Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic is not going to compromise his team's future, but that doesn't mean he won't try to make the Avs better in the short term.
"We're looking at the big picture here. We love what's coming," Sakic said, according to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post. "It's a process, and we're not going to deviate from that plan. If there's a player that can help us that isn't going to include one of those (first-round) picks and top prospects, then we'll look at that."
Colorado currently holds its own 2019 first-round selection, as well as the Ottawa Senators' first-rounder, courtesy of the Matt Duchene trade. The Senators sit near the bottom of the standings, which means that pick will likely become one of the top selections at the draft this June.
"We've been talking with teams the better part of three, four weeks now. But what we're not doing is moving our high picks and prospects," Sakic said. "There are things we'll continue to look at - hockey trades - and see how we can get better."
The Avalanche got off to a red-hot start this season, boasting a conference-best record of 15-6-5 on Dec. 1. But they've won just seven games since and sit two points outside of a wild-card spot heading into Thursday's action.
With 74 points in 52 games, Mikko Rantanen has established himself as a premier player, and linemates Nathan MacKinnon - a nominee for last season's Hart Trophy - and Gabriel Landeskog help round out one of the NHL's most productive lines. The team's offense falls off after the top line, however, as the trio is currently responsible for 45 percent of Colorado's point production this season.
"We like our back end. We like our goaltending - we just got to get them playing with more confidence," Sakic said. "If we can add some scoring, some depth scoring, that would be our priority."