This is part two of the midseason report card for former Avs. I've enlisted the help of fellow SB Nation bloggers to get the low down on how some former Avs are doing with their new teams. Part 1 - featuring defensemen Jeff Finger, Kurt Sauer and Karlis Skrastins - can be found here. Today, we'll take a look at three more players who left the Avs this summer.
|2008 - Andrew Brunette
For me, the biggest disappointment of this past offseason was the departure of Andrew Brunette (and that's without even considering his "replacement"). He signed a 3 year, $7.3 million deal this summer ($2.33 per year) to return to the Wild. Brunette fit perfectly into our old cycling offensive style (which greatly resembles our new "uptempo" cycling offensive style). How's he doing? Nathan Eide from Hockey Wilderness offered his take:
When Andrew Brunette was re-signed by the Wild in the off-season, many fans were elated. Here was the guy who was a major cog in the wheel during the 2003 playoff run. Here's the guy who performed so well in Colorado that Wild fans were looking at Doug Risebrough and asking what the hell he was thinking in letting him go. Here's the guy who did here and in Colorado what Mark Parrish failed to do in Minnesota.
Bruno is the guy who gets down low, directs play from behind the net, plays tough in traffic, gets the garbage goal and wreaks havoc in the low slot. He was supposed to account for some of the offensive loss of Brian Rolston and Pavol Demitra. Expectations were 22-30 goals and 32-38 assists. Not a horribly high expectation for someone making $2.5M. As we near the 1/2-way point of the season, Bruno has 10 goals and 11 assists in 39 games, or .25 gpg and .28 apg. Projections for the full season are 20 goals and 23 assists. On the whole he's perfoming a bit below what we were expecting, but if you consider the hot streak he was on at the beginning of the year (when we were all looking at Risebrough and saying "told ya so") he has really fallen off pace in the last 6 weeks. Not surprisingly, the rest of the offense has fallen off as well.
Brunette is nothing if not a leader, and when he plays well, the team is fired up because he works hard every shift, and should be a good role model for younger players like Sheppard, Pouliot and Gillies. Here's hoping he turns things around in the second half.
Reading between the lines of offseason comments from Brunette and the Avs it seemed clear that at least one of the sides had no interest in seeing Bruno return to Denver. Too bad. He may be slumping, but the Avs could certainly use his 21 points.
|2008 - Brad Richardson
Brad Richardson was traded this summer to the Kings for a 2008 2nd round draft pick (the Avs would pick goalie Peter Delmas with the pick). At the time, I felt that a 2nd round pick was a great return for Richie although I also thought Richardson might have an opportunity to flourish on a weaker Kings roster. According to Rudy Kelly from Battle of California, I may have been half right:
Brad Richardson is an interesting player. He's fast and he has good hands and he's defensively responsible, but there's something about him that coaches just seem to hate. In Colorado, he apparently shot Joel Quenneville's dog or something and barely played in his age-22 season despite showing great promise the year before. This season, on a Kings team that lacked depth and needed precisely what Richardson offers, Brad has played only 9 games. He sat on the bench for most of October and November while guys like Derek Armstrong and Matt Moulson played in his place. He finally got a few games in late November and played pretty well *(and got into a fight, with hilarious results)*... then somehow cut his own leg in practice and hasn't played since. He should be back pretty soon but it doesn't look like there's a spot available right now. I like Brad Richardson, but right now I'd rather have that 2nd-round pick. I guess it could be worse; we could still have Brian Willsie.
Nice Willsie zing! It's still too early to count Richadson out, but so far it looks like this was an excellent deal for Francois Giguere.
|2008 - Jose Theodore
Even though Theodore is on a new team, he remains a highly polarizing figure in the Avosphere. Theodore signed a 2 year, $9 million ($4.5 per year) deal with the Capitals this summer. JP from Japer's Rink provided his synopsis of Theo's season so far:
Theodore has been a bit of a roller coaster ride so far, but some of that can reasonably be attributed to external factors - learning a new system,learning new defensemen (most of whom have never had a right-catching goalie behind them), the team's massive injury totals (especially to the defense) and a hip injury of his own that he finally sat a few games for (that some believe had bothered him longer than he let on). But he has, without question, been inconsistent and at times just plain bad (though he's never been particularly good in October or November). Hopefully he has put that behind him and is primed for a big second half.
I think my thoughts on Theodore are well known by now. Honestly, regardless of how Budaj or Theodore has played this year, there were just too many question marks for the kind of money that Theodore was asking for (and, quite frankly, deserved). While our goaltending situation is far from solid, the loss of Theodore removes one of the complicating factors going forward.
Once again, I'd like to thank some great SB Nation bloggers for making this happen - Battle of California, Japer's Rink and Hockey Wilderness. It's pretty cool that all six of the reports can come from SB Nation blogs. There will be one more installment of these on Friday, and then next week I'll start doing the reports on the guys who are actually on our team!