The Colorado Avalanche held one final practice before heading out to Arizona on Wednesday, and during that practice, Cale Makar left the ice early. While the team hasn’t announced any call-ups officially, the AHL site spilled the beans that the Avalanche are bringing a defenseman up to the NHL for at least the weekend.
Meanwhile, the first trade targets board from Chris Johnston came out. To the surprise of no one, it’s full of Calgary Flames. Beyond them, it’s not exactly a list full of guys you absolutely need on your roster.
All that and more in this Thursday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
A look back at the first quarter of the season for the Avalanche, including the standout play of Cale Makar, and some questions that still exist in the lineup.
As this posts, I’ll be en route to Phoenix for the game tonight at Mullet Arena. I should also have an article posting (+ content) on Miles Wood and how he earned the trust of the coaching staff to get on the penalty kill. Stay tuned for live coverage of the game tonight. It’ll be my first time visiting Mullet Arena, and I’m interested in what it’s like to cover an NHL game there. Talking to a few players yesterday, they certainly prefer “full” arenas to this setup.
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Sam Malinski Recalled
According to the AHL transaction page, it looks like the Avalanche are bringing Sam Malinski with them on the trip. The transaction is dated 11/30. Makar left practice a little early on Wednesday, and Bednar didn’t speak afterwards for an update, but this could also be precautionary. Colorado has typically brought an extra defenseman on these 3-4 game road trips, so they do have a need for another body.
NHL Trade Board
I don’t expect any trades around the NHL anytime soon, but never say never. The Calgary Flames are the team to watch, and according to Chris Johnston, they have the top four names on the trade board right now.
Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov are the big names to watch, with Philadelphia’s Sean Walker rounding out the top five. The problem for Calgary? Amidst all the turmoil, they’re right in the Wild Card hunt.
If I was running the Flames, I’d be looking to sell for assets, but you also have to field a team. You can’t trade everyone. Lindholm will bring back the greatest return, so if you can’t get him under contract, you have to deal him.
Some interesting names on the board, from an Avalanche perspective, are Sean Monahan and Adam Henrique. Don’t think either are 2C’s at this point, but NHL teams are always looking for center depth.
National Hockey Now
The powerplay problems for the Pittsburgh Penguins are bad. So bad that Lars Eller is now on PP2.
Brad Marchand, at least for now, is a third liner on the Boston Bruins.
The Philadelphia Flyers have quite a few prospects playing well in the KHL.
In Detroit, Patrick Kane will likely play his first game for them next week.
Five Montreal players that have slowed down or improved this year, including…Sean Monahan.
Did the refs mess it up with the Filip Forsberg overtime winner?