With the Colorado Avalanche locking up Matt Duchene for two more years, and Ryan O’Reilly stepping up to the second center spot, Paul Stastny may be a big trading piece for the Avalanche in any deal. Paul Stastny has had a great career with the Avalanche collecting 374 points in 427 games. With two years left on his contract at $6.6 million per year, there are many teams that can use a number one or two center and have the cap space to do so. The Avalanche can certainly use Stastny to gain another top 6 winger, a top 4 defenseman, or both plus more. With the Avalanche drafting an abundance of centers at the 2012 draft, this certainly allows the Avs to keep an open mind about trading Stastny.
Even with the signing of PA Parenteau, the Avalanche could still use that dynamic winger that would compliment either Duchene or O’Reilly. One winger that is hot on the market right now is Bobby Ryan. The Anaheim Ducks have Ryan Getzlaf, but with Saku Koivu getting older and entering the last year of his contract, the Ducks could certainly use a reliable number two center. Stastny could even become insurance in case Getzlaf decides to walk at next free agency. Some type of deal including Stastny for Ryan could truly benefit both teams.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are another team in search of a center. The Leafs can easily make an appealing offer to the Avalanche for Stastny as they certainly have the assets to make a deal work. Putting Stastny between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul can be the top line that the Leafs would love to have and keep for many years.
There are many other teams that would love to add Stastny’s presence. The Chicago Blackhawks could put Patrick Kane back at wing and use Stastny as their true number two center. The Buffalo Sabres could also use an experienced center for a couple years until their younger centers in Mikhail Grigorenko and Zegmus Girgensons can make the full transition into the pace of the NHL. Also, the Columbus Blue Jackets could use another big name and proven center to help them in many ways.
With O’Reilly still unsigned, the Avalanche may not be shopping Stastny right away, but there is a good chance in the future that they do. They could add much depth at wing or gain picks and/or prospects for Stastny, which would certainly help the Avalanche remain contenders for many years to come.