The Colorado Avalanche should, and in all likelihood will, add at least one winger via free agency this offseason. Their preference will undoubtedly be to add somebody on the right side. On the other hand, they ask their forwards to be versatile; often utilizing players to play somewhere aside from their natural position.

With that in mind, there is a chance that Colorado will sign a natural left winger, then utilize him (or somebody else) somewhere else.  Looking at the names available, however, they don’t really fit a need skills-wise for the Avalanche, especially if they are looking to add them into their top-six.

Though there are names that will garner a lot of interest this summer, they primarily consist of power forwards; something the Avalanche already have on the left side in Gabriel Landeskog.

If the Avalanche are active on the left wing market, it will likely come in the form of retaining their own. Mikkel Boedker, whom they acquired from the Arizona Coyotes, is a natural left wing. While listed as a center Shawn Matthias was used almost exclusively as a winger after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs (and will be considered a left winger for the purposes of this article). Andreas Martinsen, a restricted free agent, is also a natural left wing.

Taking into account both their own players and free agents from other teams, here are five names to keep an eye on in this summer’s market.

Kris Versteeg


Team: Los Angeles Kings Age: 30 Status: UFA

2015-16 Stats
77 G: 15 A: 23 P: 38 +/-: 0 PIM: 45

The proud owner of two Stanley Cup rings (both with the Chicago Blackhawks), Versteeg was acquired by the Kings leading up to the trade deadline last season. Prior to that move, he was a player that the Avalanche were actually rumored to be interested in.

Versteeg actually gets moved quite often. On one hand, that shows that teams are interested in him. On the other, teams also don’t seem to mind parting ways with him, either.

Offensively, he can fill in in a team’s top-six in a pinch, but doesn’t have the production to justify leaving him there full-time. Unfortunately, he also isn’t really physical enough or good enough defensively to excel in the bottom-six either.

Versteeg is a good skater with plenty of playoff experience. Someone will take a flyer on him this summer.

Estimated cost: $2.5-3.5 million per season.