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Claude Giroux goes to Florida

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Frankly, I think the Avs won the trade that sent Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Giroux, 34, a UFA this summer, was finally dealt Saturday by the Flyers, to the Panthers. The Avalanche did have interest in Giroux. I still don’t know for sure if Avs first-round prospect defenseman Justin Barron was on the table, as some rumors said was the case. Nobody I trust ever told me that was a fact.

But if he WAS on the table, for a 34-year-old rental whose skills are on the decline, I think the Avs dodged a big bullet here. I would NEVER have traded Justin Barron for a Claude Giroux, period. He’s going to be a 20-minutes-plus, top-four defenseman in this league for many years. He’s big, fast and can play at both ends.

Why would you trade him for a guy who’s semi-washed? This was a great non-trade for the Avs.

I didn’t want to come out and blast Joe Sakic if Barron actually was on the table, because I didn’t know if it was true or not. Now that this deal is done and we don’t have to talk about Claude Giroux anymore, my admonition remains this: Do NOT trade Justin Barron for some rental player.

This team is GOOD ENOUGH to win a Cup with the players on hand. At least, I think so. And, I believe Sakic thinks that too.

I can comfortably say this, about the Avs’ mindset on this: If Giroux became an Av, great, happy to have you. But if not, OK, we addressed our biggest needs already at the deadline by getting big, bone-crusher D-man Josh Manson and big, hard-forechecking, good-faceoff-man, good-PK-guy Nico Sturm.

Giroux would have been some icing on the cake. But the cake is still plenty frosted as is.

Why am I so adamant about not trading a guy like Barron? Because, the Avs just traded one of their other best D prospects, Drew Helleson, in the Manson deal. Barron is the other top D prospect in the organization. I just don’t think you can trade both like that, on short-term rentals.

Anybody recall the name Robyn Regehr? He’s the young, former first-round pick Avs prospect defenseman who went to the Calgary Flames in 1999 for big-name, older, high-priced rental Theoren Fleury.

Superstreak Bonus!

And, don’t get me wrong: I loved Fleury and he did a lot of good things here. He scored 24 points in 15 regular-season games for the Avs, and 17 more in 18 playoff games. Pretty good production. And, the Avs made it to a Game 7 of the Western Conference finals with him. They beat the arrogant, two-time defending champion Red Wings with Fleury, and he was a big part of that series victory. That in itself was a big win for the Avs, beating the hated Wings.

But: Fleury missed a bunch of games with a knee injury his first game here. He missed a playoff game in Dallas, in the WCF, with the “flu.” The Avs did not win the Cup.

Regehr went on to play 1,050 NHL games for Calgary, Buffalo and L.A., winning a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2013 as a regular D-man. He went to a Game 7 of the Cup Finals with Calgary in 2004.  He was one of the best stay-at-home defensemen in the Western Conference for a long time.

Do I think Barron will be as good as Regehr? I don’t know. But I think he has a shot. And, in that case, you don’t just deal him away for some short-term thing.

Frankly, I don’t think Claude Giroux would have fit so great on this team. He’s not fast enough to play at the Avs’ pace, I don’t think. He’s slowing down. He’s small. Yeah, he’s talented, yeah he’s a great faceoff man, yeah he can get you some points. But so can a lot of other guys on this team.

Justin Barron is a guy who has a long future ahead of him. Claude Giroux doesn’t.  And, did anybody else get turned off by Giroux’s mopey, hangdog looks all the time, about the prospect of leaving his beloved Philly? Is that the guy you want as a final piece to a Cup puzzle?

Besides, what happens if Manson leaves as a UFA this summer? What happens as Erik Johnson (who’s had a great year) gets another year older? What happens if guys like Jack Johnson and Ryan Murray – both on one-year contracts – leave after this year? That’s when a kid like Barron can come in and really develop as a player, at the NHL level.

I’d MUCH rather his development come with the Colorado Avalanche, not the Philadelphia Flyers.

Let this be a lesson to the Avs: Sometimes, the best deal is the one you don’t make.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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ricoflashback

Amen.

Bob Neal

Great article AD. Fun to hear Riker refer to you as his expert. I enjoy your writings. Great non- trade and I bet Joe has something cooking.

Nick Chapman

1,000% agree Dater.

Derek Gruenberger

I agree as well!

colorado_gary

Spot on, AD. I was never really excited about Giroux for many of the reasons you’ve espoused, like who would you “demote” to make room? And once he got mopey I was definitely against the deal. Secretly I’ve hoped the Avs could somehow pry Patrick Kane away from the Blackhawks, but I don’t know if that’s even a thing. He breaks down defenses and makes those around him better. Let’s see if Sakic has another good trade in store that makes the Avs even tougher and can win face offs.

nevertellanybodyanything

So glad they didn’t mess with the chemistry of the top 6. This team is deep, focused, and on a mission this year.

Jason Bott

While watching the Rookie Faceoff down here in AZ, I told my son Barron & Byram will make a nice 2nd pairing. One of the scouts from the Rangers turned around and said “As long as Joe doesn’t trade one of them.”

Hopefully Sakic doesn’t move him and we can see him skating at Ball Arena next year.

dk

A fellow desert rat. Not many of us…

david

Ain’t it the truth!

Matt Briggle

I really did not like the idea of giving up both Helleson and Barron at the same deadline and not having any picks to try and replenish the cupboard either. Let’s be honest here, between Makar, Girard, Toews, and Byram (assuming health) we aren’t going to be able to pay all of them what they’re worth over the next few years. It would be better to have a couple of in house replacements ready to go and make trades from a position of strength. Hopefully Behrens has a good steady progression at DU and be ready to sign his ELC… Read more »

GWood

for sure

Rich

Dater – great write up! You are spot on I completely agree.

Dwayne Hall

Thank you for bringing up the Fluery trade. Reading the Twitter comments on your initial reporting of this deal I noticed several wondering when Sakic was going to make a Pierre Lacroix-like trade. The prospect of trading for Giroux reminded me of the failure the Theo Fleury trade turned out to be. The great Lacroix trades usually were the ones he gave up a little to get a lot. Sakic has certainly done that hello Devon Toews. The other tangible that Lacroix had in his favor was no salary cap. He didn’t have the challenge Sakic has working guys like… Read more »

Aaron Grady

Who knows how much of the “interest” was just headline material or how much was just making it expensive for other teams by feigning interest? I think Sakic has said pretty definitely that he doesn’t like rentals anyway. Plus as you’ve said, why screw with the chemistry of a first place team by shoehorning in a top scorer who wouldn’t get the ice time here?
I agree we dodged a bullet, but my guess it wasn’t ever much of a threat.

hockeyhead

Totally agree. Avs are going to need Barron in the future. Two more seasons on Teows after this one and will we be able to resign him. What will Girard be like in a couple of years and the Johnsons and Murray are short timers. Barron and Berens are going to be needed to make the team and contribute in a meaningful way.

Doug Heinzer

Agreed!!

Glendon Gulliver

I, too, was not keen on Giroux, but would have greatly welcomed him to the Avs and hoped for the best. Too much money for his declining production. He would be the 8th leading scorer on the Avs, including behind two defensemen. The problem is not with the Avs top six, but with the bottom six and lack of depth, should any of the top six get hurt. Sakic addressed the 4th line, but the 3rd line could still use a quality forward who can score, and provide help for the struggling PK and add another shot on the PP.… Read more »

Trenton Dunn

Stastny Sweepstakes are wide open!!

hockeyhacker5

Yeah, Stastny or Clutterbuck or Copp would be nice. I’d love Lowry but I don’t think he’s available.

Trenton Dunn

Anyone of those names, but I think one more move is needed for the third line. Still concerned with that matchup against Vegas (potentially) in the first round.

Wayne Dunlap

Ok then, let’s go get Statsny and kick some ass!

dk

I think we’d be fine with no more moves, but I still think one will happen. I’m hoping it’s Lehkonen or Clutterbuck.

dp10

I liked the idea of adding someone like Giroux to the team and possibly renewing him for a couple more years as an internal replacement to Kadri. Somehow I have this idea that Giroux would be more affordable than Kadri come July. But since the cap will make such maneuvers very hard indeed, Giroux will probably just be an expensive rental.

And in that context I agree with everyone here. Losing Justin Barron over a rental player is just not worth it!

Doug Merrifield

Giroux didn’t want to come here…a healthy locker room is powerful chemistry

Jordan Leonard

Still need at least one more forward, especially one to help with face offs

colorado_gary

It will be interesting after the deadline passes if quotless Joe will open up to AD about what was going on behind the scenes. And hey it’s only early early Sunday morning – may be another trade is coming

Karl Keen

Agree completely Dater

[…] Giroux picked the Panthers — and that should make fans of the Colorado Avalanche […]

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