Thursday, July 17, 2008

Colorado Avalanche 2008/09 Schedule Released

The NHL has released the schedule for next year and once again, the Avalanche are opening at home. In an interesting move though, they'll be opening it against an Eastern Conference opponent, the Boston Bruins.

My first thought was "Hey, that's something new and possibly interesting" but then I glanced down the list of games in October and thought "They're blowing all the Eastern conference games in October!" But fear not, because then I remembered that this year there will be games aplenty against the Eastern conference. Canadiens, Flyers, Lightning, Bruins, Sabres, Leafs, Islanders, goodness, did you know were this many teams out East?

The Avalanche will also close out the season against a non-divisional opponent in the Blues while playing 4 of their last 6 games outside the division. I guess this year we'll see just how interesting the playoff races are without an inundation of divisional opponents. And who knows, with less games against the Flames, maybe I'll start un-hating them.

Previously, the Avs had opened the season against the Dallas Stars, which meant I could watch the game with my Stars fan of an uncle and, if the Avalanche lost, pull out this gem: "Yeah, well who won the last two playoff series between the Stars and Avs?" Because you know, that doesn't sound childish at all.

And my Leafs fan of an uncle...well he's already a Leafs fan so I don't pick on him too much.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Shocked! Shocked I Tells Ya!

Both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News are reporting the same story today: Peter Forsberg is having foot troubles and may not return to the NHL. Hmm...when have we heard that before?

As soon as the season was done, I was calling it a career for Forsberg. I'm sure he appreciated it too. But honestly, what more can be done on his foot at this point? It couldn't be made well enough to withstand a dozen NHL games so how can anyone be hopeful he'll be able to withstand 82 games?

If he does attempt to stage a comeback though, I can understand. This sport is his life, his passion, his identity. It's easy enough for us to say he should hang 'em up. It's much harder for him to call it quits when he knows he is mentally capable of a full season, but his body just won't hold up for him.

Related Links
Forsberg sidelined for months
Forsberg's career might end because of more foot trouble

Monday, July 7, 2008

The World Juniors are coming to town

It was briefly reported earlier this morning as being "expected" but now it's official: The World Junior Hockey Championship tournament is coming back to Saskatoon.

Saskatoon last held the tournament in '91, back when I was just a young'n who had no idea such a tournament existed. But since 2000 I've been hooked on the tournament as a showcase not only of the best up-and-coming players in hockey, but of the dogged perseverance and spirit of those young players.

These players, in the midst of a grueling junior hockey schedule, give up their Christmas and New Years to put on their country's jersey and fight it out for national pride. They leave their teams mid-season, head out to a quick training camp and are then rocketed across the world, tossed into a hotel and told "You have 1 1/2 weeks to win gold. You have less than that to become a team."

Yes, Canada has a lot invested in this tournament but make no mistake about it, the Russians, Swedes, Czechs, et. al. care deeply about this tournament as well. Nothing immortalizes that more than when, during the high of seeing your country's young players hold up that trophy, you see the camera pan to the losing bench. There you see players hanging their heads in exhaustion with their spirits broken and tears dripping onto the ice.

In 2010, I hope to be front and center watching Canada win the Gold. If not, I might squeeze out a tear or two.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Svatos Files for Arbitration

I smelled this coming but didn't want to jinx it. Unfortunately I smelled right and Marek Svatos has filed for arbitration. Dater says his sources say Svats is looking for $2.5M a year. I'd jump on that no problem - if Svatos would ever play a full season.

In his first 3 seasons he has averaged 63 games, 24 goals and 39 points. Not exactly numbers that scream "double my salary" and I expect that is what an arbitrator will say as well. Unfortunately though, if you check out some of the salaries at, you'll notice names like Fernando Pisani, Sergei Samsonov and Lee Stempniak in that $2.5M range which could turn the tides in Svatos' favor.

This does prevent an offer sheet from coming in and also doesn't preclude the team from settling with Svatos before the arbitration date. The arbitration hearings are held from July 20th to August 4th so it could be some time before we know if Svatos is returning or not.

If the arbitrator does side with Svatos, Giguere should not hesitate to sign him. When he's healthy, nobody is as opportunistic a scorer as Marek Svatos is.

Related Links
Svatos taking Colorado to Arbitration

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Welcome Back Wojtek Wolski

The Avalanche have re-signed Wojtek Wolski to a 2-year, $5.6M deal. So thats' $2.8M a year which is great as I thought he would be in the $3M to $3.5M neighbourhood.

It's a good deal for both the Avalanche and Wolski. Wolski has untapped potential and it's anyone's guess whether he can finally tap into it. If he doesn't, the Avalanche are only on the hook for 2 seasons. If he does, the Avalanche can re-up him in a couple years. And for Wolski, if he breaks out then he's in line for a solid new contract a couple years from now.

I'm quite happy with this signing and I expect nothing short of a 70 point season this year for Wolski. It shouldn't be as much of a problem since he won't be scared to death of making a mistake and having to ride the pine.

Related Links
Wolski Re-signs
Wolski signs

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Free Agency Final Thoughts

Well, I think that'll do it for the Avs today. They picked up Andrew Raycroft and Darcy Tucker, both cast-offs from Toronto, and officially announced the signing of Per Ledin. So now we have to wait for a decision from Joe Sakic and the RFAs to truly see where this team stands for next season.

At the moment, the team is a slight bit weaker in goal for a much lighter price tag and have improved the toughness on their forward lines. If you count the signings of Liles and Foote yesterday as part of this, then the defense is solid and I would say within the top-10 in the NHL. Possibly top-5 if Liles wakes up and Leopold stays healthy.

Overall, I'm ok with how things went down today as I actually didn't expect any signings other than a backup goaltender. But it could have been better.

Tucker Train
Tucker, as much as I hate the guy, has a ton of heart and has some skill to go along with it. He can light the lamp while playing on the 3rd and 4th lines and he won't back down from battles in the corner. I absolutely love that style of play and that mindset so I hope it rubs off on some other players on the team. The one thing I hope doesn't rub off is his douchey behaviour at times. Being in Canada I get to catch a lot of Leafs action on CBC and must say that not many games go by where I don't shake my head and say "That f'n Tucker".

Raycroft Razing
As for Raycroft, I'm not terribly happy about the signing. But if he's going to play just 15 games and Budaj takes a step forward in his development, then the Avalanche will have a pretty good price to performance ratio in goal. Stephane Valiquette is still available as I type and I'm going to bemoan not signing him for the entire season. You've been warned ;)

Cutting the losses
So that's what the team has gained. But what did they lose? Jeff Finger, Kurt Sauer, Jose Theodore and Andrew Brunette have all moved on as was expected. I'm ok with Sauer going. He had good moments but had some terrible moments as well. If you count either Foote or Salei as his replacement, it's an upgrade. Finger got paid way too much by Toronto so now I'm happy to see him go. Theodore got paid too much as well but then again, he was one of two goaltenders with some solid abilities on a thin market. And Bruno...oh Bruno. I will miss you. However I think letting him go was the right move for the team.

But what about X?
But what about Brian Rolston? Or Brian Campbell? Or Mats Sundin? Or Marian Hossa? All those big names are still in play so why aren't the Avalanche after them? The damn cap, that's why. And also, those players are going to be so overpaid it won't even be funny. Sundin has a 2-year, $20M offer from Vancouver while Rolston turned down a $4.5M per year offer from Tampa.

Cap snap
That leaves the Avalanche with a cap hit of $42.6M (thanks to for the quick updates!) which leaves $14M to spend on Sakic, Wolski and Svatos. If you think that Sakic signs for $5.5M, Wolski gets $3.5M and Svatos gets $2M, that leaves just $2.5M left to finish off the other RFAs (Weiman, Wall, McCormick and McLeod). So money isn't free flowing for the team by any means. And if Peter Forsberg decides to come back, money will need to be freed up.

That's why Giguere let guys like Theodore, Finger and Sauer go and got a bottom-dollar backup option and a reasonably priced Tucker. It was some pretty solid moves for what the organization was looking for and what they had the flexibility to work with cap-wise.

To quickly sum it up:

Darcy Tucker (2 years, $2.25M per)
Andrew Raycroft (1 year, $800,000)
Per Ledin (1 year, unsure of number)

Jose Theodore (signed for 2 years, $4.5M per)
Andrew Brunette (signed for 3 years, $7M per)
Jeff Finger (signed for 4 years, $3.5M per)
Kurt Sauer (signed for 4 years, $1.75M per)

Cap Hit: $42M
Cap Space: $14M

Remaining U/RFAs: Joe Sakic, Wojtek Wolski, Marek Svatos, Cody McCormick, Cody McLeod, Tyler Weiman, Michael Wall.

EDIT: Angelique reports that Tyler Weiman was not extended a qualifying offer so he's an unrestricted free agent. That's too bad as I was pretty stoked to have a Saskatoon kid playing for the team.

Remaining Roster Slots: ~5 forwards, ~1 defencemen, 0 goaltenders.

So what are your thoughts? Are the Avs better, worse or did they just toe the line? Weigh in on the poll or via comments.

Avalanche Sign Darcy Tucker

Sweet Mary, the Avalanche just signed Darcy Tucker for 2 years at $2.25M per year. What's with the Leafs buyout brigade to Colorado? Does Giguere just feel sorry for these guys or something?

Again, it's a move that made me shake my head and go "Srsly?". We just signed one of the biggest douches in the NHL (no Dion, you're still #1, don't worry) for over $2M per season after letting Andrew Brunette walk and sign for about the same price with Minnesota.

Grit and goals
One thing about Tucker though, he plays a bang-and-crash style but he's always been able to put up some pretty respectable point totals. But after 3 straight 20+ goal seasons, including a 28-goal performance in '05-'06, his output dipped to just 18 goals last season. At 33 years old, and with the style he plays, that could be an indicator of the start of a decline. Of course, you have to quantify that by remembering that he did play for the Leafs.

Tucker > Bruno?
But why let Andrew Brunette walk and bring in Tucker? I was ok with letting Brunette go on the premise of a new style of "run-and-gun" offence. Last I checked, Tucker was not the fastest skater in the world. Or even on the Leafs 3rd-line for that matter. But Tucker does have the ability to play on the 3rd or 4th lines in an agitator role. Brunette had stints down there and didn't fare so well last year.

Mix of goals and toughness
So along with some skill on their top lines with the likes of Stastny, Wolski, Sakic and Svatos, the Avalanche now have a formidable mix of annoying people to play against. Tucker, Laperriere, McLeod and McCormick are all able to get under opponents skin and can often drive them to distraction. Unfortunately they sometimes drive themselves to distraction too.

But the real issue I have is that I absolutely despise Darcy Tucker. And now he's on my team. Son of a....

Avalanche Sign Andrew Raycroft

Good grief. Let me go dig up that picture. You know which one I'm talking about. EDIT: Ah, there it is.

Hot on the heels of the Per Ledin announcement, the Avalanche went out and signed Andrew Raycroft to a one-year contract. I'm hoping the terms are something like -$2M. Yep, that's a negative sign there. I want Raycroft to pay the team to play for them. EDIT: TSN says it's $800,000 which makes me a bit calmer.

I'm going to think on this a bit more but at the moment, I'm supremely disappointed. When I heard the Caps signed Theodore, I thought the Avalanche might make a run at Huet. I guess they settled for 10th best.

UPDATE: Ok, I've thought a bit more. I had the oddest premonition yesterday of signing Raycroft. It was of the "Man, I hope they don't do this" variety of premonitions. Now that it's come true, I truly have to think whether it's a good idea or not. So give me a minute...ok, I'm back. No, it's not a good idea but it's not a terrible one.

Francois Giguere stated yesterday that he could be looking at bringing in a goaltender to back up Peter Budaj. Or at least I thought he did. When I went to re-read his comments I couldn't find them in the article on the Avalanche site. I'm 99% positive I read that so I'm not sure why they'd disappear. Maybe he realized what he said and what he did didn't quite jive with each other and decided to edit the article.

Either way, we knew there needed to be someone behind Budaj as nobody - except maybe DD ;) - completely trusts him with the reigns. I was willing to test the waters with Tyler Weiman even though I know absolutely nothing about how NHL-ready he is. I'm guessing he's pretty close to where Raycroft is.

UPDATE 2: Ok, let's look at Raycroft's stats and see if maybe I'm being a bit...holy crap he let's in almost 4 goals per game! He still managed one shutout in the TWO wins he got last season but he let in 63 goals on 509 shots for a whopping .876 save percentage. In the year before that as the #1 for Toronton, he garnered 37 wins (not bad) in 72 games while putting up a 2.99 GAA (bad) with a .894 save percentage.

37 wins is a lot of wins. 72 games is a lot of games. 3 goals per game is a lot of goals against per game. From what I see in the stats and what I remember of watching far too many Leafs games on CBC, the team did their best to win games while Raycroft did his best to lose them. I'd love to just look at the 37 wins by itself but you can't. 37/72 is just over .500 which we all know is not a great winning percentage in the league.

However, given that it's an $800,000 contract I can at least say they didn't overpay for his services. But it's close.

UPDATE 3: So who else could the Avs have gotten? Well, the Wings went out and stole Ty Conklin for $750,000 for the year. That would have been nice. It looks like Chicago is about to sign Huet for over $5M per year for 4 years. I'm ok not getting Huet for that price as I'm not overly sold on him. Jose Theodore got $4.5M per year over 2 years. Definitely ok letting that go.

But who's still left? As of 3:51pm ET, Stephane Valiquette, Ray Emery, Olaf Kolzig and then a slew of backup guys like Patrick Lalime and John Grahame. Out of the three I mentioned, I would have loved to see Valiquette come over at the right price. Kolzig would have been nice if he'd have been willing to assume a backup/mentor role. And Emery, he can take his attitude elsewhere.

So for me, there were a couple better options out there but not many. I think if Kolzig can't play in Washington or as a starter he's going to retire. I don't blame him one bit either. As for Valiquette, I guess it depends on what he ends up going for but color me unhappy that the Avs chose Raycroft over Valiquette.

UPDATE 4: I just realized that once again, Budaj is being paid less than his backup (based on cap number)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, after the initial shock wore off, I'm about 75-25 on this move. As long as Budaj plays solidly, then the Avs have a reasonable backup at a good price. In fact they probably have the cheapest goaltending tandem in the league. If Budaj falters tough, there's really nobody behind him to pick up the load. Maybe it's a subtle message from FG to Budaj that he doesn't expect there to be any faltering and Raycroft will see 15 starts and the rest will be entrusted to the lovable Boods. I'm curious how Budaj will handle the extra load. He took it all in stride 2 years ago in the infamous stretch run that ended in heartbreak. Can he do it again this season?

UPDATE 5: The Denver Post reports that Raycroft is a former teammate of Jeff Hacket. A-ha! The move makes a bit more sense now. Let's hope Hacket can work some magic and make him a serviceable backup.

Related Links
TSN Free Agent Tracker

Jose Theodore Signs with Washington

Jose Theodore has signed with the Washington Capitals. No more shall we see his flowing locks gracefully move as he follows the action from the bench. Nor will we be subject to him showing his true capabilities before foolishly deciding to play hockey in 50 pounds of equipment after not eating anything for 24 hours.

In all seriousness though, I believe Theodore is a decent guy and wish him well with Washington.

EDIT: It's a 2-year deal with terms not disclosed. Good call on the Caps part to not sign him long-term.

EDIT 2: Sportsnet reports it as $4.5M per year. Good luck to Washington because I'd like that franchise to do well but...boy, that's a lot of cash for Theo.

Finger Signs with the Leafs

Jeff Finger is off to Toronto on a 4-year, $14M deal. Congratulations to Jeff Finger as he is now a millionaire living in the big TO. But he still has to play for the Leafs.

Phoenix Snags Sauer

After losing a couple D-men in the Jokinen trade, Phoenix has signed Kurt Sauer to a 4-year deal worth $1.75M per season. Good for Kurt and I wish him well in the desert.

Avalanche Sign Per Ledin (Officially!)

The Avalanche have officially announced the signing of Swedish agitator Per Ledin. This was reported/rumored a couple weeks back but there was no official word from the organization.

I have no idea who this fellow is but he sounds like a tough grinder who can still rack up some points. Perfect for a fourth-liner.

Let's see if the Avs can turn around their luck with one-year contracts for Euro players (*cough*Hlinka*cough*)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Liles, Foote Re-sign with the Avalanche

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
TSN is reporting that John-Michael Liles and Adam Foote have re-signed with the Colorado Avalanche. The terms for Liles are believed to be 4-years at around $4 million per year while Foote is on a 2-year deal at $3 million per year.

I was a bit surprised to learn of the signings. I was actually about to make a post questioning the labeling of Jeff Finger as a "puck-moving defenseman" in Darren Dreger's latest blog when this popped up on the TSN front page. After a dramatic double-take, I decided the signings were a bit more important to cover.

John "The Model" Liles
Liles was a question mark heading into free agency for the Avalanche. He didn't have a great year offensively but most - including myself - felt his defensive game improved significantly. There was a bit of trepidation that he would sign elsewhere and we'd be left with Kyle Cumiskey as our next great hope for an offensive d-man.

The one thing Liles needs to work on is being the powerplay quarterback he is expected to be. Last season he put up 20 points (5G, 15A) on the powerplay. While those aren't horrible numbers, they are not entirely what I'd expect from the #1 D-man on the #1 PP unit. And that's taking into account how ineffective the Avalanche powerplay was last season.

It was believed that he could sign in the $4-$5 million per year neighbourhood with another team. I think it could have easily been $5M so I'm happy to have him back with a $4M price tag. As long as he keeps improving.

Adam Foote brought in a huge veteran and physical presence at the trade deadline last year. The Avalanche defense had been lauded as a bit soft even with the acquisition of Hannan. However when Foote arrived - and Ruslan Salei for that matter - things turned around quickly. When Adam Foote is on the ice he is angry. It doesn't matter who he plays against, he skates around with a look of hate on his face at all times. I love it!

He is getting up there in age but a 2-year deal is just fine by me. People claim he lost a step or two lately but it's not like he was ever Pavel Bure or Kyle Cumiskey. Whoever thought you'd put those two in the same sentence.

I'm very happy to have Foote back not just for nostalgia sake but for the Chuck Norris mentality he brings to his game. That's right, Footer only has two speeds: skate and kill.

Defensive Line
So where does this leave the Avalanche's defensive line? Full actually. Liles, Clark, Hannan, Salei, Foote and Leopold are now all under contract for next season leaving between zero and one slots available. That one extra slot, lovingly known as the "press box slot", could be filled in by re-signing Jeff Finger but I fully expect him and Kurt Sauer to hit free agency to go somewhere where they will play every night. Yes, yes, Leopold will be injured two games into the season and they can take his spot. Ha ha ha ;)

The Cap
This puts the Avalanche's current defense at a cap hit of about $20M at the moment. Is it a $20M squad? We'll have to wait for the rest of the teams to finalize their rosters to adequately judge that. At the moment, I'm mildly skeptical with a healthy dose of optimism.

This leaves the team with around $37M in total commitments leaving them about $19M to finish off the forwards and deal with the goaltending situation.

If you still believe Sakic is coming back, which I do, then the team is looking at about $14M for the rest of the squad which includes locking up RFAs Marek Svatos and Wojtek Wolski. That doesn't leave a ton of space so don't be looking for a big free agent splash like last year.

Kyle Cumiskey
Of course, where does this leave Kyle Cumiskey. He's essentially Liles with a babyface and faster wheels. He's toiled down in the AHL for the last couple seasons with a few stints with the big club. When he was up, he was impressive with the caveat that we forgave his defensive errors to a certain degree because he was young and inexperienced.

Well, initially I was going to bemoan a soft defense because Foote had yet to sign. Now that Foote has signed I'm happier with the toughness of the D and actually hope Cumiskey doesn't make the team out of training camp is it would mean a lot of press box viewings and not a lot of action.

Relax much?
There was some hand-wringing going on over the lack of updates from the Avalanche camp. What people often forget is that this team is like the CIA when it comes to giving out information. I was surprised we were as in the loop on the Theodore situation as we were. But after signing two key defenseman to some pretty solid contracts, are people ready to calm down yet? Probably not.

Related Links
Avalanche Re-sign Liles
Avalanche Re-sign Foote

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Report: Theodore to test the free agent frenzy

Just as I was about to leave for a day of touring San Francisco I thought I'd check my feeds one more time. I must have had a premonition as Adrian Dater just put up a quick post on his blog that talks between Theodore and the Avalanche appear to have broken down. So it looks as if Jose Theodore will test the free agent market come July 1.

So at the moment, it looks as if Peter Budaj will come into training camp with the #1 status and Tyler Weiman and Jason Bacashihua will battle for the backup position. I don't see FG taking a chance on some of the available goaltenders such as Ray Emery or Marc Denis. Of course Denis does have ties to the Avalanche but how many trouble cases does this organization need to take on at this position?

I, as am sure many others are, am curious for both what the Avalanche offered and what Theodore and his agent, Don Meehan, think they're going to get. He may have bolstered his status somewhat in the last half of the season but that doesn't wipe out the two seasons before that where he was less than mediocre.

Related Links
Theodore about to test free agency

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Avalanche Extend Qualifying Offers to Four; Continue Talks with Theodore

We finally get to hear about the Avalanche's qualifying offers! Said offers had to be in today for all restricted free agents to retain the rights to them and the Rocky Mountain News reports the players extended offers were: Marek Svatos, Wojtek Wolski, Cody McCormick, Cody McLeod.

The one notable missing off that list...Tyler Weiman. Maybe I feel more invested in him as he's from Saskatoon but I really like the kid. Sure, I've never actually seen him play more than 20 minutes but I saw him sit on the bench a few games. He seemed to do it quite well.

But then once I started checking out the RFA situation, I noticed QOs weren't extended to Jason Bacashihua or Michael Wall either. That leaves Peter Budaj as the only goaltender under contract at the moment.

The Avalanche continue talks with Jose Theodore but talks don't mean squat until the contract is signed. I don't get the impression that they expect Delmas to step in right away. So my only question is: assuming Theo gets re-signed, who's going to play goal in Lake Erie? And if Theo doesn't get re-signed, the question gets an addendum of "who will back up Peter Budaj?"

I'm guessing QOs to Weiman and Bacashihua simply haven't been announced yet and Wall is going to be the odd man out. Unless FG was completely asleep at the switch which is as likely as me hitting a hole in one a bum knee. Even Tiger couldn't do that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I leave for one day...

I leave for one day and all hell breaks loose. Ok, not all hell but maybe a tiny squeak of lava from a festering volcano.

Scott Parker was re-signed, Johnny Boychuk was traded, Marty Sertich was signed and Joe Sakic will delay his decision until after free agency starts. So, in order, I'll say: ok, whatever, who cares and sweet holy mother of pearl!

I'm a bit surprised at Super Joe delaying his decision this long and am starting to have doubts on my bold assertion that he will definitely be back next year. If he needs to take this long to decide and is delaying long enough that it could very well impact the team's future, I'm possibly maybe sort of starting to have tiny doubts.

In another startling piece, Andrew Brunette has not even been contacted by Francois Giguere. That's actually a bit shocking. Bruno has been a great player and, as far as I can tell, a great teammate so to not extend him a courtesy call is a bit...well...discourteous.

On the Drew Remenda Sports Show the other night - yes, our sports talk radio show has the Sharks color guy as the lead - he stated that if he was the GM any other team in the NHL, one of the first guys he'd be calling would be Andrew Brunette. Of course, he's not the GM of any other team but the point still stands. I'm tilting my head curiously in FG's direction over this one. I'm sure he cares.

And in case anyone is wondering where I am, I'm in San Francisco for a couple days. A conference on cloud computing tomorrow and then a day to explore the city after that. So I'm in a full-on geek mode starting

Related Links
Avalanche Sign Parker, Sertich; Acquire Hendricks
Still no contact with Bruno and the messy Sakic situation
Sakic will delay decision to retire (I'd reword that headline to "whether or not to retire" - unless they know something we don't)
What's he doing?
Super Joe not in a big hurry

Friday, June 13, 2008

Two PHWA Members Voted Quenneville as the Top Coach

Joel Quenneville with the Jack Adams trophy
In further proof that being part of a professional writing organization does not mean jack squat, our beloved former-coach Joel Quenneville received two first place votes for the Jack Adams award.

Maybe one of them was the same guy who tried voting Sidney Crosby onto the All-Star a right-winger.

Thanks to Mirtle for keeping us abreast of how the voting went for each of the awards last night.

And thanks to Tapeleg for giving some excellent suggestions on making the awards ceremony better than a preschool awards show.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ian Laperriere Receives Father of the Year Award

Our beloved Lappy was an honoree at the 2008 Father of the Year Awards put on by the American Diabetes Association and the Denver Father’s Day Council.

Seriously, how could you not like this guy?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

NHL Entry Draft Order Released - Avalanche Pick 50th

The NHL has released the entry draft order (PDF) and, as we all knew, the Avalanche's first choice will come midway through the second round at #50.

Do I want a first-round pick for this team? Yes. Do I lament losing it for the Adam Foote trade? No. Adam Foote helped propel this team into the playoffs and showed some of the youngsters on the squad what it meant to be a determined and gritty player. I wish the lessons had lasted longer but it was invaluable first-hand experience.

The Avalanche tend to have mixed sucess with first-round picks while finding some gems in later rounds. So I'm holding on hope for that to continue this year or for Giguere to pull of a shrewd trade for an early first-rounder. And by "shrewd trade" I mean a controversial trade which will re-ignite the blogosphere for a few days.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Joe Sakic Discusses Future with the Avalanche

I had a craptacular day today and once it was finally winding down, I came across an article on And let me tell you, it let me turn down the suck and turn up the good. Anyone still remember that movie? No? Good.

Let's cut right to me pilfering the content of that article. The first paragraph should be enough to have you up and whistling "zippity-doo-da" tomorrow morning:

When the Colorado Avalanche named Tony Granato as their new head coach late last week no one could have been happier then captain Joe Sakic.
"Ah ha!" you say. "Giguere signed Granato because he knew it would lure Joe back for one more year."

It's a good theory. I don't fully buy it but it's a good theory. I think removing Quenneville was enough to lure Joe back for one more year. I also think that Sakic still has at least one more good season in him and he's not about to go out wondering if he could have played one more year. I've said since the season ended that I didn't think Sakic was retiring and I still stand by that.

Plus his wife has left the ball in his court on this one. And I think you know what men tend to do when the ball is in their court.

Related Links Interview with Joe Sakic