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Avalanche Week in Review: Labor Day Weekend

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This week we said goodbye to August and hello to new head coach Jared Bednar. Captain’s practices continue in Denver and World Cup training camps open on Sunday. Let’s take a look back at the week that was:

  • Jared Bednar was introduced to the media on Tuesday. For all the vids and interviews go here
  • The Avs signed Gabriel Bourque to a PTO and Sandie was stoked. Some others are also in the rumor mill so keep your eyes peeled for marginal talent in town.
  • We learned that PG Cougars forward Brogan O’Brien has been invited to rookie camp, which begins just 12 (!) days from now.
  • Along with a long talk with JB, Ryan & Ron did an AvsCast with gigantic Swedish prospect Gus Olhaver
  • Our good friend Zoso3737 caught a little of the captain’s practice yesterday. Spotted on the ice were Duchene, Iginla, Compher, McLeod, Zadorov, Bigras and several others. Rampage coach Eric Veilleux was out there with them so it hasn’t been just shinny.
  • AJ & JJ put out another edition of the BSN Avs Podcast yesterday with more on JB and a breakdown of the Avs players heading to the World Cup
  • The prelims for the World Cup don’t start until Sept 17th but there are some pre-tournament contests coming up this week starting on Thursday. These will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks plus Sportsnet/TVA up North. We’ll have GDTs up of course, the European teams are playing their early exhibitions in various cities like Helsinki/Moscow/Prague and so will be midday times here in North America. Team Canada, the US and the Young Guns will play at night.

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Adrian Dater wrote a column for the new Woody Paige dot com site which was released last night. As usual with Big Red it was well written and factually it presented some interesting points on the Roy/Avalanche breakup. Once it got away from facts and reporting it suffered a bit in a few areas

First of all, it was written from the old school Denver media viewpoint that pre-2002 is good and everything else sucks. Have they won a Stanley Cup since then? Nope, but constantly comparing the current squad to a team with no salary cap which was littered with generational talents and hall-of-famers is pointless. No team, in Colorado or elsewhere, will ever be that good again. I thoroughly enjoyed that era and if you were around, I’m sure you did too. Who wouldn’t? But it’s not coming back and finding the strengths the 2016 Avs have vs the 2016 NHL is the practical path to take if you’re going to write about them.

Second, Dater delved into some speculation that Patrick completely lost confidence in Varlamov and hinted that he and Francois Allaire were not on the same page. It’s a somewhat plausible narrative, until you look at usage of Varly and Picks down the stretch. Of course Patrick also lost confidence in everyone else on the team and blamed the players for blowing it rather than examining his own shortcomings as a coach.

The most egregious part of the article was the total rip job on new head coach Jared Bednar, basically calling him a nobody that Sakic hired because he’s from Saskatchewan and Joe played hockey there for a while. Dater’s never had any love for the AHL, this just furthers that narrow view and falls right in line with the Denver media’s mindless groupthink that anyone outside of name-brand NHL coaches are garbage. We all know the reasons why JB was hired and the reasoning behind it, I’m sure Dater does too. Dismissing that out of hand reeks of playing to the audience and controversy for controversy’s sake with a smidgen of hurt pride from publicly guessing wrong about Kevin Dineen getting the job.

That said, it’s a good article to file away. This is what the Avs and Jared Bednar have to overcome to win the hearts of the stodgy old-time sports writers around town. It’s a little tougher than it should be but it’s going to be very worth it if they do.

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Have a safe and wildly exciting holiday weekend all. Hockey returns on Thursday.