Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/22/14 at 09:35 AM ET
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Defense is an area where the Avs might try to do the most shopping. Roy used the newly crowned champion Los Angeles Kings as a template for what he hopes to have for a "top six" on defense. Roy said the Kings had strong top-three defensemen in Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez, with good complementary role players as partners in Jake Muzzin, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.
"We're not that far away on defense," Roy said. "You look at (Erik) Johnson, who had a really good year, we have (Tyson) Barrie, who played really well at the end of the season, and we have Nick Holden, who we think is a solid defenseman. Are they where (the Kings are)? The answer is no, but now the (question) is, 'Who are we going to add?' You cannot just add the top players. You have to have a great mix, and you look at some teams as a model, and I think L.A. is a good example. If we could get the good mix — stay-at-home, physical defensemen playing with high-skill defensemen — I think that's the approach that we'd like to have, and I think we're heading in a pretty good direction. I think the future of our franchise on the defensive side of the game is a lot better than people think it is."
The Avs may look to recruit a couple of those Kings defensemen. Mitchell, 37, and Greene, 31, can become unrestricted free agents, and it appears unlikely the Kings will be able to keep both. Other attractive D-men in the league who might be available include Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, and the New York Islanders' Dan Boyle.
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