I don't want to turn this into something that it isn't, but it's obvious that Adrian Dater and I have some differing opinions on the Avs goaltending situation.
I just believe what I believe: that Theodore was worth keeping. And it was humorous reading from at least one Peter Budaj apologist that Theodore’s salary "demands" were "exhorbitant" this summer. Really? The fact that he would have signed for a 25-percent pay cut from what he made the year before - and just wanted the Avs to match the other offer that was already on the table from another team? That’s exhorbitant? A guy who was one of the top three goalies in the league in the second half, and stole a playoff round, with a Hart Trophy already in his closet?
In case you aren't aware, I'm the Peter Budaj apologist he's calling out. I don't deny that I like Budaj, and think he can (and will) be a good goalie. I'm not blind, though. He hasn't been playing great. And you know what? Budaj may turn out to be the next David Aebischer (as in, a dud). It's not like I haven't been wrong before.
None of that will change my opinion of Jose Theodore, and the decision to not re-sign him last summer. I'm glad he's gone. Yes, he had a great season (I only gave one player a higher grade this summer). Well, a great half of a season, to be more concise. And that great half of a season followed roughly two terrible seasons. We're his demands "exorbitant"? No, even I agreed that he'd command something in the $4 to $5 million range. But I am not convinced that he's going to be able to stick with that 2008 form. By the end of last season, he was starting to show some signs of regression and I don't need to remind anyone here that he's not exactly off to a great start this year. I felt (and still feel) that there were too many question marks to justify investing that much money in Jose. And, it seems, Francois Giguere felt the same way. Budaj may not be the answer. Raycroft probably is not the answer. But I don't think Theo would have been the answer either.
I don't give a rat's ass that Theo was offering a pay cut, just like I don't really care that we paid Theo something like $240,000 per win while he was here. Nor do I think Theodore owed the Avs for being patient while he struggled to turn his career around. He's worth what someone is willing to pay him, and what the Avalanche were willing to pay was less than what another team was willing to pay. As a result, Jose Theodore is gone. Good for him...and good for us, I say. And I'm glad he took his Hart trophy with him - it didn't stop too many pucks while he was here, that's for damn sure.
Adrian and I will have to agree to disagree. Maybe Theodore will be able to repeat. If he does, I'll be the one buying the beer if Dater and I ever bump into each other. But, for future reference, I think I prefer "anti-Theodore" over "Budaj apologist."
And, for the record, I totally agree with the following statement:
I just think that the Avs tried to fix what wasn’t really broken this summer, and it’s costing them already. They tried to fix the areas (goaltending, a veteran winger, the coach) that weren’t broken and didn’t bother to fix the areas that were (penalty-killing, third-line center, faceoff guy, better defense up front).
I wouldn't have minded seeing a big name goalie brought in, I didn't like the Tucker signing, and I wasn't thrilled about the Granato promotion either. And I hated seeing Andrew Brunette leave. I'll happily join in criticizing the current regime for making some questionable moves. I just don't feel that letting Jose Theodore go is one of them.