Well, that was...something.
Just one week ago, Avalanche fans were riding high over the fine performance by the team brass at the NHL Draft. 88% of those who voted in our little poll felt that Greg Sherman and the boys' draft was either good or excellent. Since then? Well, I don't believe there's a delicate way to put this, so I'm just going to blurt it out: this week has sucked ass.
On Monday, we found out that not only were the Avalanche too cheap to retain Ian Laperriere, but that they were also letting Ben Guite walk away in free agency without a token offer. Two of our favorite players, gutsy guys who have worked their asses off for us...gone. We also found out that the Avalanche were not going to spend $575,000 to retain the rights to Cody McCormick.
On Tuesday, we found out just how expensive it would have been to re-sign Lappy: $3.5 million over 3 years. That's right, for less than half of what we're paying Darcy Tucker, we could have had Lappy. Hell, for the amount we're paying Tucker, we could have kept Lappy, Guite AND Cody McCormick. Just sayin...
There was some bit of good news on Tuesday, as the Avalanche signed Florida Panthers' backup Craig Anderson. Anderson appears to be capable young goalie with the potential to maybe be a starter. That's not a sure thing, of course, and the more we see from Greg Sherman the clearer it becomes that Anderson's most attractive attribute to the club was his low asking price.
On Wednesday, we discovered - belatedly - that Cody McCormick was not the only restricted free agent that the Avalanche had allowed to walk away. Although the team failed to make any such announcement (thanks, guys!), the Avs did not tender qualifying offers to goalie Jason Bacashihua and defenseman Michael Vernace. I understand the goalie thing, with Trevor Cann heading to Lake Erie after signing this summer. I don't understand the Vernace move at all. He seemed like a guy capable of providing low-cost depth. Oh well.
On Thursday, we discovered that the Avalanche weren't exactly throwing money at free agents. By then, Anderson and enforcer David Koci were the only two signings by the Avalanche. There are rumors that Darren Haydar and Brian Willsie are negotiating deals with the club, but those are not big names.
Finally, on Friday, we discovered that the Avalanche will do just about anything to cut costs, including taking on a ridiculous contract to do so. That night, the Avalanche traded the team's best player (Ryan Smyth) to the Kings for a promsing defenseman (Kyle Quincey) and a severely overpaid one (Tom Preissing). The Avalanche save a few million bucks, and we're left wondering what hit us.
In summary, this week we gain:
- Craig Anderson
- David Koci
- Kyle Quincey
- Tom Preissing
- a 5th round pick
- Ryan Smyth
- Ian Laperriere
- Cody McCormick
- Ben Guite
- Michael Vernace
- Jason Bacashihua
Yes, we lost Tyler Arnason and Andrew Raycroft as well, and you certainly can't complain about that. On the whole, however, this has been yet another poor week in what has been one dreadful offseason.
I can't wait to see what Dwight has in store for us next week.