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Colorado Avalanche’s 5 Best Trades All-Time

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Since they moved from Quebec in 1995, the Colorado Avalanche have made a handful of trades whose legacy was felt for seasons after the transaction itself. This checklist will talk about the 5 franchise-defining trades in Avalanche historical past (not Quebec Nordiques, so the Peter Forsberg/Eric Lindros commerce doesn’t seem). 


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Before leaping into the rankings, right here’s a short rationalization concerning the methodology relating to the majority of the group’s first decade-and-a-half in Colorado. Giving up first- or second-round draft picks wasn’t held in opposition to the Avalanche. Colorado wasn’t very productive within the draft between 1999-2008, and the desk beneath particulars how the common Avs draft decide stacked up in opposition to the common NHL draft decide.

however Table 1 exhibits how terrible the Avs had been at drafting throughout that span. 

Table 1. Average NHL & Avalanche Picks within the 1999-2008 NHL Entry Drafts

1999-2008 NHL Entry Drafts  Games Played  Goals  Assists  Points 
Average Avalanche Draft Pick  117  18  29  47 
Average NHL Draft Pick  303  45  120  165 
Average Avalanche 1st Round Pick  317  59  106 165 
Average NHL 1st Round Pick  508  97  156  253 

The Avalanche ranked 22nd in common first-round choice profession factors (165) and averaged deciding on on the twentieth spot within the first spherical. By comparability, the Ottawa Senators additionally averaged deciding on at twentieth throughout this span, however their common first spherical decide scored 311 profession factors. The Avalanche could have been extra a sufferer of their very own entrance workplace fairly than of circumstance. Here are the 5 all-time finest Avalanche trades in chronological order.

Patrick Roy

Avalanche acquired G Patrick Roy and RW Mike Keane; Montreal Canadiens acquired RW Andrei Kovalenko, LW Martin Rucinsky, and G Jocelyn Thibault on December 6, 1995.

It was no secret that Patrick Roy needed out of Montreal in 1995. Roy gained the 1986 and 1993 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, each instances profitable the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. But 4 video games into the 1995-96 season, the Canadiens employed Mario Tremblay as head coach, who usually feuded with Roy once they had been Montreal teammates. In truth, rumor has it that Roy and Tremblay almost duked it out in a New York espresso store a few days earlier than Tremblay was employed.  

Joe Sakic Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche pose with the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI through Getty Images)

Their dangerous blood boiled over on December 2, 1995, when Tremblay left Roy in web for 9 targets throughout an 11-1 dwelling loss in opposition to the Detroit Red Wings. Upon his exit from the ice, Roy famously told Canadiens President Ronald Corey, “this is my last game for Montreal,” getting himself suspended by the group the next day and traded 4 days later to the Avalanche.  


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As if dropping hometown hero Roy wasn’t sufficient, the Canadiens acquired a pretty paltry return for Roy and then-captain Mike Keane. The commerce was at all times going to be judged on the worth of the netminder Montreal acquired. A 1993 first-round draft decide, Jocelyn Thibault was the Avalanche’s beginning goalie to start the 1995-96 season. He didn’t have a lot NHL expertise coming into that marketing campaign – simply 47 appearances throughout two seasons – however had a robust lockout-shortened 1994-95 for Colorado (12-2-2, 0.934 save proportion, 2.34 GAA).  

Patrick Roy
Patrick Roy (shocker30/Flickr)

Unfortunately for Montreal, he by no means approached these numbers for the Canadiens. His finest GAA was 2.47 (1997-98) and his finest SV% was 0.913 (1995-96) for the Habs. Thibault performed components of 4 seasons with Montreal, ending with a 67-56-24 document. The remainder of the Roy commerce bundle for Montreal was serviceable, if unspectacular. 

Related: Top 3 All-Time Canadiens Goalies

Rucinsky produced dividends straight away as he scored over a point-per-game in 1995-96 for Montreal (60 factors in 55 video games), however then averaged within the mid 40-point vary for the remainder of his six seasons-plus tenure with the membership. Kovalenko spent the remainder of 1995-96 with the Canadiens then was traded to Edmonton within the offseason, retiring from the NHL after the 2000-01 season. Roy’s noteworthy Hall of Fame career speaks for itself and his acquisition was a serious motive why the Colorado Avalanche gained two Stanley Cups throughout his time in Denver.

Ray Bourque

Avalanche acquired D Ray Bourque and LW Dave Andreychuk; Boston Bruins acquired LW Brian Rolston, prospects D Martin Grenier and LW Samuel Pahlsson, and the Avalanche’s 1st-round decide within the 2000 NHL Entry Draft on March 6, 2000.  

This was the deal that lastly bought Ray Bourque’s title on the Stanley Cup. However, that feat was not completed the season by which Bourque was traded to the Avalanche however the one following (2000-01). In 2000, the Avalanche misplaced Game 7 of the Western Conference Final to the Dallas Stars, exhibiting Bourque that there was an actual risk of profitable the Cup with the Avalanche. Bourque took one final shot, signing a one-year take care of the Avalanche with an possibility for a second less than three weeks after the season ended. Fast-forward 11 months and Bourque lastly hoisted the Cup after 22 seasons and retired a champion. 

Ray Bourque Colorado Avalanche Joe Sakic
Ray Bourque #77 of the Colorado Avalanche lifts the cup with Joe Sakic #19 after the Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in sport seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche take the collection 4-3. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

The Bruins made this commerce to offer Bourque the chance to win the Cup, however the group nonetheless acquired a fairly good return on an asset the NHL knew it was trying to unload. At the time, it was a formidable haul for what may have become only a partial season from Bourque had the Avalanche hoisted the Cup after the 2000 season.

Unfortunately for Bruins followers, Boston’s entrance workplace drafted much more poorly than the Avalanche did throughout 1999-2008 (the common Bruins draft decide scored 131 profession factors, twenty seventh most within the NHL), and 2000 was no exception. The draftee Boston chosen with Colorado’s first spherical decide – Martin Samuelsson – performed a complete of 14 NHL video games. 

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Rolston floundered in his time with the Avalanche, scoring 18 factors in 50 video games. He managed to show in a bit greater than 4 robust seasons for the Bruins, averaging 56 factors per season. None of the prospects acquired panned out within the NHL, and Andreychuk performed simply 14 video games for the Avalanche earlier than signing with the Buffalo Sabres earlier than the 2000-01 season.

Claude Lemieux

Avalanche acquired LW Claude Lemieux; New Jersey Devils acquired RW Steve Thomas; New York Islanders acquired C Wendell Clark on October 3, 1995.

The Brawl. The Kris Draper hit. Claude Lemieux was as identified for instigating a violent rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings as he was for his playoff management. He was an integral half of the Avalanche’s early franchise success in Colorado. The group gained the Stanley Cup in his first season with the franchise (1995-96) and so they gained the division in every of the following 4 seasons (1996-97 to 1999-00). In 1996, Lemieux turned the tenth NHL participant to win the Cup in two consecutive seasons on a totally different group every time.    

Claude Lemieux #22 of the New Jersey Devils
Claude Lemieux with the New Jersey Devils (Photo by: B Bennett/Getty Images)

His tenacity and skill to get underneath the pores and skin of opponents was a driving pressure within the fierce rivalry between the Avalanche and Red Wings in. He was traded again to the New Jersey Devils together with a smattering of conditional and swapped picks on November 3, 1999, for Rolston – who clearly turned a key piece within the deal that introduced Bourque to Colorado.

Related: Little-Known Facts About the Stanley Cup

Lemieux was the right acquisition to instigate this profitable run, provided that he gained the Conn Smythe Trophy in main the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup within the season earlier than he got here to Colorado. He introduced with him 136 playoff appearances and two Stanley Cup championships – a whopping 40 of these playoff video games in simply the earlier two seasons with the Devils.  

He was a really aggressive, goal-scoring energy ahead who was a heavy hitter alongside the boards. The Avalanche and Red Wings battled within the 1996 and 1997 Western Conference Finals and met once more within the 1999 Divisional Round. Lemieux’s notorious check-from-behind in opposition to Kris Draper within the 1996 playoffs is nonetheless talked about greater than twenty years later. Darren McCarty cites that hit because the instigator for the long-time McCarty-Lemieux feud that fueled the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry.

Point Shares (PS) is a metric that quantifies how a participant’s even-strength play within the offensive and defensive zones interprets into scoring. In the top, Lemieux’s manufacturing of 21.3 PS in simply over 4 seasons with Avalanche compares very equally to the previous 4 seasons of Gabriel Landeskog (23.5 PS, together with the shortened 2019-20 season).

Rob Blake

Avalanche acquired D Rob Blake and C Steve Reinprecht; LA Kings acquired LW Adam Deadmarsh, D Aaron Miller, and two Avalanche 1st-round picks within the 2001 & 2003 NHL Entry Draft on February 22, 2001.

In 2001, the Kings had been unwilling to pay soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Rob Blake the reported $10 million-a-season contract for which he was wanting. (from ‘Blake Traded to Avalanche,’ Los Angeles Times, 02/22/2001) At the commerce deadline, they traded him and younger third-line heart Steve Reinprecht to the Avalanche for a bundle that primarily contained energy ahead and postseason dynamo Adam Deadmarsh, respectable defenseman Aaron Miller, and two first-round picks (2001 and 2003).

Acquiring defenseman Rob Blake on the 2001 commerce deadline solidified the Avalanche because the Stanley Cup front-runner heading into the playoffs. The group already had one of the best document within the NHL (38-12-9-2, 87 factors) so the wealthy turned richer with Blake. The Avalanche went on to win the 2001 Presidents’ Trophy, ending the common season with an NHL-best 118 factors.  

Rob Blake Colorado Avalanche
Rob Blake, Colorado Avalanche, Oct. 13 2001 (Jeff Vinnick/Allsport)

During the 2001 playoffs, the Avalanche paired Blake with Ray Bourque to type top-of-the-line defensive tandems of all-time. The Avalanche beat the seven-seed Kings within the Western Conference Semifinals in seven video games, with Blake contributing three targets and an help within the collection. All instructed, Blake scored 19 factors in 23 postseason video games, serving to the Avalanche win their second Stanley Cup in 5 seasons.  

The Avalanche then signed Blake to a five-year extension with an possibility for a sixth after the season on July 1, 2001. The two first-round picks would have been a hefty sum for the group to pay for only a postseason rental had they not come to phrases with Blake. Fortunately for the Avalanche, profitable a Stanley Cup has a method of keeping players on a team

Blake racked up 40.6 PS in simply over 4 seasons with the Avalanche, having misplaced a contractual season in 2004-05 because of the lockout. For reference, Nathan MacKinnon has collected 40.0 PS over the previous 4 seasons (from 2018-22).

Nazem Kadri

Avalanche acquired C Nazem Kadri, D Calle Rosen, and a third-round decide within the 2020 NHL Entry Draft; Toronto Maple Leafs acquired C Alexander Kerfoot, D Tyson Barrie, and a sixth-round decide within the 2020 NHL Entry draft on July 1, 2019.

Looking so as to add depth at heart, and anxious they wouldn’t be capable to afford Tyson Barrie’s subsequent contract extension, Colorado made a transfer that might be integral in getting the franchise its third Stanley Cup. The Maple Leafs had been in search of a right-handed defenseman, and might need been thinking about unloading Kadri after the risky heart bought suspended within the playoffs two years in a row – each in opposition to the Boston Bruins.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche (Getty Images)

The deal was so-so for the Maple Leafs, however Kadri turned out to be a star for the Avalanche. In his three seasons in Colorado, he scored 58 targets and piled up 155 factors. His 2021-22 marketing campaign was one of the best of his profession. Kadri scored 28 targets with 59 assists for 87 factors. The help and level totals had been each profession highs, and he was simply 4 away from his profession finest in targets. He was additionally a dynamo within the playoffs. He scored seven targets and 15 factors in 16 video games. One of these targets was the essential, game-winning overtime goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals – which got here in Kadri’s first sport again from damage.

Related Pages: Brett Hull Wrong to Call Flames’ Nazem Kadri an Idiot 

Kerfoot didn’t come near matching Kadri’s manufacturing or group success. He had one of the best season of his profession in 2021-22, notching 38 assists on the best way to 51 factors – each profession highs – whereas enjoying in all 82 video games. However. He couldn’t eclipse 30 factors in his first two seasons with the membership. Notoriously, the Maple Leafs have continued their postseason drought whereas Kerfoot has been there. He has two targets and 9 assists in 19 playoff video games with Toronto, however the Maple Leafs have didn’t win a collection.

Barrie wound up enjoying for the Maple Leafs for just one season – the 2019-20 marketing campaign the place he managed 39 factors in 70 video games. That was the third-lowest scoring season of Barrie’s profession, counting seasons the place he performed no less than 64 video games. After his lone yr in Toronto, Barrie signed with the Edmonton Oilers in free company, and is at present within the second season of a three-year take care of the group. He hasn’t hit 50 factors in a season since leaving Colorado.

(*5*)
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Rosen was the opposite piece that got here to the Avalanche within the deal. He lasted simply eight video games in Colorado earlier than the group traded him again to Toronto in February of 2020. The Avs bought goaltender Michael Hutchinson in that commerce, because the well being of standard netminders Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz turned a priority. Hutchinson performed only one regular-season sport, however performed in 4 postseason video games in 2019-20. He went again into free company after that season and signed with, you guessed it, the Maple Leafs.

Oddly sufficient, the identical plight that brought on the Avalanche to commerce Barrie got here again round when Kadri’s contract was up. The heart had performed himself out of the Avalanche’s affordability, and Colorado was compelled to let him go in free company with MacKinnon’s contract extension looming. Kadri landed with the Calgary Flames, getting a lucrative seven-year deal.

Related: Avalanche Cup Runs Built By Timely Trades From Lacroix

Whether the final supervisor was Pierre Lacroix or Joe Sakic, these Cup-winning groups weren’t afraid to trade essential components of their present squads to exit and get outstanding expertise. The likes of Roy, Bourque and Blake had been all within the midst of Hall of Fame careers, whereas Lemieux and Kadri had among the finest seasons of their careers with the Avs. The Avalanche have made many trades of their storied historical past, however one widespread thread between all of those was that every participant Colorado acquired supplied a serious contribution to the group hoisting the Stanley Cup.





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