Colorado Avalanche In Final Stage Discussion To sign Another Super Star

As the Colorado Avalanche navigate through the 2023-24 NHL season, their strong performance in the Central Division has not masked the persistent challenge of filling the second-line center position. Two years after Nazem Kadri’s departure, the void remains, prompting the team to explore potential trade options to bolster their lineup.

Ryan Johansen, acquired during the summer to address the center gap, has struggled to maintain his early-season form, leading the Avalanche to consider alternative solutions. One name that has surfaced in trade rumors is Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman suggests that Lindholm, with seven goals and 20 points in 32 games this season, could be a suitable trade target for the Avalanche.

Lindholm, a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) with a $4.85 million cap hit, aligns closely with the Avalanche’s available cap space, especially after utilizing their long-term injured reserve (LTIR) designation. However, fitting Lindholm into the lineup would require financial maneuvering, considering the existing commitments to injured players like Gabriel Landeskog and Pavel Francouz.

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From the Flames’ perspective, being outside the playoff race in the Western Conference and having pending UFAs like Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, and Chris Tanev, the organization may be inclined to expedite a rebuilding process. The Flames, dealing with uncertainty after significant trades and coaching changes, might entertain offers to reshape their roster.

While the fit seems logical, the success of any potential trade would depend on the Avalanche’s ability to assemble an enticing trade package. With their own first-round picks intact but a limited prospect pool and no second-round pick until 2026, the Avalanche must carefully structure a deal that addresses both teams’ needs.

The struggles of Johansen, the disappointment of his performance compared to expectations, and the team’s recognition of the need for improved even-strength production and play-driving in the top six contribute to the urgency in exploring the trade market.

However, the Avalanche’s management acknowledges the need for patience, understanding that the NHL’s holiday roster freeze is in effect until December 28. With the team’s strong start providing a buffer, the management group, trusted by the fanbase, will await the opportune moment to strike a deal that enhances the team’s chances for success in the crucial spring months. The Avalanche’s commitment to a strategic and calculated approach suggests that any trade discussions will be thoughtfully executed when the timing is right.

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