3 Players Avalanche Could Trade Next

The Colorado Avalanche will once again be a top team in the league, but are hoping for a better result in the playoffs. That is why they loaded up on more capable depth players to provide scoring support. They are close to the cap and will likely be looking to add a significant piece by the trade deadline, so money needs to be heading out this season. Here's a look at some options the Avalanche have at trading next.

Sam Girard

Sam Girard's name has been in the rumor mill since Bowen Byram started to really take positive strides. The young defender only played half of last season, but has already forced himself into a top-four role. Both Byram and Girard play the left side, even though they can also slot in on the right side. It only makes sense that Girard, who is three years older and has less of a ceiling, will be moved eventually. He still has four years left on his deal at $5 million AAV with no trade protection for one more year. Byram is going to need to get paid soon with some of that money Girard has.

Josh Manson

The Avalanche are in a similar position with Josh Manson, except he's a different player and already pushed to the third pairing. He has three years left on his deal at $4.5 million AAV and only got into just over one quarter of the games. Health may continue to be a concern even though he is a strong defensive presence. One of Manson or Girard will have to go soon, but I think Girard is easier to move.

Ryan Johansen

The team recently acquired Ryan Johansen from the Nashville Predators for nothing and with only half of his cap hit. This gives the Avalanche an established second line center at $4 million AAV, but for two more seasons. There is one player who has the potential of taking over that spot within that time, and it's Ross Colton, who is signed for a longer term and has the same cap hit. Johansen dealt with injuries last season and his production has also dropped off fairly significantly. It might be a contract that needs moving next offseason.

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