Trading From Strength Rather Than Weakness

The Avalanche and Predators have become regular trading partners over the last year, the latest obviously was part B of the Duchene trade. While David Poile took the Avs to the cleaners in the first couple of deals, they met on even ground in the final one and the results are much more promising.

Trade 1 – 1/13/17
Avs receive Felix Girard, retain $533k of McLeod’s salary cap for last year and this
Preds receive Cody McLeod (at $800k cap hit)

This was a “doing right by a vet” trade for the Avs. In pure value they got smoked here by trading an NHL player for a marginal & older prospect, although Girard was quite good in San Antonio after the deal. The cap savings was less than they would have gotten by a demotion and they didn’t use the roster spot gained in any meaningful way. For this year, the roster spot is used meaningfully, which is nice, but Girard remains distant from the NHL. FWIW, McLeod plays just about every night for Nashville and has 4 goals, 2 assists and a whopping 153 PIMs in 43 games.

Trade 2 – 7/1/17
Avs receive Colin Wilson
Preds receive COL R4 2019

My snap judgment on this trade was that it was terrible and it hasn’t aged well thanks to other subsequent moves by the Avs and Wilson’s time spent injured so far. Some folks make the case that Wilson’s value would be much higher than a 4th rounder two years distant and taking on his nearly $4M cap hit for two years balances that out. I don’t. I see this as not only a cap dump by the Preds but a dump of a declining offensively-inclined forward that is extremely difficult to find a role for. In the 8 games he’s played so far he’s bounced around the lineup without finding a role and has a couple of assists. His contract is more or less unmoveable until February of 2019.

Trade 3 – 11/5/17
Avs receive Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamenev, NSH R2 2018
Preds receive Kyle Turris (under condition of signed extension)

In this deal I think everyone wins. The Preds get Kyle Turris, the 2C they’ve badly needed for a while, and a contract extension for 6 years x $6M. The Avs get two quality prospects that are close to NHL ready and a 2nd round pick next June. This was basically a high-value trade deadline deal done in November, now both teams get about an extra half-season to evaluate and utilize their new assets.

Avs receive Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kanenev, Colin Wilson, Felix Girard, R2 2018
Preds receive Kyle Turris (+extension), Cody McLeod (@ $800k), R4 2019

Overall the past year starts to look a lot better. The Avs got younger and the Preds got the best player (for now at least) and dumped some salary on the Avs, who have the capacity to absorb it. Each team has different goals and those are generally satisfied from their dealings together.


Nashville GM David Poile is one of the savviest executives in the NHL and has been making deals since before Joe Sakic was playing Midget hockey. The first two trades he got exactly what he wanted and gave up nothing notable to do so. On the final deal the Avs had the leverage and used it well. It’s a good lesson for Avs management and proof of the old maxim that if you’re not sure who the mark is in the card game, it’s probably you. This is the first time since Joe Sakic took over as General Manager that the Avs have had the position of strength in negotiations and wildly enough it’s the best major deal for the club under his tenure. The shift from buying stopgaps to building a team should put the team in similar situations going forward. A great lesson to learn.

One thought on “Trading From Strength Rather Than Weakness

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  1. Thanks, Earl. Interesting take looking at these deals in aggregate.I think we’ve gone 1-2 on the three, but put together it appears more of a win-win which equals a draw.

    A big win can make a losing record more palatable.

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