In a return to something I started during the dog days of last summer, here's a look at some Avalanche related articles from around the net in the last week or so...
Marek Svatos avoided arbitration by signing a 2 year, $4.1 million deal. Joe Sakic, of course, is still ignoring my prayers. With Sakic still in non-commital mode, the Avs have salary cap room to burn. There's some recent speculation that the Avalanche might be one of the teams pursuing Mats Sundin. Adrian Dater thinks this is bunk, and I agree with him on that. Oh, and in that same entry, he reiterated his belief that the Avs will stink next year (I'm not sure I'm quite there on that one):
[I]t doesn’t matter whether Sakic comes back or not. Because the Avs as they are presently constituted aren’t going anywhere next year, even if Sakic came back. The forwards are too old, the third-and-fourth lines are going to be in the penalty box all the time and getting scored upon, and the goaltending isn’t good enough. So, take all the time in the world you want, Joe, the end result will be the same.
So, Dater isn't impressed. Darren Thompson from the Bleacher Report agrees, and predicts we'll miss the playoffs next year in his NW offseason report. Some new blogger at The Hockey News also thinks the Avs have had a ho-hum summer. Of course, since these are the same clowns who think there are 18 better hockey logos than the Avs, I'm not sure we can really count them. MitchellW is a bit more optomistic than the rest, and offers 8 reasons the Avs will do better. And, just in case they don't, here's a list of some of the top UFAs for next summer. Here's another list, focusing on just the NW.
Andrew Raycroft thinks he still has it. I, for one, hope he's right.
The Avalanche announced a minor schedule change, moving their December 10th home game against the Kings a day up to December 9th (the article has the original game on December 20th, which is incorrect). They also have a new scout, in Guy Perron.
Recently, our beloved Jibblescribbits had the opportunity to dress up like a fairy princess and took the opportunity to gauge fan popularity in Denver. Speaking of those Denver-based fans, they'll be listening to the Avs on a different station next year, as the Avs are moving to AM 1510. I've never been to Denver, but this move seems to be a shade unpopular. Kroenke also extended some sort of ticket deal thingy that I don't understand in the slightest.
Around the league, the Wings signed Valtteri Filppula to a 5-year, $15 million deal. I hope he spends some of that money on some new eyebrow dye. While the Wings were locking up blondie, Scott Bowman defected to Chicago.
Back home in the NW division, the Oilers kicked GM Kevin Lowe upstairs and replaced him with Canucks assistant-GM Steve Tambellini. Oiler fans were a tad bit surprised. Canuck blogger Sean Zandberg wonders why Vancouver can't attract decent free agents. But at least Canucks fans can be proud of one thing: their old Flying V jersey was voted the worst piece of sports clothing in media history. (I happen to own one of my own). And the Wild waived Mark Parrish.
In the former Avs department, former coach Marc Crawford will be joining Hockey Night in Canada next year as an in-game analyst. Our other former coach, Joel Quenneville, had been rumored to be a frontrunner for the vacant Islanders position, but he will instead take a year off for moustache maintenance. And Dan Hinote got married, and a lot of Avalanche players and other celebs were in attendence.
Oh, and apparently the head of the Democratic National Convention landed a sweet prize after the Avs beat the Wild in the playoffs:
for example, when the Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche were in the NHL playoffs, we had a little bet ... fortunately the Avalanche won, and we received a whole mess of Minnesota walleye fish, which we donated to the Denver Rescue Mission.