Colorado Avalanche: Franchise's 7 Biggest Disappointments This Season
The Colorado Avalanche have been mediocre all year.
Although they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, they are not scaring anyone on the way.
There have been winning streaks followed by losing streaks, players under-performing and nobody seems willing to take any accountability. There is no excuse for this based on the talent and cap space at their disposal.
Here is a ranking of where the biggest problems lie, as well as a few things that are nobody's fault. These are the Avalanche's seven biggest disappointments this season.
No. 7: GM Greg Sherman
Greg "The Accountant" Sherman hasn't been terrible by any means, but he most certainly hasn't been good enough to make a championship team.
He has been afraid to spend money in an effort to build any type of success. Whether it be signings or trades, he doesn't admit mistake. Joakim Lindstrom and Chuck Kobasew have been next to useless, prompting Lindstrom to be shipped back to Europe early on. The first and second-round draft picks sent for a largely unproven goaltender in Varlamov is another story in itself.
Although I do admire his willingness to make big moves, I think we can all agree they could have been better.
No. 6: Brandon Yip
After a surprising rookie season in which he scored 19 points in 32 games, he decided to follow it up with a bad season last year and one so terrible this year it even convinced "The Accountant" to drop someone who wasn't making any serious money.
He has been injury plagued, which isn't his fault but it also does qualify as a disappointment. He was not offensively good enough for the top six, and not good enough defensively for the bottom six. He was a huge disappointment this year.
Best of luck to him in Nashville.
No. 5: The Fans
We, the fans, have not been innocent by any means either.
We have wiped our hands of the problem and taken no accountability for the fact that we are letting this happen. There was a time when fighting for a playoff spot would cause fans to boo the team and have hundreds of articles in the paper about it.
Now, we have accepted our team isn't good enough to win and that should say more about us than them. The front office, players nor coaches are feeling any pressure from us when they lose and are getting no praise when they win. Nobody is going to put effort into anything if a loss feels the same as a win.
If we start another sellout streak maybe ownership will consider spending money on the product to be a good investment once again.
No. 4: Paul Stastny
His ridiculous contract is not his fault, but his play most certainly is.
Maybe he isn't being used properly but I think he knows it is not entirely his line-mates or coach. This is a player who was once a point-per-game player in his younger years and still holds an NHL rookie record for consecutive games with a point. He has never been a flashy player but he has been a smart playmaking center.
His mediocre play has him all over trade rumors and it has become obvious he is no longer the team's top center. 30 points so far this year is far from good enough and thus Stastny has been a huge disappointment.
No. 3: Injuries
Of course nobody is blamed for this but it has, however, been a big let down.
Peter Mueller and Matt Duchene are missing significant time, and that is going to cost the team a few points.
Many people including myself thought Mueller would be forced to retire. The good news is that the free-lunch has been attained as Peter is now back and on a roll. Duchene also should be back shortly. This will make a big difference through the rest of the season as long as everyone can stay reasonably healthy.
No. 2: Coach Sacco
Back in December, it appeared every coach in the league was on the hot seat and I have no idea how Sacco managed to keep his job.
The team is still 2-10 in divisional games this year and Sacco still doesn't have a solution.
His systems are old, outdated and more importantly, not for this team. A fast, small and skilled team has no business playing a dump-and-chase game. He made Hejduk the captain and although he may be a great player, he is not the most vocal leader and at his age where he has one or two years left, it makes you wonder.
This coach has to go—he has been given far too much opportunity to figure it out with no results. He is one of the biggest disappointments Colorado has had this season.
No. 1: The Ownership (Kroenke Sports Enterprises)
Someone might need to remind Josh Kroenke that there is a team that plays in the Pepsi Center other than the Nuggets.
He is unwilling to give Sherman any power to spend money. I believe this to be largely the reason Pierre Lacroix stepped down as GM. Stan Kroenke (Josh's father) bought the St. Louis Rams and is being forced to dump his shares in Colorado by 2014, and there has been no interest in any sort by Josh since he took over day-to-day operations.
This is so disgustingly unacceptable that a once proud franchise now can't even get noticed by its own chairman. This team has lost coverage, fans and respect since Josh stepped in and it's about time he remembers that there is ice in that building.
Since Lacroix stepped down as GM, Colorado has only hired members of its 'family' as coaches and GMs. This in itself shows Josh feels they know more about everything involved than him.
He is the single biggest problem and obviously the biggest disappointment this franchise has seen this season.