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Is Colorado’s interest in Makar a ruse?

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Hold up. Since when do Joe Sakic and company let on this much about their intentions?

Dating back to the Pierre Lacroix days, the Avalanche organization has been about as tight-lipped any any team in the NHL. General manager Joe Sakic may have helped initiate a number of fan-friendly events and the media relations operation seems to have loosened up a bit in recent years, but this is still the front office that flies well under the radar, announcing any and all transactions at the last possible minute—and if possible during happy hour on a Friday.

So what’s up this week’s shameless Cale Makar love-fest?

As the 18-year-old defenseman’s star has risen, rumors have been circulating around back channels that the Avalanche are very interested. That’s not a huge surprise, given that the team is in dire need of another top-talent blue liner, and Makar is either the best or second-best of this year’s draft class depending on who you ask. What is surprising is how transparent the decision makers have been with reporters.

Alan Hepple, Colorado’s director of amateur scouting, hosted a conference call with media on Monday and appeared to declare a clear preference for Makar over Finnish defensive prospect, Miro Heiskanen. Is this for real? Or could it be a form of misdirection from an organization looking to force another GM’s hand?

Maybe it was different drafting tenth the past two seasons, but do you recall Tyson Jost being tied so strongly to the Avalanche? I don’t. Nor do I remember Mikko Rantanen receiving similar treatment the year before. In fact, it was really pretty difficult to get a read on Colorado’s draft intentions in recent years.

So why is it different now?

Makar might be one of the more unique fast-risers we’ve had in a while. He plays for the Brooks Bandits, a “Junior A” team in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Yeah, that’s the league where Mark Messier came from—as well as a whole bunch of Suters—but there’s no denying the AJHL has been an uncommon path to the NHL. There’s also the fact that Makar is a bit older than the rest of his draft class. Is his success due to beating up on younger, less talented competition? Does it even matter when a defenseman is scoring 24 goals and 75 points in 54 games?

We’ll find out on Friday when the New Jersey Devils, Philadephia Flyers, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche make 2017’s first four amateur selections.

Poll

Is the Avalanche interest in Cale Makar genuine?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Of course. Why would they lie?
    (153 votes)
  • 27%
    Nope. Sakic and company are being sneaky.
    (200 votes)
  • 50%
    You’re overthinking this, you dummy.
    (364 votes)
717 votes total Vote Now