The 2016-17 NHL season ended Sunday night when Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins hoisted the Stanley Cup for a second straight year.
Time to move on.
They say, “never ask, ‘how can it get worse?’ because it can always get worse.” But can it really get worse for the Colorado Avalanche? I’m going to be optimistic and say that this year will be better than last year.
Let’s be optimistic as the 2017-18 season officially begins. This is going to be hard for us Colorado Avalanche fans given everything that went wrong last year, but that’s in the past. It’s a new year and a new reason for belief. The Nashville Predators made the Finals as a 16-seed. Why can’t the Avs go from “worst team in the salary cap era” to “respectable team that isn’t completely embarrassing?” It can happen. All you have to do is believe.
Let’s have faith that Joe Sakic and management will do something. That they get Francois Beauchemin to waive his NMC or they buy him out. That they either keep Matt Duchene or get a hefty return for him. That they spend their free agent money smartly, signing speedy forwards and swift defensemen as opposed to aging veterans. Those waiver pick ups were good, right? And the Sven Andrighetto for Andreas Martinsen trade worked out well. See, Sakic knows what he’s doing.
Let’s have faith that Jared Bednar is a good coach. That last season he was a victim of circumstance and an imbalanced roster that didn’t suit his style. That there’s no possible way that he could be the worst coach of all-time.
Let’s have faith that Nathan MacKinnon finally makes the leap into superstardom. That Semyon Varlamov remains healthy and returns to form or that Calvin Pickard proves himself to be a #1 guy. That the depth forwards contribute more than five goals combined. That Erik Johnson gets a worthwhile defensive partner that takes pressure off of him.
The offseason always breeds some type of optimism. Remember how excited we were last offseason when the team signed Joe Colborne? “He had 19 goals and 44 points for the Flames. Great addition to the depth.” It sucks that he only played on opening night, but that feeling when he was signed was a good feeling. Let’s bring that feeling back.
Let’s not criticize any signing Sakic makes this offseason. Let’s be thankful that a player wants to play for this organization after last year. Let’s say, “this is the type of guy we need” instead of, “this poor soul.”
Starting in October, we can return to our frustrating forms. We can collectively sigh as the defense stands around and fails to clear the puck. We can throw things in our house as a forward passes on a breakaway. We can look as confused and baffled as Patrick Roy used to look while he watched his team blow another third period lead.
But in June, July, August, and September. Let’s be optimistic. After last year, we owe it to our happiness.