I guess that you all know about the Ryan O' Reilly situation (no? Okay, welcome to planet Earth, please leave your lasers outside) and it got me thinking.
The original Young Guns of the Colorado Avalanche were an exciting group of players including Duchene, O'Reilly, Shattenkirk, Wilson and Yip. (Forgive me if I missed anyone, I can't be arsed to look back two years of MHH).
This core of youngsters with wisdom and skill beyond their age heralded a new and vibrant change to the lacklustre ('sup Arnason) post glory days of the Avs.
"We are rebuilding," said the owners.
"It is painful, but necessary," the MHH faithful agreed, sagely.
"You are all spoiled," said Josh of the Kroenke empire, but that's another story.
Out go the lumps and the workshy - buh-bye Trailer Arnason, Wojtek "I can board myself" Wolski and Brett "Pylon" Clark amongst others.
True enough, the team got younger (except for a D. Tucker, who stole a jersey and pretended he was with the organisation) and even though they had all the growing pains of a young team, the end product when they matured would be well worth the wait. Exhilarating hockey from the best group of young talent since a certain nucleus of Nordiques players aligned and brought Lord Stanley to Colorado. Right?
Umm, not quite. The thing with the young players is that they needed guidance and a steadying hand on the tiller by older, wiser heads. Keep things on an even keel, so to speak.
Instead, they got a revolving door of wing-ed talent, injuries, call ups and David freakin Koci. The core was dismantled and Shattenkirk and Stewart traded for Erik Johnson, Yip was injured and shipped out, Wilson was concussed and the core was reduced. Stastny, Duchene and ROR were the only ones left standing. Then Kaptain Kog jumped on board and ROR left. Stastny is likely gone this year, probably to Toronto (as he seems to be the target for trade talks in the past) as his contract is expensive, but now short.
What rebuilding is going on?
SOB and Zanon, Downie and McGinn, PAPi? Is that really the best that we can do? We are the Islanders West.
SOB has the makings of a reasonable D-man, if he could leave his ego in the locker room, but he is no Liles. Downie is gritty and has great composure with the puck, but is he really a second-liner on any other team? McGinn - McGinn-sters pasties and pies more like. PAPi - good start, but let's see where he is at the end of the season, or is this just a "new team enthusiasm?"
As for Zanon? He has a beard.
Most of the original Young Guns have been shot down and left to bleed out into the dirt. In their place are a bunch of journeymen "fill in" guys who can play a bit. Not one game in the last two years has had me as electrified as the prospect of Forsberg lacing them up again. When was the last time any of you were that excited about the Avalanche?
I am tired of hearing about a fictitious "rebuild" where no moves seem to follow a plan - first, puck moving D-men are the answer, then it's the Young Guns, then its more grit. The Avs are a Frankenstein team, made out of spare parts and corpses and animated by electricity when the weather is favourable.
There is no rebuild, there is no plan. This is running a hockey team on a budget, patching up the team and plugging in used or shop-soiled parts when necessary.
The Emperor has no clothes on.