Is John-Michael Liles’ Time Winding Down with the Colorado Avalanche?

December 16th, 2009 by James Crider Leave a reply »
The John-Michael Liles era may be coming to an end.

Once a mainstay on Colorado's top defensive pairing, Liles has slipped to the third pairing in favor of players like Ryan Wilson, all the while his offensive numbers continue to decrease and his defensive lapses continue to be more glaring.

Last game, after being on the ice for three of the first four Washington goals, Liles was benched for the entire third period by coach Joe Sacco. His minus-five rating is worst among Avalanche defensemen.

For a defenseman who scored 38 goals his first three NHL seasons, Liles progression has been a disappointment. Many analysts believed he would develop into a premier offensive defenseman as time went on, but it just hasn't happened.

Liles is on pace for his third straight season with less than forty points, and it doesn't help that former Avalanche GM Francois Giguere signed him to a bloated four year deal running through the 2012 season that has an annual salary cap hit of 4.2 million dollars per season.

He just isn't worth it anymore.

With Scott Hannan, Ryan Wilson, Kyle Cumiskey, Tom Preissing signed through next year, ...

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