Potential Lineups For Next Season

Though nothing’s official it’s expected that the Avalanche are done adding (via free agency) to the big club and they have their expected roster for the fall.

However, there are a lot of rumors and speculation that the Avs are dangling/looking to trade Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and/or Tyson Barrie. Duchene and Landeskog both still have multiple years left on their contract and Tyson Barrie is a current restricted free agent who’s heading for arbitration.

Well respected insiders like Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie of TSN have maintained that the Avs are looking to break up their core but only if it’s for the right deal. It’s been speculated that the Avs have been in contact with the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and the Anaheim Ducks.

But for the time being, llet’s put the rumors a side and take a look at potential lines the Avs could ice for next season. Restricted free agents Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Calvin Pickard will be included on the assumption they will eventually re-sign with the Avs at some point.

Some of these are going to be more ideal and others not so much. Either way, let’s have some fun.

Forward Lines #1:

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen

Mikhail Grigorenko – Matt Duchene – Jarome Iginla

Joe Colborne – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau

Cody McLeod – John Mitchell – Andreas Martinsen

Ex: J.T. Compher

Forward Lines #2:

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen

Mikhail Grigorenko – Matt Duchene – Joe Colborne

J.T. Compher – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau

Cody McLeod – John Mitchell – Jarome Iginla

Ex: Andreas Martinsen

Forward Lines #3:

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Matt Duchene

Mikhail Grigorenko – Carl Soderbeg – Mikko Rantanen

John Mitchell – Joe Colborne – Blake Comeau

Andreas Martinsen – J.T. Compher – Jarome Iginla

Ex: Cody McLeod

Forward Lines #4:

Mikhail Grigorenko – Nathan MacKinnon – Matt Duchene

Gabriel Landeskog – Carl Soderberg – Mikko Rantanen

Blake ComeauJoe ColborneJarome Iginla

Cody McLeod – John Mitchell – J.T. Compher

Ex: Andreas Martinsen

Forward Lines #5:

Mikhail Grigorenko – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog – Joe Colborne – Matt Duchene

Blake Comeau – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau

Andreas Martinsen – John Mitchell – J.T. Compher

Ex: Cody McLeod

The forward combinations are endless, especially if you get the blender out. We’ll see in the fall what’s going to happen. It’s going to be interesting to see where Colborne slides in. MacKinnon has chemistry with Landeskog, Duchene has chemistry with Grigorenko and Soderberg has chemistry with Comeau. You can spread that across the 3 lines so it’s going to be interesting to see who’s going to be the 3rd forward on those respective lines.

Now on to the defense pairings.

D-Pairings #1:

Nikita Zadorov – Erik Johnson

Francois BeaucheminTyson Barrie

Patrick WierciochEric Gelinas

Ex: Fedor Tyutin, Chris Bigras, Duncan Siemens

D-Pairings #2:

Patrick Wiercioch – Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov – Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin – Eric Gelinas

Ex: Fedor Tyutin, Chris Bigras, Duncan Siemens

D-Pairings #3:

Chris Bigras – Erik Johnson

Patrick Wiercioch – Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov – Francois Beauchemin

Ex: Fedor Tyutin, Eric Gelinas, Duncan Siemens

D-Pairings #4:

Francois Beauchemin – Erik Johnson

Chris Bigras – Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov – Fedor Tyutin

Ex: Eric Gelinas, Patrick Wiercioch, Duncan Siemens

D-Pairings #5:

Patrick Wiercioch – Erik Johnson

Francois Beauchemin – Tyson Barrie

Fedor Tyutin – Eric Gelinas

Ex: Nikita Zadorov, Chris Bigras, Duncan Siemens

Before free agency, Avalanche general manger Joe Sakic said next season the Avs will be going young on the blueline and will be giving time to Nikita Zadorov, Chris Bigras and Duncan Siemens. Then July 1 came and the Avalanche signed Patrick Wiercioch and Fedor Tyutin. By signing Wiercioch and Tyutin it muddies the water a bit and it’s unclear what the Avs will do come opening night.

Coach Patrick Roy typically likes to keep 8 d-men. Above I have 9 listed. Personally, the man out is Chris Bigras. The Avs will want Bigras playing big minutes so he’ll likely head to San Antonio. But that’s me speculating. Maybe Roy has Bigras penciled in and doesn’t mind Bigras playing anywhere in the top 6. Fortunately for the Avs and Avs fans, the Avs have a log jam of quality NHL caliber d-men unlike most years where their top 8 consisted a lot of AHL d-men.

What about Duncan Siemens? You’d think Bigras would stay and Siemens get sent back down but at this point another year in the AHL doesn’t do anything for Siemens’ development. He needs to be around other NHL players and learn from them as well as learn from a NHL coaching staff. You can look no further than Mikhail Grigorenko. The young forward was healthy scratch a lot of times at the start of last season. He was eventually given some time on the 4th line. And before the season ended, Grigorenko was a staple in the Avalanche’s top 6. Grigorenko gave a lot of credit to Avs assistant coach Tim Army on helping him improve his puck protection and other weaknesses in his game. The Avs need to give the same treatment to Duncan Siemens.

But it’s clear, the Avs have many options when it comes to their blueline. Who playing with who is merely a guessing game. But what is for sure, next season the Avs will be icing the best blueline they have seen in many many years.

 

 

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