As the 2020 NHL trade deadline draws closer, it’s only a matter of time before the rumor mill picks up steam. We’re set to hear dozens of teams and player mentioned in ‘rumors’ and ‘rumbling’ on a nearly daily basis. Some rumored trades will come to fruition before the deadline, others will die in the negotiation process, while some will have been completely fabricated from the get-go.

The Colorado Avalanche are going to be mentioned as a “deadline buyer” in just about every article for three reasons;

They are a contending team.

They have a ton of cap room.

They are actually likely to be buyers at this year’s trade deadline.

With more cap space than anyone else in the NHL, the Avalanche are in the perfect position to pounce this February. Not just in terms of acquiring rentals for a playoff push, but they’re also able to take on bigger contracts with a couple years or term left. The financial flexibility will allow Joe Sakic to improve his team in a way most other contending GMs can’t. He can add full contracts to the roster without subtracting money from the current lineup.

Being able to take on good players without their team retaining salary is a huge asset - and one that will likely help them negotiate a lower trade price.

The biggest prize went off the board early as Taylor Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes back in December, but there are still a number of impact players that are likely to be moved. Whether it be a big splash, or some added depth, the Avalanche will make a move or two in the coming weeks.

Here are a few names to keep an eye on as we approach the February 24th trade deadline:

Vladislav Namestnikov (LW/C) - Ottawa Senators

This is a name that was out there last season. Joe Sakic had interest but at the end of the day, the extra year commitment scared the Avs of from paying the asking price. That’s not an issue anymore as Namestnikov is set to be a free agent this summer. Deployed in a defensive role for the Senators, Namestnikov is putting up decent numbers and would bring some versatility to the Avalanche bottom-six. Able to play both sides, he would be a quality depth addition for a playoff run and would provide insurance against injury.