To trade or not to trade?
It’s the question that grips fans every year right around the end of the All Star Break, no matter their team or tanking position. Even the best teams find themselves preoccupied with the questions; if you aren’t looking to trade away players, you’re looking to trade FOR them.
The Avalanche, of course, are in a bit of a unique position.
The team put their 2016-17 season behind them after putting up a performance that ranked them as one of the worst teams in modern NHL history, and the expectation was that they were in a perfect position to slowly — emphasis on slowly — climb their way back to prominence.
It can hardly be considered a bad thing that they accelerated their rebuild last year, especially given how they did it. They earned a playoff berth and picked up a lottery-protected first round pick for their troubles anyway, watching as Ottawa’s managerial incompetence all but guaranteed they’ll select in the top five this year anyway.
They’re still a bubble team, though, thick in the throes of the turtle race for the two Wild Card spots in the Western Conference.
And while that doesn’t affect their draft position with their coveted first rounder from the Matt Duchene trade, it does put them in a tight spot when it comes to one of their most important trade deadline decisions — what to do with Semyon Varlamov.