The Colorado Avalanche acquired forward Shawn Matthias from the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday. A deal that saw a 2016 4th round draft pick and AHL center Colin Smith sent the other way.
Matthias was originally drafted 47th overall in 2006 by the Detroit Red-Wings. However he never played a game for Detroit. He started his NHL career with the Florida Panthers, then moving on to the Vancouver Canucks, and most recently Toronto.
Matthias recently had his best ever season in the NHL, playing for Vancouver last year, he notched a career-high 27 points, 18 of those being goals.
In the second edition of Avalanche at a Glance, I called for different forward combinations and a trade to acquire a left-winger for Carl Soderberg’s line.
Well I got my wish, as lines were changed(exactly as I predicted they should look by the way) and it seems that Matthias is just that man to skate beside Soderberg on the left side.
That will see the forward group look like this:
- Grigorenko – Duchene – Iginla
- Landeskog – MacKinnon – Tanguay
- Matthias – Soderberg – Comeau
- McLeod – Mitchell – Skille/Wagner/Martinsen
As you can now see, Colorado’s forward group is much more balanced. With the new change in lines, a left winger was needed to play with Soderberg and Blake Comeau.
Matthias could be a great fit with his puck possession game, along with his big frame, tenacious forechecking, and great skating ability.
I don’t think the Avalanche are done making moves either. They are in the midst of a huge battle for one of two wild-card positions available. They still need improvement in other areas, mainly defensively, therefore I do expect at least one other move to address that need.
Colorado is one of the worst puck-possession teams in the league, but Matthias absolutely helps that no question. Joe Sakic stated any trade would not be for rental players. So look for them to sign pending UFA Matthias if he pans out.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble