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Plus/Minus – Grading the Colorado Avalanche Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 25 2011 @ 12:28 pm In Colorado Avalanche | 3 Comments

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Colorado Avalanche
2010-11: 68 points, #14 in Western Conference

GOALIES

Returning: N / A

Arrivals: Semyon Varlamov, JS Giguere
Departures: Brian Elliott, Peter Budaj

Grade: +3

Yes, the Avs paid way too much to get Varlamov from the Capitals, but you can’t deny that he is exponentially better than both Budaj and Elliott. Giguere, who was signed to be the backup, is also better than both!

DEFENSE

Returning: Erik Johnson, Kyle Quincey, Ryan O’Byrne, Matt Hunwick, Ryan Wilson, Kyle Cumiskey

Arrivals: Jan Hejda, Shane O’Brien
Departures: John-Michael Liles, Adam Foote

Grade: -1

Colorado has a plethora of quality D prospects, but they are stuck behind a very marginal group of defensemen. Jan Hejda is a solid addition as a shutdown D-man to play with Erik Johnson, but I don’t see how they are going to replace Liles’ 46 points.

FORWARDS

Returning: Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, David Jones, TJ Galiardi, Milan Hejduk, Jay McClemment, Kevin Porter, Brandon Yip, Cody McLeod, Daniel Winnik

Arrivals: Gabriel Landeskog, Peter Mueller (return from injury), Chuck Kobasew
Departures: Tomas Fleischmann, Philippe Dupuis, David Koci

Grade: +2

While this has all the makings of a “+3” rating, remember that Landeskog is a rookie and you never know what you’re going to get for sure; and remember that Mueller took an entire year off so you don’t know if he will be the same player.

OVERALL RATING: +4
2011-12 Prediction: #12-#14 in Western Conference

The Colorado Avalanche made some good progress this offseason, but they are still a few players away from being in contention for a playoff spot. Their D group is too weak in the top 4 and they are lacking some offensive punch on the wing in their top 3 lines. 

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