On Thursday morning, Adrian Dater reported that the Colorado Avalanche have had discussions with the Boston Bruins regarding forward Gabriel Landeskog. Apparently, general manager Joe Sakic and the Avs wanted a package centered around defenseman Brandon Carlo, and the B’s said no.
Thank heavens they did.
Sure, the Avalanche desperately need help on the blueline. Carlo is even the player I desperately wanted the Avs to take in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (they traded back and took A.J. Greer). He’s a big-bodied, Colorado native with a ton of potential.
That being said, Carlo is also a right-handed shot. On the right side, he would be stuck playing behind Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie. I know times are tough, but are the Avalanche really willing to trade their captain for a third-pairing blueliner?
I hope not.
Sure, they could play him on the left, but they already have someone with a similar skill set in Nikita Zadarov. Carlo probably also will never bring enough offensively to play on the top pair.
Undoubtedly, there would have been other pieces involved, but there is another target that is far more intriguing. You won’t find him on the current Bruins roster however.
Looking at the Bruins’ current defensive makeup, there aren’t really any options that make sense. Zdeno Chara would be an attention-grabber, but he is expensive and may have lost a step or two at this point, so it really wouldn’t help them build towards the future. Torrey Krug would be great, but it’s hard to see the Bruins parting with him. If they did, it would likely cost more than just Landeskog. John-Michael Liles isn’t nearly the player he once was and Joe Morrow seems like a bust.
There is one player, however, wading in the Bruins prospect pool, that is an intriguing and realistic option. His name is Jakub Zboril. The Czech-born blueliner is 6-2 and still growing, plays a smart, complete game. A first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, he can skate, score, hit, defend and could be ready to jump to the NHL as soon as next season. It would take a lot more than just Zboril, but a package centered around him could make sense.
I am not saying the Avalanche should trade Landeskog. I am not saying they shouldn’t, but they could find a better fit than Brandon Carlo.