No. 1 — Trading Ryan O’Reilly
Trading ROR was a tough pill to swallow. That’s because known commodities are always the hardest to part with. Especially when the commodity is two-way forward that gives you 60 points a year. Like I said earlier, the O’Reilly trade is addition by subtraction. Sakic didn’t want to give O’Reilly $60 million when Erik Johnson and Tyron Barrie are in need of new contracts. Losing both of those guys so you can keep O’Reilly would have been silly. This season Soderberg will do enough to buy the Avs time to develop defensemen Zadorov, who has the ability to become the best player involved in the ROR trade. Buffalo had given up on the 20-year-old and Sakic is crossing his fingers that fresh start will push Zadorov’s game to the next level.
If Johnson and Barrie are re-signed and Zadorov develops into a top pairing defensemen the O’Reilly trade is steal; if that doesn’t happen Sakic just parted ways with another top-six forward for nothing.