Besides Connor McDavid coming to town, the big news tomorrow is: who else will be donning a Colorado Avalanche sweater? The NHL trade deadline is tomorrow at 1 p.m. Mountain time. The Avs have already added defenseman Josh Manson and center Nico Sturm.
Maybe that will be good enough?
“I like the new additions. I think all of our guys understand what they bring and have a healthy respect for what they bring, ” Avs coach Jared Bednar said Sunday. “Both filled a need that we had.”
Nico Sturm has played one game and Josh Manson two games now. Manson had 10 hits in his first game while Sturm saw time on the penalty kill and faceoffs. Last game against the San Jose Sharks, Sturm saw around 15 minutes of ice time and Manson was a little over 16 minutes. That’s a good amount of ice time.
“We definitely addressed that need of being harder to play against,” said Bednar, “Harder to play against doesn’t mean running guys’ heads through the boards or being physical in that respect. It’s hard to get to the net on Nico Sturm. It’s hard to get to the net on Josh Manson.”
Bednar did not give any hints on whether the team would try to make any more moves up until the deadline.
“There are so many rumors about who’s going where. I couldn’t even tell you the guys who are available or not available,” Bednar said. “It’s actually the time of the year that I avoid Twitter.”
Avs defenseman Bo Byram has been practicing with the team in the most recent sessions at Family Sports, on each side of the two-game California trip. Although he still is wearing no-contact orange, it doesn’t look as if he has been limited on the drills. Today we saw him working on three-on-twos and he was the last player off the ice, well after the rest of the team had called it a day. Bednar had no update on his status. The team still considers him on “personal leave.”
“When he’s ready, he’ll let me know,” Bednar said
After the trade deadline tomorrow the Avs will have 20 games left and a set roster (as far as trades go) as they make a Stanley Cup playoff push.
First up are the Edmonton Oilers (35-25-4) who visit Ball Arena tomorrow night. These teams will face off again April 9th and April 22nd. Each team comes into the game with its own win streak. The Oilers have won their last five and the Avs have won their last three. The Oilers have scored 27 goals during that streak as well.
The season is winding down and so is the trade deadline madness. Tomorrow we will find out the Avs’ immediate post-deadline roster and get to see a little Nathan MacKinnon vs. Connor McDavid battle royale. Oh, and it’s the first day of spring!