To all my fellow Canadian readers, Happy Canada Day, to all you non-Canadians, Happy FREE AGENCY DAY!!! Certainly one of my favorite Holidays, what's better than a bunch of NHL happenings caped off with fireworks. Alright, so the Avalanche probably won't be big players today, however, we know that they are looking for goalies. So off you go Avalanche management, you have a fan base waiting to welcome the newest Avalanche member (hopefully members). Today's Cupcakes will be a look back (alright, so I've been feeling nostalgic lately) at some of the past transactions involving Avalanche fan favorites, and not so favorites, to give us a reminder at what they have done in the past. Like the last couple of days, A.J. is providing some insight into the moves.
All dates from Wikipedia
July 1st, Florida Panthers got Brett McLean
July 2nd, Atlanta Thrashers got Ken Klee
August 3rd, Montreal Canadiens got Patrice Brisebois
July 1st, Scott Hannan previously of the San Jose Sharks
July 1st, Ryan Smyth previously of the New York Islanders
August 20th, Wyatt Smith previously of the Minnesota Wild
Sandie's Thoughts: The two big names were the guys that Colorado was able to sign, Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan. Both of these guys signed significant long term deals because they believed in what Colorado could offer them, and they were both traded to good teams. As for Brett McLean he played two more years in Florida and then he retired in 2009 at the age of 30.
A.J.'s thoughts: Ahhhh the excitement of this summer. Smyth, Hannan, and a dude named Wyatt (...walked into a bar...). This day would eventually turn into Quincey, the most insulting buyout in NHL history, letting Flash leave after 20+ games, and no dudes named Wyatt. Ready for the best part? This was the most active summer in terms of adding (positive) impact players to the NHL roster. Little did we know at the time that Sakic calling Smyth to recruit him to Colorado would be a sign of things to come. Hopefully he experiences as much success 6 hours from now as he did on this day.
July 1st, Minnesota acquired Andrew Brunette
July 1st, Phoenix acquired Kurt Sauer
July 1st, Washington acquired Jose Theodore
July 1 st Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Jeff Finger
July 3rd Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Wyatt Smith
July 1st, Andrew Raycroft previously from the Toronto Maple Leafs
July 1st, Darcy Tucker previously from the Toronto Maple Leafs
July 10th, Nathan Smith previously from the Pittsburgh Penguins
July 15th, Brian Willsie previously from the Los Angeles Kings
Sandie's Thoughts: I hated seeing Bruno go, I still think he is one of the best players behind the net, and think he has been undervalued as a player. Plus side, if bridges aren't burnt he could be had at a great price this year. Toronto and Colorado switched players during the free agency, Tucker had a few moments of brilliance, but unfortunately, he no longer played like a pest.
A.J.'s thoughts: Basic rule of NHL free agency: Anytime you can let a Top 6 Forward, starting goaltender, two of you top 7, and a dude named Wyatt leave and replace them with a backup goalie, a washed up agitator (both as buyouts from one of the worst teams in the NHL at the time) and 2 AHL roster players, you just have to do it. It's no wonder we were so terrible that season. Today better be nothing like this trash.
July 1, 2009 Ian Laperriere to the Philadelphia Flyers
July 2, 2009 Lawrence Nycholat to the Vancouver Canucks
July 3, 2009 Tyler Arnason to the New York Rangers
July 6, 2009 Andrew Raycroft to the Vancouver Canucks
July 14, 2009 Ben Guite to the Nashville Predators
July 22, 2009 Nathan Smith to the Minnesota Wild
July 30, 2009 Michael Vernace to the Atlanta Thrashers
August 1, 2009 Cody McCormick to the Buffalo Sabres
July 1, 2009 Craig Anderson from the Florida Panthers
July 1, 2009 David Koci from the Tampa Bay Lightning
July 6, 2009 Darren Haydar from the Detroit Red Wings
July 8, 2009 Brett Skinner form the New York Islanders
Sandie's Thoughts: This year was a sad year for me, both personally and in the world of hockey, Colorado let Lappy, Guite and Arnason go. Personally I loved Ben Guite and Ian Laperriere is always a fan favorite. Many people were upset to see Cody McCormick leave as well. Colorado went out and got Craig Anderson, who was one of if not the difference maker in the Avalanche season, and David Koci.
A.J.'s thoughts: This was one of the most emotionally conflicting days in recent memory. We let Lappy, Guite, and the good Cody Mac leave, which really sucked. We also let Tyler Arnason and Andrew Raycroft leave, which really rocked. Then we brought in an intriguing career backup named Craig Anderson, who would go on to steal the hearts of Avalanche fans in his first season only to leave them in pieces less than a year later. For amusement sake, David Koci was brought in to get punched repeatedly and in a lost season trick some Avs fans into thinking he should be in a team's plan as a defenseman.
July 2, 2010 T.J. Hensick went to the St. Louis Blues
July 5, 2010 Brett Clark went to the Tampa Bay Lightning
July 7, 2010 Brian Fahey went to the Washington Capitals
July 12, 2010 Tyler Weiman went to the Vancouver Canucks
July 14, 2010 Brian Willsie went to the Washington Capitals
July 25, 2010 Chris Durno went to the Tampa Bay Lightning
August 9, 2010 Ruslan Salei went to the Detroit Red Wings
September 27, 2010 Matt Hendricks went to the Washington Capitals
July 2, 2010 David Liffiton from the Columbus Blue Jackets
July 2, 2010 Greg Mauldin from the New York Islanders
July 2, 2010 David Van der Gulik from the Calgary Flames
July 2, 2010 Jason Bacashihua from the Washington Capitals
July 7, 2010 Ben Walter from the New Jersey Devils
Sandie's Thoughts: Colorado's defense got weaker by letting Salei and ,yes, Clark go. they also let another though guy in Hendricks go. Colorado gained many players for their AHL team, instead of signing guys for the Avalanche squad, but due to numerous injuries, most saw a stint or two with the Big Club.
A.J.'s Thoughts: BOY HOWDY LAST YEAR WAS A REAL RIOT, WASN'T IT? Seriously, we did nothing until the second day of free agency because apparently it took us an entire day to sift through the AHL portion of free agency and pick out 2 guys who had previously been in the organization (Liffiton and Cash), a guy who dared to wear number 7 in Denver and Greg Mauldin. Fully committed to the building from within philosophy at this point, the Avalanche dared not set their foot in the free agent waters lest they improve their NHL roster without the loss of any assets. On the Altitude side of things, 2010's free agent frenzy played a significant role in the Monsters making their first playoff appearance. The losses ranged from "FINALLY" (Clark) to "Why did it have to be this way :(" (Hendricks).