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Avalanche Trade Soderberg
By Richard Gonzalez
Soderberg was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round, 49th overall, of the 2004 draft. He was subsequently traded to the Boston Bruins where he played in 161 games scoring 94 points (29 goals and 65 assists). Soderberg was then traded to the Avalanche in exchange for the Bruins’ original sixth-round pick (Oskar Steen), which the Avalanche owned.
Soderberg was expected to fill the void left by Ryan O’Reilly’s departure. Soderberg spent four years with the Avalanche playing in 321 games and scoring 151 points (57 goals and 94 assists). Last season (2018-19), he scored 49 points (23 goals and 26 assists) in 82 games with the Avalanche. He also played in 18 playoff games getting four assists.
Soderberg has one year left on the previous five-year contract he signed with the Avalanche on June 26, 2015. He had a modified NTC that required him to submit a ten team list. He is owed $4.75 million and will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season.
Connauton, 29, was drafted in the third round, 89th overall, by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2009 draft. He has played in 310 games with the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Coyotes scoring 76 points (27 goals and 49 points). Last season (2018-19), he played in 50 games scoring eight points (1 goal and 7 assists).
Connauton is on the final year of his two-year extension he signed with the Coyotes and will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season. His cap hit will be $1.37 million for this upcoming season.
This trade gives the Avalanche approximately $3.38 million in cap savings for the next season. This leaves them plenty of cap space to re-sign pending restricted free agent, Mikko Rantanen and to make their pitches to sign a big name free agent. This also leaves a void that needs to be filled.
“This trade allows some of our young centermen to have a chance to play a more prominent role on our team while adding an experienced defenseman to our roster,”. Joe Sakic said via Ryan. S. Clark of The Athletic.
I feel like this trade is more like a salary dump than anything. Soderberg was on his final year and the Avalanche may have more up their sleeve come July 1st or through a trade. The Avalanche get a defenseman who has over 300 NHL games under his belt and can be inserted in the bottom six or seventh defenseman. He can also fill in any voids that might be left due to injuries. I do like how it opens up a roster spot for one of the younger guys to step up and potentially reach their full potential.
Soderberg grew on me and he had a great season. I would have liked to see him start the season with the Avalanche but business is business. I trust Sakic on making this team better to ultimately contend for the Stanley Cup. I thank Soderberg for all his hard work with the Avalanche and how he was with the fans. I wish him all the best in Arizona.
Welcome the Avalanche, Kevin Connauton and whoever we get with the third round pick.
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June 25th, 2018