The penultimate post for this year's Roundtable! Let's jump right to the question and answers, shall we?
Give me your best Jerry Springer Final Thought for the upcoming season.
Angelique - Regardless of expectations, few things are better then the start of a new season. The fresh sheet of ice, the organ music (if the Avs had organ music), and the clank of the puck against the boards...it's enough to give you goosebumps!
I can't wait to get to the rink!
Magnum - By seasons end, Colorado becomes a new band wagon team after some of their young players show what they can do offensively.
Sean Payton - Top 3 silver linings to a losing season:
1) The best way to get a superstar is with a top pick in the NHL Entry Draft.
2) No late nights in April and May staying up past midnight, only to see the Avs lose an OT playoff game.
3) Who wants to sit next to other people at games anyway?
Grant - With all the changes that have been made during the offseason, it's easy to be jaded about the 09-10 season. Sakic and Lappy are gone. Tucker and Hannan are still here. Granato, Giguere and others lost their jobs. But hey, cheer up! With Duchene leading the class of rookies, the Avs may not have a stellar season, but just think about how those bright young stars will become the new powerhouses of the NHL. Be patient. That's what rebuilding is all about. That and buying out Tucker's contract.
Aaron Musick - It is what you make it. Previous teams have had high expectations for them to achieve and, in last year, ultimately failed. This year things are different. Over the course of the roundtable, a bunch of thoughts have been expressed about the coach, management and players but it comes down to the same thing: everything has changed. With that has come lowered expectations. So now, if you're the players on this team, there's noone pushing this team but them. If they want to fail, they'll prove 90% of the hockey population right but if they go out and play hard, be competitive, they will be winners among a great number of Avs nation.
Matt Jordan - As someone who was six years old the last time the Colorado Avalanche (then the Quebec Nordiques) had a massive rebuild project to this magnitude, I can tell you, things are starting to look up. For the first time under the salary cap era, the Avalanche get it. They finally understand what made them great in the late 90's and the early 2000's. While bringing in top free agents is good, there is nothing more important than homegrown talent. Yes, Virgina, the draft does mean something! That has been what a lot of us Avs fans have been screaming for years. Detroit has done a great job drafting from 28, 30, ect. Colorado did not. We have been paying that bill for quite a while. For a few Avs players (Svatos, Wolski) this is their make or break year. For others (Hedjuk, Foote, Hannan) this could be the end of their time in Denver. For the Avs, this season has to be the start of the turn around. Until next time, take care of yourself, and each other. GO AVS!
Nic - The Avs are being predicted to finish among the bottom of the league again this season. Last season when the experts predicted this, most of Avs Nation didn't believe it could happen. This season, most of the Nation is agreeing with these experts. If this does turn out to be true, it will still be one of the most exciting seasons as we get to watch some of our young talent (hopefully) blossom into stars. Expectations are extremely low and the only way this season will be a failure is if Joe Sacco has the guys playing with as little heart as they played with under Granato. I don't see this happening with the way Sacco has been making the guys work so far.
Shane - It's a new season with a new cast and expectations and predictions mean jack squat. All that matters is the result of the actual games and if the Avalanche can be contenders in all their games this season, that will be a good first step in the long, winding road of rebuilding. I'm excited to see what these young players can do and I think we'll all enjoy watching them grow. Now let's retire Super Joe's jersey and get this season started!
DDC - It is possible that everything falls into place and the Avalanche surprise a lot of people this year. I personally don't think that's going to happen. I think we're going to learn a lot this year. We're going to learn that some of these young players have the goods and some simply do not. We're going to find out if we've finally got a coaching staff that can make a positive difference. Most importantly, we're going to find out just how devoted we fans are to the team; this year is going to be a real test of faith. It's been easy to cheer for this team through the great years. Are we going to be able to do so as the road gets tougher?
So there you have it. The Roundtable is concluded, but that doesn't mean the fun has stopped. We've got plans for more interactivity between the Avalanche blogs throughout the season and of course all the wall-to-wall action, insight, and snark you've come to expect from MHH.
Feel free to add your Final Thoughts on the eve of the season opening in the comments below.