This is my first ever fanpost! It started as a response to the trolls, thus the directed audience feel, over at the Denver Post. (I know I should ignore them but as a prospective teacher, I'm tempted to enlighten those in the dark). But I just kept going and spilling out all my feelings about the Avs and this season, so I thought I'd share it with MHH.
If you feel the urge, please comment with your reactions, even if it's just to say it was a waste of time to read if I didn't contribute any new perspectives (I create a lot of my opinions about the Avs here at MHH through gathering all of your perspectives, and may have very well stolen what some of you have said because I agree with it)
Also excuse my poor writing and organization. I'm the first to admit it. I'm no writer.
What is it that you want? Okay, fire Sacco. Then who do you bring in? Patrick Roy? Please keep him away from this young team, he'd ruin them in far more ways than anyone thinks Sacco is. Bob Hartley? He has a reputation of not being able to develop young players and honestly, my two-year old cousin could've won a stanley cup or two with that stacked team. Who is out there that you see as an improvement over Sacco? (I don't love the guy but he's earned another chance in my book unless Dan Bylsma's twin is out there). Other than Sacco, do you want to fire Sherman? His trades have been controversial, but IMO have almost all worked out positively for the team. I hated him before this year but he's really shown he has some GM smarts.
So what do you want? A stanley cup? Well as hockey fans of course that's what we all want. Do you want to be like the Blackhawks and buy a cup contender then be forced to blow up the roster? (I see them more of perennial contender now but their team is built completely differently now than their 2010 cup champions) Or would you rather be like the Penguins and take the time and steps necessary to build a potential dynasty? Competing in the playoffs is great, but I'd rather the Avs be a serious cup contender for many years, just like the old days. It takes time to get to that level. You have to draft potential starpower, build around it, and give it time to mature and gain experience. IMO this season served an excellent purpose in providing experience for our young guns (Duchene, Landeskog, O'Reilly, McGinn, Johnson, Varlamov, etc.). Experience playing in meaningful games all season, battling through injuries, making a playoff push, realizing how important a solid consistent season is to avoid relying on miracles. They won't win the stanley cup this year and haven't made the playoffs, but in my eyes this season was a success as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal.
Now that doesn't mean I don't see the flaws in this organization. I'm not, as many of you pessimists on here would say, "satisfied with mediocrity." I'd prefer to say I'm temporarily satisfied with improvement. I'm disappointed they didn't make the playoffs because, as a hockey fan, I want my team to win it all every year, but more-so because I believe it would've provided valuable playoff experience for the growing team. (Let's be honest, who expected them to go anywhere even if they miraculously gained that 8th seed). As I said, I've previously been a pretty harsh critic of Sacco and especially Sherman, but the improvement over last year and Sherman's valuable pick-ups have earned them another year or two to show whether or not they can grow and succeed with a plan that needs to move to the next step. I'm especially cautious to trust the ownership. But I'm going to put off my judgments until after this off-season. They've been preaching that it's all part of a greater grand plan. One of two things is going to happen. 1) The organization spends just enough money to re-sign the core RFA's to their deserved contracts, brings back a few of the current UFA's, and signs some run-of-the-mill free agents with whom they hope to strike gold (see Kobasew and Lindstrom) or 2) They start to show us the money by giving those same deserved RFA contracts, bringing back a couple current UFA's that they see as important elements of a contender, and bringing in some big fish (via trade or FA). I'm talking Parise or Nash or Suter. In the case of 1) I might just lose hope in this rebuild as some of you have and continue to think of the Kroenkes as cheap a-holes whole don't give a s*** about the avs or hockey. I'm hoping for Case 2) but until that happens, I can't really defend the moves ownership has made other than it has been to save room to bring back our core guys and find the missing pieces.