences for wingers Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. They also happen to be flush with cap space, projecting to finish the season nearly $6MM below the salary cap, per CapFriendly. Only three teams have more to spend.
With that in mind, the Avalanche have been suggested as a team that could be a big buyer heading into the trade deadline. Speaking with Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic (subscription required), GM Joe Sakic tried to cool that down for the time being, indicating that he would like to see the team at full health before assessing what needs to be done. While that may take them out of the trade picture in the short term, they should still be viewed as a team that could make a big splash by the February 24th trade deadline.
More from the Central:
- Still with the Avalanche, the team announced that winger Matt Calvert is away from the team and will not play tonight against Boston due to a personal matter. He had just returned to the lineup after suffering a concussion in mid-November after getting hit in the head with a hard shot. Taking Calvert’s place in the lineup will be winger Vladislav Kamenev who had missed two straight games due to illness.
- The Blues appear to be getting close to getting some help from the infirmary. Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that both center Oskar Sundqvist and winger Alex Steen have resumed skating. Sundqvist has already accompanied the team on a recent road trip and while he’s not going to play tonight, head coach Craig Berube indicated he’s close to returning. Meanwhile, Steen is expected to be re-evaluated next week but the fact he’s already on the ice following his high ankle sprain suggests that he is likely close to getting the green light to play as well.