Another game, another loss. Give the Avs credit, they played a solid game but the issue of scoring keeps coming up. Right now, the Avs just dont have that extra shooter that can be a difference maker for this team. Mueller's play has been a spark, no doubt, Duchene is still hurt, but even when both come back this teams loaded down the middle but lacking a true sniper on the wings.
Most of the Avs defeats can be blamed on defensive lapses, but the true problem being that even one lapse hurts this team. There havent been many 2 or 3 goal leads for this team. I'm not too fond of Sherman, but his moves actually havent been a detriment to this team. He secured a 23 year old goalie with obvious starting potential, a 1st overall defender in Johnson who actually looks to have turned the corner with his play (dont let the numbers fool you, yes 1 goal is disappointing but his defence has improved significantly).
Now, onto what all bloggers love to do, play GM. Breaking down this team, i see our future as such:
Scratches: Van Der Gulik, Hunwick, Porter
Prospects: Elliott, Barrie (atleast the two that will matter most right now)
I know this makes it fairly clear.. one too many good centers even just at the NHL level.. and a definite need for a winger.
Trade Scenario #1: Parise for Stasny.. straight up.
Why would the devils consider this? Simple.. they get an established NHL scorer, whose cap figure resembles that of Parise. Stastny albeit not earning his paycheque could be the only player offered up to the Devils for the impending UFA that has talent, is young and under control for a long time. Someone that would center Kovalchuk who is already going to be there for likely all 15 years of his contract.
Why would the Avs do this? O'Reilly and Duchene are clearly the future of this team. They both are already ahead of Stastny on the depth chart and are still quite young. Parise gives the Avs an All-star winger, that can shoot the puck. Hes got some experience under his belt, is a leader and would more than likely give this team a shot at becoming that perennial playoff contender. The problem of Parise being a UFA would be troubling, but at the same time the Avs would have that extra time to sell him the team and their product and hence improve greatly the chances of signing him.. which would again be not far off Stastny's paycheque.
To me its simple, I dont see it working out much better for the Devils. Parise wants to win, the Devils aren't exactly going to turn it around in a year... but this deal could help both sides.