With the recent rumors of the Avalanche looking to create cap space to re-sign forward Nazem Kadri, it looks as though defenseman Sam Girard could be the odd one out.
Girard has five years left on a seven year deal he signed with the Avs in 2019. During the final 3 years of his contract, he has a modified no trade clause. This deal is worth $5M AAV, so it’s not as bad as some other contracts in the NHL that teams are trying to shed.
With Kadri likely looking at north of $8M AAV, it’s fairly likely the Blackhawks would have to take on the full $5M AAV for the next five seasons. It’s not a bad contract either, so it might not give the Hawks the future assets they’re looking for, but it could definitely help them out a little bit.
At 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Girard isn’t the biggest, or most physical defenseman and it shows. But at age 24, he has a little room to grow, while not having reached his potential quite yet. In 67 games played last season with the Avs, Girard had a 5 goal, 23 assist performance for 28 points, which for a defenseman, is really solid. Throughout his 340 game career, he has a total of 22 goals and 122 assists for 144 points.
The Blackhawks have some cap space to work with, so taking on the contract, and taking a prospect or a pick to help out the Avalanche could be so beneficial for the team. A potential trade offer could look like this, in a perfect world:
Blackhawks Receive: Sam Girard, 4th Round Pick, 6th Round Pick
Avalanche Receive: 5th Round Pick
The Avalanche want to bring Kadri back, so I don’t see them wanting too much in return if all they’re looking to do is free up some cap space. The Blackhawks get a young, solid defenseman to add to their D core, while adding some draft capital. The Avs get Kadri, the Blackhawks improve where they need to and add what they need to add, it’s a win-win.