Rumors have popped up out of New Jersey that soon-to-be RFA defenseman Adam Larsson has become upset with the way the Devils have used him and how much ice time has received, almost to the point where he has considered taking off back to Sweden. Do I believe these rumors? Yes and no. I’ll explain.
When the Devils selected Adam Larsson 4th overall, he was considered to be the most NHL ready defenseman and possibly skater as well in his draft year, and for his rookie season, it paid off for the Devils as Larsson made the rookie All-Star team but later had to pull out due to a minor injury. His next 2 years did not go as well, spending half the 2 seasons in the AHL and the other half in the NHL, he just hasn’t been able to keep his roster spot consistently. Does that mean he is a bust? No, it’s a proven fact defenseman typically hid their stride around 22-24 years old. When you consider the defenseman taken after Larsson in the draft, you have a mix of results. You have Dougie Hamilton of the Bruins and Jonas Brodin of the Wild who have solidified their roster spots, but you also have guys like Oscar Klefbom of the Oilers, Duncan Siemens of the Avalanche, Jamie Oleksiak of the Stars and Ryan Murphy of the Hurricanes who have played a handful of games between all of them and have yet to earn their full-time spot in the NHL.
Now here’s where the Avalanche come in to this blog: We need a Future top pairing defenseman to pair with Erik Johnson. Could Larsson be the answer?
If Larsson truly is unhappy with the Devils and/or Head Coach Peter Deboer, I’d love to see what the Avalanche can do to try and acquire him. Colorado has already been in this situation before, they needed a defenseman and acquired a high drafted defensemanwho was struggling in Erik Johnson and he has grown into a player you can count on for top pairing minutes, especially under Patrick Roy. The Avs have also acquired a player who was rumored to be threatening returning to Europe in Semyon Varlamov and now he is the starting goalie in Denver and was one of the main reasons the Avs were able to win so many games as he stole a few himself as well as always giving the team a chance to come out on top. The Avalanche love these types of players because they come cheaper then they normally would and can usually turn it around with some hard work and training.
The only issues with acquiring Adam would be what GM Lou Lamoriello would want in return. Could you use a combination of Stefan Elliot or Duncan Siemens and your 1st round pick and some other minor assets to try and snag Larsson? Maybe they would like some offense in the form of P-A Parenteau or Jamie Mcginn? I’ve never been one for knowing what pieces would work for both teams, but with the news that Larsson being unhappy and being passed by John Merrill and Eric Gelinas, maybe that helps the process. The Avs have a defensive legend in Adam Foote behind the bench to help Adam’s game, a fellow countryman in Gabriel Landeskog to help with the transition, could this be a good fit?
As an Avs fan, this option is one of many, but I think it could work out well if the cost via trade isn’t too high. Does that mean I’m right or if the team management is even considering this? Time will tell.
I would also like to take this time in welcoming a big name to the site, welcome Richard Cloutier, look forward to reading about the Oilers!
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