It's BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!! Strap yourself in everybody! We've got EIGHT pulse-pounding days of drivel insight and analysis to get you desperate for actual hockey so that you can stop reading this crap! And exclamation points!!! Hundreds of exclamation points!!
This year's participants include:
- Mike and Joe from this fine site,
- the beautiful Angelique (aka Jori) from Avs Prospects,
- the not-as-beautiful Draft Dodger and almost-doable Dario from In the Cheap Seats,
- Saskatoon Shane from Colorado Avalanche Talk,
- GEO (not the defunct car) from The Avslova Factor,
- Budaj's #1 Fan, Jibblescribbits from the site of the same name,
- mascot-hater Tapeleg from Jerseys and Hockey Love,
- multi-tasker Justin from The Avalanche Guild,
- with special-guest star Jay Vean from The Avs Hockey Podcast,
- and featuring Aaron of The Dog and Pony Show!
Here's the roadmap to our eight days of genius:
1. RIVALS? We don't need no stinking rivals!!
2. HOLES? Only if they're the donut kind!!
3. GRANATO? I HEART CAMMI!!!
5. PESTS? We call them checking wingers!!
6. SALARY CAP? Kroenke is reyotch!!
7. BUDAJ? Bood-you!!
8. EXPECTATIONS? Lower than ever!!
MileHighHockey will add a new link daily as we count down the days to the Avalanche opener on Oct. 9th! Keep it tuned here as our eight crazy days fall off the calender landing with the dull, lifeless thud that is hockey blogging!!! Exclamation!!!!!
What is the most beneficial way for the Avs to spend the rest of their available salary cap space? Should they hold on to it till the deadline?
Draft Dodger:It never hurts to have some cap space for deadline deals, but I believe the Avs are saving room for one reason and one reason only: Peter Forsberg. And you won't hear any argument from me about that plan.
Jay Vean:I have to agree with David on this one. Nothing like having some spare money around to sign one of the best Avs of all time when he deems he is ready to go again. Rumor is that Peter the Great is progressing nicely and may be back sooner than later, but that's just rumor and we all know how much weight those hold when talking about Peter Forsberg. He'll do what he wants, when he wants to do it, and us Avs fans don't mind that at all. At 50% or less he is still that rare player that can change any game all by himself. Those types of players don't come around very often. And to know that he has already said that he's not interested in playing for any other organization besides our Colorado Avalanche is just icing on the cake. I look forward, just like we all do, to seeing him in an Avs sweater again sooner than later.
Joe:If Peter Forsberg can realistically return (I'm not convinced last year's attempt was realistic), the cap space should be saved for him. Under no circumstances should the Avs go shopping for goaltenders while Peter Budaj is still costing them so little. The only other option for the money I can see is spending it on a defenseman with a huge slap shot who can quarterback the power play, but good luck with that. It kind of seems like that's a lost art.
Shane: The ol' "wait and see" approach is fine in this situation. There's nothing saying you have to spend right up to the cap so why try to fill a need that may not exist?
If this team comes charging out of the gate, Giguere will look like a genius and Kroenke will have a thicker mattress to sleep on at night.
If the team falters, then Giguere have the space to address the issue.
And hey, maybe they'll lower ticket prices in the meantime. Hah!
Mike: I'll let the people of the Warton School at the University of Pennsylvania explain:
"First, understand that the
stock free agent market is a giant distraction to the business of investing running a successful franchise," [Jack Bogle] says. Stock prices are likely to go somewhat lower, he adds, warning speculators trying to bet on such moves that they ought to get out now. But to long-term investors, his advice is to "ride it out. Don't do anything. That will probably be painful but it probably would be better than trying to guess when to get out," he says, referring to investors' management's tendency to bail out when prices save percentages are low and buy again when prices are high for Khabby, reversing the basic rule of buy low, sell high.
I agree. Sit on the cash and avoid goaltenders named Nikolai at all costs.
Avalanche Guild: Save the dough for either Brenden Shanahan or Peter Forsberg.
The Avs could also use some new in-game entertainment at Pepsi Center...something other than the King Soopers gift-card giveaway. I don't know how much more I can handle thousands of drunk, obese fans waving their Soopers cards in the air as if they're stranded on an island, starving, trying to flag down a plane going overhead.
I also wonder if salary cap $$$ could possibly be used for game-by-game incentives. Challenging the players every once in a while with the chance to win some cold hard cash never hurt anyone!! Also, fans should be made aware that there are some significant changes in the bonus salary cap space that teams have this season. I can't get into the details because of word-count, but many teams do not have salary cap flexibility like they did last season, so that's more reason for the Avs to save their dough for things like unforeseen injuries, etc.
Angelique:Having a cap cushion going into the regular season gives the Avs some flexibility. Perhaps the extra money will be used on another miraculous Peter Forsberg return in late December, but it may be time to let Peter go. With a tough Western Conference, the Avs cannot afford to get off to a slow start. Should this situation occur, they will have the cap space to make a move. Yet, if they prove the critics wrong, they can use the remaining cap space at the trade deadline to add another forward to the arsenal (or perhaps finally acquire the defensive minded third line center they have needed for years).
GEO:Save the money, not for Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin, or Ray Emery (kidding), but in case there is a big injury that requires attention. This means that if the Avs find out one of their top defensemen is injured in the opener, they have so room to make a trade for a good player to fill his spot.
If they make it to the trade deadline and are in contention for the playoffs, then I think it may be time to rent a player. This could be Joe Sakic's last season and all of us want to see him win a Stanley Cup. As we've seen in the pass, it's sometimes the smaller moves (Brad Stuart to Detroit) that make the most difference. That's fine. Let's make sure we have the cap space to make a smaller move and ensure that the Finals are a reachable goal.
If none of the above works, I could use some spending cash.
Tapeleg: I am a huge fan of holding on to some cap space until the deadline, and it's going to be pretty hard to convince me otherwise.
Perhaps there won't be anyone truly valuable to the team come deadline day, and perhaps there will be no need to buy, but having the option is always good. Maybe you find you need a Tommy Salo (does anyone need a Tommy Salo? Did the Avs?). Maybe a cheap Peter Forsberg comes along to shoehorn you into the playoffs. Maybe all you need is a Scott Parker to beat some ass in a few games. But if you have a need, and have cap issues, what more do you need.
As for where to spend it, the season will make it obvious, until fate intervenes. Who would have thought that the Avs would run out of scoring forwards in the second round? It must have been pretty lonely out there on the first few lines. Wait and see, wait and see.
Jibblescribbits:With the notable exception of a certain Swede... there's not really much to do with the cap at this point. They can either save some for Forsberg, and if that doesn't pan out they can assess what's needed near the trading deadline, and go out and try and get something there.
Also, I'm sure our über-rich owner is actually feeling the results of our economy going in the pooper. I still think there were worthy free agents out this last summer, but they're no longer there. There's nothing worth spending it on. Take the money, buy some government bonds, then when the Avs make a run at Gaborik next summer they will have the money, and just have to look for some cap space.
Dario:It's Foppa escrow, I have no doubts. Look for the signing after December 1st.
Aaron: Please don't tell me they are saving up in hopes of a "Forsberg Surprise" in December! What he's gonna jump out of a cake at New Years and everything will be okay? Really? The Peter Forsberg love fest has to come to an end at some point. The man is broken. Why not trade for Gaborik?
I don't want to hate. I love Pedro. The man in his prime was a phenomenon. But the Avs have to build in a positive direction rather than taping together the tattered pieces of the past every season.
Summary: The consensus appears to be to sit on the cash until Foppa deigns to grace us with his presence. Hopefully in time for another run at the post-season.