Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Colorado tinkers a bit more

Pierre Lacroix continued his tradition of deadline day deals to add more depth to his team. Taking time out from following the medical status of Steve Moore, Lacroix made two deals for his team that will certainly make things more comfortable for coach Tony Granato.

Lacroix acquired Tommy Salo from the Edmonton Oilers, planning on having him back up David Aebischer in the Avs net for the playoff run. Salo will probably only be a rental player in Colorado, an insurance policy in case Aebischer gets injured or starts to falter. Salo had lost the confidence of GM Kevin Lowe and his Oiler team mates, Ty Conklin taking over the reins of the Oiler last line of defence.

The big move for the Avs today was bringing in Chris Gratton to Colorado from Phoenix. The big centre will add some strength and size to the Avs attack, possibly filling in for Peter Forsberg if his injuries don't heal as fast as the Avs would like. When Forsberg comes back, Gratton is yet another part of the Avs attack. Gratton came at a price though, with the Avs having to give up Derek Morris a solid part of the blue line corps in Colorado.

Prior to the deadline day today, the Avs also picked up Matthew Barnaby, the ever present yapping pest, who adds the irritation factor to a line up that seems to have no shortage of it. However, he will fit in well in Colorado, remember the success Claude Lemieux had there, even if he wasn't popular in his own dressing room, he added an edge, Barnaby will fill that same role in Av's colours.

While Lacroix was busy working the phones he was also speaking out on the hit on Steve Moore by Todd Bertuzzi. Not delving too much into what he expects to happen from the NHL office, he did express the belief that there's no place for that kind of behavior in the NHL these days. The latest report on Moore was that he had suffered a neck fracture, cracked vertebrae, a concussion and facial lacerations. Bertuzzi is to appear in Toronto tomorrow to learn of his hockey fate, it's to be determined if he will face any legal proceedings for Monday nights incident.

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