As the big named free agents tick off the board, none of them are signing with Colorado. Why? It’s simple, the Avalanche see the big picture. While, yes, they are currently nine million under the salary floor, at the time of this posting, Peter Mueller, Brandon Yip and Chris Stewart have yet to sign. Those three combined will either get the Avs back, or close to the salary floor.
If the Avs have the money, then why aren’t they going after he who’s name shall not be posted on this blog (you know, that Russian traded from Atlanta to New Jersey)? It’s called looking at the big picture. Capgeek.com proves that the Avalanche’s smartest moves are the ones they won’t make this off season. The internal free agency situation for the next two off seasons will determine the next ten years of this club.
Potential Free Agents after the 2010-11 season…
Milan Hedjuk (UFA)
Craig Anderson (UFA)
TJ Galiardi (RFA)
Ryan Stoa (RFA)
David Jones (RFA)
Kevin Porter (RFA)
David Koci (UFA)
Scott Hannan (UFA)
Adam Foote (UFA)
Kyle Cumiskey (RFA)
Ryan Wilson (RFA)
Peter Budaj (UFA)
So, Colorado has no goal tending under contract past this season. Looking at the situation coming off next season, yes, Colorado will be well under any floor, but Anderson, Cumiskey, Wilson, and Galiardi will get a pretty good raise. Assuming Foote retires, Koci and Hannan aren’t brought back, the Avs will still have to spend money on keyÂ defensive free agents. Hedjuk will probably sign another two year deal, do his farewells and be done after that contract.
However, the Avs will not go insane with “making it rain” next off season either. Why?
Potential Free Agents after the 2011-12 season
Matt Duchene (RFA)
Cody McLeod (UFA)
Kevin Winnik (UFA)
John-Micheal Liles (UFA)
Kyle Quincey (RFA)
Ryan O’Reilley (RFA)
Yeah, not exactly a cheap way to go into the off season. If you look at what we have on our plate, Avs fans, even the most die-hardÂ covet-er could see that the Avalanche could not afford he who shall not be named on this blog. You have to look at the big picture when it comes to free agency. Sometimes fans get blinded by the here and now, however, the Avs truly are a rebuilding team, in the mold of what gave them two cups. Savvy trades, internal building, and key free agent pickups. Remember, while there was great goal tending out there last season, it was the Avs who gave Craig Anderson a chance. Maybe it’s time to put your trust in Greg Sherman.
At first glance, the term “the proof is in the pudding” is the only thing I can say. Were the Avs a fluke? We’ll find out early, as the Avs’ first two games are against theÂ participantsÂ in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. Once again, the Avs start the season at home, this time against the defending champs. Then, it’s a five game road swing, where the first three games are against playoff teams,Â includingÂ seeing the defending East champs. The Avs will have a five game home stand around Christmas, and will spend all but three games at home inÂ January. The season ends with the last two at home versus Dallas and Edmonton.
Here’s the Highlights:
- 10/7 vs. CHI: The early test begins for the Avs, as the champs open up the Pepsi Center schedule.
- 10/11 @ PHI: The road schedule opens with a tough tilt in Philly.
- 10/12@ DET: The Wings lucked out against the Coyotes in the first round, but the road test kicks into second gear.
- 10/21 vs. SJ: The Sharks ended the Avs season last year, revenge will be on their minds.
- 10/23: vs. LA: The Kings and Avs were the two non-”feel sorry for you” good stories last season. Some are even saying there’s a potential West Finals matchup in the making.
- 12/13,15: Home and home with the champs.
- 12/17-27: Home for the holidays.
- 12/31: Avs celebrate the New Year in Cow-town against the Fleafs.
- 1/8: vs. NYI: Â John Tavares comes to the Mile High City.
- 3/8: @ MIN: Final game vs. the Wild
- 3/16: @VAN: Final game vs. the Canucks
- 4/3: vs. CGY: Final game vs. the Flames
- 4/7: @ DAL: Final road game
- 4/10: vs. EDM: Final game vs. Oilers; last reg. season game
Although unrestricted free agency doesn’t begin until July first, the Colorado Avalanche have been busy today. Three solidÂ re signingsÂ of Kevin Porter (the “throw in” with Peter Mueller), Ray Macias and Phillipe Dupuis. All three will provide depth for both Colorado and Lake Erie.
However, the Avalanche were not done just yet.
Colorado also traded big time bust T.J. Hensick to the St. Louis Blues, who were also very active today, for Julian Talbot. Talbot has spent most of his three professional seasons in St. Louis’ AHLÂ affiliateÂ Peoria, he has also had a cup of coffee in the ECHL as well. His production hasÂ decreasedÂ over the three seasons he has been in the BluesÂ organisation. In the end, this will go down as a Lake Erie/Peoria deal. There was talk that the Avs were going to let Hensick go anyways, so this looks like a “if we can get something for him, trade him” kind of deals.
It looks like next week Rob Blake willÂ announceÂ his retirement from the NHL. He will, without a doubt, go down in NHL history as on of the greatest offensive defensemen in this era. Many of the Avalanche faithful will remember his outstanding play in the run to the 2001 Stanley Cup, with 19 points in the Avs 23 games that season. However, I’m sure after this last season, the sweet memories of Rob Blake in an Avs uniform was replaced with the bitter memories that he ended both Peter Mueller’s and TJ Galiardi’s seasons.
There is no question that #4 will head to the rafters at the Staples Center.
This is an open letter to my fellow Avalanche fans.
Dear fellow Avs fans,
I write to you today inÂ regardsÂ with this schoolgirl likeÂ giddinessÂ that the Colorado Avalanche will sign Ilya Kovlachuck. Avs bloggers, Avs fan sites, even the Avalanche message board are allÂ a buzzedÂ about some idiot notion that the Avs will sign Kovy this off season. I’m writing to beg, NAY plead for everyone to STOP RIGHT NOW. First off, do you guys realize that next off season some rookie contracts will come up? If we have the amount that Kovy is going to sign for, how will we be able to afford Mueller, Yip, Galiardi, Quincey, and Wilson next off-season, and then oh, there is that little thing of MATT DUCHENE’S ROOKIE DEAL ENDING AFTER THE 11-12 SEASON. Whoops. You must have forgotten that. At the pace he is on, he’s going to make mega money. Is it really worth destroying the team for a guy who’s only made the playoffs twice in his career? Is it really worth destroying the team just for one person? I would say no. Stop it, stop it right now. Look, this is a good team, we don’t need a ten million dollar albatross around our neck. Please, calm down, take a moment and head towards that sign that says REALITY.
The Infamous One
It looks like Peter Budaj and David Koci will be back for another season. Both were signed to one year deals this afternoon.
While I like the Peter Budaj signing, I have to wonder about the David Koci deal. Koci played an average of three minutes per game, before breaking his hand near the end of the season. While, yes, Koci is an enforcer, people have to remember, the only goal he scored came off HIS OWN ASS. I’m not too thrilled with this move, however, it’s one year at the veteran minimum, so it won’t hurt the cap space.
Welcome to the new blog! I moved over because I wasn’t feeling comfortable with WordPress’ site. What happened? Well, life happened. That’s why things just suddenly stopped in March. I lost my place to live, and now I’ve got a roof over my head and an internet connection. Welcome over, and have fun.
So, the mystery man has entered and signed in. Peter Mueller is heading to Denver along with Kevin Porter for Wojtek Wolski. Like Wolski, Mueller has been a gross underachiver who lacks the will to win.
Looking at the positives, Mueller has a terrific upside, and if properly motivated, he could hit that. This season, Mueller has struggled mightilyÂ with only four goals and thirteen assists. That’s a far cry from his fifty-four point rookie year.
Yet, it wasn’t just Mueller coming over in the deal.
Kevin Porter also comes to Denver. Porter was a fourth round pick in 2004, and has spent the last two seasons splitting time between Phoenix and San Antonio.
How does the trade go? I think the Avs will win this in the end, mostly because Mueller and Wolski is a wash. Porter has a ton of upside, and Colorado could have just gotten a steal here.
As we are now less than 24 hours away from the NHL trade deadline, there is one player coming out of last night’s game that could be ran out of Denver on a rail.
Even in his blog, Avs beat writer Adrian Dater said what many of us Avalanche fans were thinking last night. Wolski is just not a winner. Dater went on to say,
Iâ€™m talking, first and foremost, about Wojtek Wolski. Honestly, it gives me no pleasure in ripping guys. Wolski has always been very respectful to me and has given a lot of thoughtful answers to questions and Iâ€™ve always appreciated that. So, itâ€™s easy for a little bond to develop between reporter and player when those conditions are allowed to exist.And yet, after watching tonightâ€™s game of Wolskiâ€™s, what else am I supposed to say, other than it was awful? He played about 15 minutes and finished with zero shots on goal, no points overall. He didnâ€™t go to the net and he didnâ€™t fight for the puck.
Even I noted on Twitter and Mile High Hockey last night, Wolski should have been on the back of a milk carton, because he was completely invisible. Yet, it wasn’t just him. Liles looked like crap for the first half of the game, although, I thought he did step it up later.
Back to the situation at hand, Wolski has been benched MANY times in the third this season, even when having career games. At first many Avs fans thought Sacco was insane, but then, it started to become clear, Wolski was going to cost us a game with his “devil may care” attitude. Let me go on record by saying, I was…WAS a fan of his. However, was is a key word. Now, it’s sheer frustration when it comes to watching Wolski. This kid has the talent to be a consistent 30 goal scorer in the NHL. Yet, one has the wonder, does the kid have the stones, or the will to actually do it?
Detroit Red Wings (28-21-12, 68 pts) @ Colorado Avalanche (35-20-6, 75 pts)
If you had predicted that the Wings would be out of the top eight, and Colorado would be near the top three before the season started, would you mind leaving lottery numbers in the comments section?
Colorado was supposed to be this horrible team with no identity. Joe Sakic was gone, and here comes these snot-nosed kids with no NHL experience.Â Â Oh, and they signed this backup goalie from Florida, never had a full NHL season as a starter, so you knew he was going to tire out quickly. Wait, whoops, that was supposed to happen? Yeah, they didn’t get that memo. Instead, Colorado has five of the top fifteen rookies including, the Calder front-runner, Matt Duchene. Paul Stastny is coming off a sliver medal in the Olympics for team USA.
Detroit was supposed to battle with Chicago for the Central lead, and then meet in the West finals again. For that to happen, the Wings will have to get red hot, real quick. Well, for that matter, if the Wings want to even just make the playoffs, their work begins tonight. If they lose to the Avs, they lose any tie breakers they have with Colorado. The Olympic break hit at the right time for the Wings, because, just like the Avalanche, they have injury problems. The main difference, Colorado has been able to overcome injuries, and the Wings have just gone into a shell.
|02/15/10||PatrickÂ Eaves||RW||Ankle||Questionable for March 1 at Colorado|
|02/15/10||ValtteriÂ Filppula||C||Groin||Questionable for March 1 at Colorado|
|02/14/10||TomasÂ Holmstrom||LW||Knee||Out until at least early March|
|02/16/10||AndreasÂ Lilja||D||Concussion||IR. Expected to return March 1 at Colorado|
|02/15/10||AdamÂ Foote||D||Back||Questionable for March 1 vs. Detroit|
|02/15/10||DavidÂ Koci||LW||Hand||IR. Out until at least early March|
|11/30/09||DavidÂ Jones||RW||Knee||IR. Out until at least late March|
|02/14/10||KyleÂ Cumiskey||D||Concussion||Out until at least early March|
|02/15/10||MilanÂ Hejduk||RW||Knee||IR. Expected to return March 1 vs. Detroit|
|02/01/10||MattÂ Hendricks||C||Ankle||IR. Out indefinitely|
|02/01/10||RyanÂ Stoa||C||Shoulder||IR. Might be out for the season|
Detroit Red Wings
|43||Power Play Goals||42|