While the mention of Brad Stuart's name immediately conjures anger among Avs fans, Nate Guenin's elicits groans and shaking of heads. Originally signed to a one-year 2-way contract to provide depth in Lake Erie he was tagged by the Avs staff as a solid defensive defenseman back in 2013 and never got on the plane to Cleveland. Midway through the overachieving 13-14 season he was re-signed to a two-year 1-way contract for reasons that still seem hard to justify now.
This past year with a tragically ineffective defensive system, Guenin struggled more and more to get in the lineup, was waived twice and finally ended up where he could do some good for the org in San Antonio. He ended up with 173 games for the Avs, 24 points and shot metrics so horrifying that decorum prohibits listing them here.
Let's see, 57.7 - that looks like an F to me. Probably to you too.
I'm going to give a bit of a rebuttal here on Nate's behalf for what it's worth. First of all, he's a great guy and a great leader. All the reports we've had from players and staff in San Antonio are extremely positive about what Guenin brought once he ended up there. There was a vast leadership vacuum there, not Cody McLeod leaderyness but true leadership in bringing the team back together both in the dressing room and on the ice after months of poor play and divisiveness. Second, he a pretty skilled player in the AHL believe it or not. He racked up 11 points and 33 SOG in 24 games in SA this year. Wow, it's like he belongs there!
While I fully agree that Guenin has no business playing for the Avs I fully support another contract for him to mentor young defensemen with the Rampage and continue the fine job he did with Nikita Zadorov, Mason Geertsen and Sergei Boikov in the short time he had with them.
What say you, dear reader?