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Who was the best addition to Avalanche’s Trade Deadline?  – Denver Post

Of Joe Sakic’s trade delay moves for the Avalanche, which turned out to be the most important in Colorado’s Stanley Cup run: Josh Manson? Arturi Lehkonen? Andrew Cogliano, Nico Sturm?

Keeler: Man, I want to be Joe Sakic when I grow up. With limited cap space and Stanley Cup or drop expectations hanging over Chopper Circle, the Avs general manager had to be creative and selective in trying to add the finishing pieces to a championship roster. It was about adding guys to complete a long post-season streak, filling in the cracks to complete that superstar core of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar. Colorado needed to get bigger, more physical and better on faceoffs, right? Artturi Lehkonen, Nico Sturm, Andrew Cogliano and Josh Manson have managed to tick each of those boxes since they jumped on the Stanley Cup party bus. But if you had to pick which of these additions has been the most valuable in the Avs’ playoff run to date, who would it be?

Bedrooms: Lehkonen, with Manson up close. Both great additions – but Lehkonen more so as he will be back next season. Lehkonen, 26, is a pending restricted free agent and the Avs will make him a qualifying offer. He’ll be back in the top six next season when Colorado can’t afford pending unrestricted free agents Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky. Maybe the Avs will bring one of those guys back, but Lehkonen will make big money and continue to play an important role in the top six.

Keeler: For a while I was torn. I have loved Lehkonen’s game over the past month. But the advantage goes to Manson, for me. Cut? To verify. Assault? To verify. Leadership? To verify. Shots? To verify. Points? To verify. That winning game against the Blues to end Game 1 in overtime was just the icing on the cake of what he did.


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