There's a lot of disappointment over the Avalanche's woeful offseason so far and rightfully so. As Jib points out, the Avalanche are looking a bit like Scrooge McDuck while MHH Joe is worried the team is headed down goon alley. DD prefers to poke fun at the Leafs for the moment which is definitely something I can get behind.
Myself, I'm soaking in a warm Saskatchewan summer so I'm kind of in "chillax" mode at the moment. Of course, the free agent frenzy was a different story as I had the tv on and computer open with about 300 tabs following the action. Once the weather starts turning towards hockey though, I'm fearful of what my thoughts on this team will be. But for now, here's what's going through my head.
Huet is not that great
One of the main things I've been seeing in comments throughout various sites is that the Avalanche are braindead for not picking up Cristobal Huet after Jose Theodore walked. I'll admit that when I heard Theodore was headed to Washington the first thing that popped into my head was that Huet could be headed our way. A millisecond later those thoughts were obliterated as the screen read "Colorado Avalanche Sign Andrew Raycroft"
I won't repeat what came out of my mouth at that moment but it wasn't good. Then I found out that Raycroft cost $800K while Huet ended up going to Chicago for $5.4M. And all was well. Ok, not entirely well but I still get a kick out of that being the last line of a wildly famous series of novels. Can you say "Lame ending?"
As much as I think Pierre McGuire is wrong for using Brodeur's contract as a benchmark for why the Huet signing is bad, he's spot on that they just handed out gobs of cash to a goaltender who has yet to win a playoff series. Let that sink in for a minute. Sure, Theodore has never gotten past the second round but at least he's saddled up his team a few times and got them past the first round.
And for a player who played hardball with a team, got what he asked for and then still walked, I have some questions about his character.
Tucker will be loved
As long as he can keep the douchery and whining to a minimum, Avalanche fans will enjoy Darcy Tucker. We grew to begrudgingly love Cody McLeod in a few short months, right? Well Tucker and McLeod aren't that different. They've both got ridiculous tempers coupled with gritty, never back down attitudes. Just dye Tucker's hair red and call them twins. Except one of the two can score 20+ goals in a season.
Naslund not needed but what about B-mo?
I've seen some folks mention they want Markus Naslund. Aside from that not being an option anymore...well, it was never really an option to begin with. Smyth and Wolski are the team's two top-line left wingers and let's leave it at that.
Besides, if we want an ex-Canuck, listen to Jibblescribbits and start rooting for Brendan Morrison. He'll come at a cheaper price and he can fill a need for depth down the middle. Because as we are all painfully aware of, Tyler Arnason is not a depth player. We're not even sure if he still plays hockey at this point. It actually makes me sad that I said it was good that the Avalanche re-signed him last summer.
Sakic did not hamstring the team
Joe Sakic not deciding his future has had minimal impact on the team's future direction. Yes, if Joe does retire (*knocks wood*) then there is a problem down the middle for the team. I don't know if Wolski is cut out to be a center at the moment so having Stastny, Wolski, Arnason and Guite doesn't fill me with a ton of confidence. The first and last I'm fine with but the middle feels a bit soft.
However, find me a top-line center to replace Sakic in the UFA pool and I'll give you a cookie. You could make an argument for a 2nd-line center within that group but there's no real standout that would have appeased fans. And no, Mats Sundin doesn't count since he is still undecided on his playing future.
And for goodness sakes, please quit saying Joe Sakic is being selfish.
Reality check on Huet/Kolzig
Avs moves nothing major