John-Michael Liles isn’t the only Colorado Avalanche defensemen being targeted before the NHL trade deadline. Reports are placing Matt Hunwick and captain Adam Foote as possible targets for playoff teams.
Matt Hunwick is a surprising name on this list. Acquired by the Avalanche in November from the Boston Bruins in exchange for prospect Colby Cohen, Hunwick has had his struggles in an Avalanche sweater. But his play has improved recently, and a quick, puck-moving defenseman is a hot trade target this season. The Chicago Blackhawks are said to be very interested in Hunwick, as they try to improve their squad into playoff contention before the deadline.
Captain Adam Foote is not a surprise, however. The veteran is in the last year of his contract and all signs point toward this being his last NHL season. Injuries have caught up with Foote, limiting his play this season. Still, he is more than capable of adding defensive depth to a contending team such as te Philadelphia Flyers, who have said to be interested in acquiring his services.
Both Hunwick and Foote are free agents at the end of this season, so their services would be nothing more than rentals to contending clubs. If they are traded, you can expect the return to be nothing more than a mid-level draft pick or a fringe prospect. But since the Avalanche are at the salary floor, there would also have to be a player sent to Colorado with a similar 2011 cap hit.