I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I have to admit to being bored stupid by the lack of hockey news and moves. I know it's August, but it just seems it is taking forever for anything to happen. With this in mind, I am trying to spark a debate, so no offence intended.
We are all kind of hoping that the Avs will get make the playoffs this coming season. I don't think anyone is expecting to hoist the Stanley Cup, but maybe a 2nd round run.
I think the Avs management and us fans have been spoiled by last year's success but this year will be different.
Which Colorado team will be present this year? The team that lost 17 of the last 30 games of the season, or the one that won the 21 of the first 30?
More after the jump
The core of the team is still present - young, quick players who have now been blooded in the Stanley Cup. The likes of Gali, Yip, O'Reilly and of course Duchene - not to mention Wilson and Dr Jones.
Superb players such as Stastny and Hejduk complement the young core and crusty old vets like Adam Foote add seasoning to this mix.
Finally, Andy "Awesome" Anderson - ice girl ogling, puck repellant, free agent extraordinaire. An unbelieveable bargain in anybody's eyes.
Addition by subtraction - players who were, let's be honest, deadwood. The once awesome agitator Tucker, Brett "Meat Shield" Clark, Rusty "how much money?" Salei and the world's best invisible man impersonater: Marek Svatos.
These are all things I am excited about and feel encouraged by. However, the negatives are (strangely enough) all management issues - not players who are useless or have bad contracts or anything like that.
The Avs have no depth. Hejduk has been injury prone the last few seasons, Dr Jones missed 52 games due to a freak accident, Wilson and Mueller both had concussions last year, with Mueller's being particularly bad. In fact, the Avs have the dubious honour of finishing the season with the 2nd most man games lost to injuries with 340 (Edmonton "won" with 494 according to THN) so injuries will play their part in next season too.
Who will step up? Stoa is possible, but would he really be a 2nd or 3rd line forward? I still have nightmares about Trailer Arnason being a first line centre in 2008/09! To my mind the cupboard is pretty bare for next season. The Avs are particularly thin on LW. There are a few on the market, albeit the Avs passed on the biggest - some russian dude.
The Avs stand at 26th in the league with goals against at 3.08. That would indicate that there are problems in defence. A big mean mofo to move people out of the crease would be most useful. Shame there wasn't someone like Andy Sutton available, or that Vol-au-vent russian geezer kicking around.
Ticket prices are ridiculously high. Advertising is non existent (the MHHers on here should be hired by management imho). Mueller and Stewart are being treated like ginger headed step-children and not being given the deals they want. Andy becomes an FA at the end of this season (give him an extension already), attendance is down, Kroenke seems to be distracted by issues away from hockey.
Also, there are fewer vets in the team. No team in any sport (that I'm aware of) has made such a huge reliance on young players. I'm all for rebuilding, but would the addition of a couple of salty vets on short deals hurt that much? A Bill Guerin type figure? Someone who could teach the young guns a trick or two?
To sum up: The Avs will struggle this year due to depth (and cheap-ass Kroenke not spending) and will miss the playoffs.
Note: I want to be wrong