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Huge shakeup a mile high surprise Written by Seymour Buttz - November 14th, 2010

After preaching more patience this season and letting his team develop over time, Avalanche GM made a 3 way blockbuster deal that was completey unexpected.

After seeing his ice time diminish and his role being reduced to 3rd line status, LW David Booth saw his production drop off. Usually good for between 20-30 goals, Booth was floundering this year on the Avalanche after coming over from the Chicago Blackhawks this past summer.

Booth had no points and was a -3 in the 5 games so far. Couple this with a high salary and huge expectations for this team and it added up to the need for a mini shakeup. The Avalanche traded Booth, and young defenceman Kyle CUmiskey to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Scott Hartnell and defenceman Toni Lydman. The deal however would have put them way over cap so it became contingent on the Avs being able to flip Lydman for a decent return.

They found that return surprisingly from division rivals the Calgary Flames, sending Lydman and promising defenceman Lee Sweatt to Cowtown for Trevor Daley and Shawn Lalonde. As well as providing a shakeup to this team it also clips almost 900k from the cap and puts the team in a much more comfortable position going forward.

"We felt this deal addressed several of our needs, not only does it provide some cap relief but we are also able to acquire a versatile forward who can play anywhere from the 1st to 3rd line. I have wanted Hartnell for a very long time and this provided an avenue to do that. I really appreciate Toronto being so gracious on this one allowing me to shop Lydman prior to even acquiring him, that was the key to this trade" says Sentinel20

One surprising element to this wa the dealing of Kyle Cumiskey who had been sought by many clubs the past few months and every offer was shot down. Why a change of heart now? "When feeling out the Leafs they seemed genuinely interested in Booth but because of his salary it was tough to commit. I felt offering Cumiskey was justified in this case as ong as we got a solid d man back, and we did with Trevor Daley coming over from Calgary"

The wild cards in this deal are the two young minor league defencemen that were swapped. Lee Sweatt was a free agent signing by the Avalanche this summer and was thought to be a future 6-7 d man in the near future, but the potential of grabbing a younger and more offensively gifted player in Lalonde was appealing.

"Again it came down to a very gracious team in the Flames. I was glad this whole thing was so easy, and they were not opposed to dealing Lalonde who was a big key to this. Sweatt is a great player and very smart man, i just felt that we would get younger and stronger all around with this deal"

Hartnell and Daley arrived in Denver this morning but as of press time had not spoken to the media, however Hartnell had tweeted via his twitter account that he was happy to be out of the spotlight of Toronto and hoped that they coudl turn things around this season.

Hartnell and Daley are both expected to make their Avalanche debuts in the next game.

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