The Colorado Avalanche's second-round elimination by the Vegas Golden Knights had Denver Post pundits Mike Chambers, Mark Kiszla and Ryan O'Hallaron discussing the club's possible off-season plans. Among their musings was whether Samuel Girard becomes a trade candidate.
Girard, 23. had a difficult series against Vegas. Chambers observed the 5'10”, 170-pound defenseman struggled against the bigger, physical Golden Knights. He finished the series with three assists and a plus-minus of minus-7.
Chambers believed the Avs will work on improving Girard's game rather than trade him. Signed through 2026-27 at an annual average value of $5 million, he logged 23:13 of ice time per game this season and exceeded 30 points for the second straight season.
Kiszla and O'Hallaron, however, suggested Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic check out Girard's value on the trade market. They pointed to the club's limited salary-cap space and the need to create room for Cale Makar's new contract. Kiszla felt having Girard on their blueline is a luxury when they already have a skilled puck-mover like Makar.
Girard could be shopped for a power forward or a more physical blueliner. Sakic could also peddle him in a cost-cutting deal and use the savings to add some muscle.
He would draw interest from clubs seeking a mobile top-four, right-side defenseman. The Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets would be among the suitors.
The potential loss of a defenseman such as Ryan Graves in the expansion draft could determine whether Girard hits the trade block. It will also depend on what Sakic does with pending free agents like goaltender Phillip Grubauer, winger Brandon Saad and captain Gabriel Landeskog.