Ahead of this afternoon's Nashville Predators/Colorado Avalanche tilt in Denver, I checked in with Mile High Hockey's managing editor David Driscoll-Carignan on how things are going with our soon-to-be division rival:
1) Many observers questioned Colorado's signing of P.A. Parenteau over the summer, but he leads the team in scoring these days. How do you see him fitting in long-term?
DDC: I was one who questioned Parenteau. My initial fear was that he was a guy cashing in on a couple of fortuitous seasons. But he's really been a pleasant surprise. He has been terrific all season, he and Duchene have been the two big bright spots game-in, game-out. Besides his skill and devastating one-timer shot, he also has displayed a feistiness that I love, and in a disappointing season he comes across as one of the few guys who truly gives a %^*@.
2) I asked this question of the guys in Edmonton, and I'll ask it of you - many Preds fans wonder what it might be like to finish low enough to snag a really high-end draft pick in the summer. Has it been worth it, to pick up guys like Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog?
DDC: That's a great question. On one hand, Landy and Duchene have been sensational and it's hard to imagine where the Avs would be today without them. On the other, Duchene was drafted in 2009 and the Avs are 29th in the league so its not like the high draft picks have done much good yet (much like edmonton).
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3) Who do you expect the Avs to make available at the Trade Deadline?
DDC: The Avs are deep up the middle but need help in other places AND the O`Reilly contract puts the Avs at a higher cap number than they are accustomed to. That seems to point to a potential departure of Paul Stastny, either at the deadline or this summer. The Avalanche also have several d-men who have struggled but could be a depth pickup for a playoff team. Ryan O`Byrne would seem to be the most likely candidate, but former Preds Greg Zanon and Shane O`Brien could also be had cheaply. I think Colorado would be open to moving J.S. Giguere if anyone is interested; Varly is the starter for better or worse now, and the Avs have a couple of good goalie prospects in the system.
Thanks to David for his insight, I know we're looking forward to a long, hateful division rivalry between the Preds & Avs.